AC/DC Drummer Claims He Started With Tom Jones. What's Up Pussycat?

Vistalite Black

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Ex-AC/DC drummer Chris Slade spoke to the drum experts over at UltimateGuitar.com about his early days. He claims he joined Tom Jones' band at 16, but the photo purporting to show Slade with Elvis and "Tiger" shows a young boy with a full head of hair.

Judge for yourselves: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/acdc_drummer_chris_slade_recalls_struggling__starving_in_tom_jones_pre-fame_band_talks_how_much_money_he_was_making.html

AC/DC Drummer Chris Slade Recalls Struggling & Starving in Tom Jones' Pre-Fame Band, Talks How Much Money He Was Making

During a conversation with Sonic Perspectives, AC/DC drummer Chris Slade - also known for his work with David Gilmour, Uriah Heep, The Firm, and many more - looked back on the very early days of his career and playing in Tom Jones' band before he became famous.

When asked, "You started your career at a high point at 16 years old playing with Tom Jones and never looked back. At what point during your career did you feel that you made it?", Slade replied:

"I don't think I have made it even as of today. [Laughs] Regarding Tom, don't forget he wasn't Tom Jones in the beginning; we were Tommy Scott & The Senators.
"We made a really good living playing the working man's clubs in South Wales, where we were born. I was earning as much money as my father at the time who was working in the factory.
"Then we went to London, and all lived in a basement flat together. We literally starved, because we couldn't find a single gig. [Laughs] It was a big kick up the bum as we thought we were really good.
"I wanted to be a drummer all my life, and people still come up to me and ask, 'Have you been a drummer all of your life?', and I tell them, 'Not yet!' [Laughs] This may sound ridiculous now, but for two or three years in the mid-'60s, Tom was bigger than Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley combined.
"We toured and even played [NYC's] Madison Square Garden for a week with the Count Basie Orchestra as the rhythm section. I had to be adaptable, going from playing in a pop band to playing with one of the biggest jazz bands ever.
"That was a hell of an experience, and I was able to do it because I could play in a jazzy style along with rock. All the rock drummers were originally jazz drummers like Bill Hailey & The Comets; they were jazz musicians who were inventing rock 'n' roll as they went on."
There's more, including a delightful video of Slade and Tom "Tiger" Jones in 1960-something. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/acdc_drummer_chris_slade_recalls_struggling__starving_in_tom_jones_pre-fame_band_talks_how_much_money_he_was_making.html
 

Radio King

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That is definitely Slade in the pic and video (the chin is the giveaway). I had no idea he played with such heavyweights in the '60s. I only knew of him from Manfred Mann's Earth Band in the '70s.
 

JDA

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Thank you King ..couldn't find that to save my life) way to go. (how did you find it..
 

Radio King

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Thank you King ..couldn't find that to save my life) way to go. (how did you find it..
I just magnified the screen, then did a screen capture. I then cropped and cleaned it up a little in Paint Shop Pro. Luckily, the original scans were fairly hi-res, even though they appear like postage stamps.
 

Tomb

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fascinating, I never knew Chris drummed with Tom Jones
 

ppfd

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He and Carl Palmer could have been twins back in the day.
 
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Chris Slade Professional Drummer-Musician= Does the gig that he's offered with his full musical abilities, it's ALL music!!! There are many more similarities between styles-genres-approaches-gigs than differences.

VB: "Claims?"
Please.......
MSG
 

Fat Drummer

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And until this thread, I did not know he was with Manfred Mann's Earth Band! I learn something new every day!
 

Peterk256

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YES, his playing back then was nothing like later years. I listened constantly to Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas album when it came out in 1969 and I still hear remnants of Chris' jazzy and swinging playing from that album that I've attempted to integrate in my own style.

This was an email dialog I had in 2012 with Lew Bowman who I think was Chris's agent or publicist:

ME: Is Chris the drummer on Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas (1969)? I just got the vinyl after not hearing it since the original release date (I owned it back then) and the drums are killer! Tom Jones announces "Chris" as the drummer after one of the songs but does not mention a last name. Would be nice to know if it is indeed this Chris. Just curious and want to know who to give props to.

Lew: Got a message into Chris asking for confirmation. If he did do the drumming on that LIVE recording I need to update his discography. Good question...some on the net believe it was indeed, Chris. Will let you know when Chris gets back to me...may be awhile if he is touring abroad and with little internet access.

Lew: I asked Chris if he drummed on "Tom Jones LIVE in Las Vegas", find his response below, Pete.
(SIC) "yes, I did Lew. And get this: I was on road with ac/dc with Mettallica and Black crowes and BC's drummer asked me when I started, I said Tom Jones in 60's. He Looked at me funny and said, " did you drum on Hard to Handle on Live in Las Vegas"? I said yes. He said," That's where we got 'hard to handle' from, we'd never heard Otis Redding version". Now I have to update the website, lol. Great question brother!


- if you get bored then listen from 2:10.

 
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Radio King

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YES, his playing back then was nothing like later years. I listened constantly to Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas album when it came out in 1969 and I still hear remnants of Chris' jazzy and swinging playing from that album that I've attempted to integrate in my own style.

This was an email dialog I had in 2012 with Lew Bowman who I think was Chris's agent:

ME: Is Chris the drummer on Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas (1969)? I just got the vinyl after not hearing it since the original release date (I owned it back then) and the drums are killer! Tom Jones announces "Chris" as the drummer after one of the songs but does not mention a last name. Would be nice to know if it is indeed this Chris. Just curious and want to know who to give props to.

Lew: Got a message into Chris asking for confirmation. If he did do the drumming on that LIVE recording I need to update his discography. Good question...some on the net believe it was indeed, Chris. Will let you know when Chris gets back to me...may be awhile if he is touring abroad and with little internet access.

Lew: I asked Chris if he drummed on "Tom Jones LIVE in Las Vegas", find his response below, Pete.
(SIC) "yes, I did Lew. And get this: I was on road with ac/dc with Mettallica and Black crowes and BC's drummer asked me when I started, I said Tom Jones in 60's. He Looked at me funny and said, " did you drum on Hard to Handle on Live in Las Vegas"? I said yes. He said," That's where we got 'hard to handle' from, we'd never heard Otis Redding version". Now I have to update the website, lol. Great question brother!
Outstanding! He does indeed swing his ass off here. Thank you, Peter!
 

Tama CW

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Chris with similarities to Ron Tutt, Danny Seraphine, etc. Probably all related to the Hal Blaine school of swing.
 

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