Slade

Odds and sods about the British rock band Slade

Friday, June 10, 2005

Dave Hill biography

David John Hill was born on the 4th of April 1946 in Fleet Castle, Devon, England as son of mechanic Jack Hill and wife Dorothy. He has a younger sister, Carol. When Dave was 5 the family moved to Wolverhampton.
Dave went to school at Warstones Primary, Springdale Infants and Highfields Secondary Modern, but he was not very academic, though. He was good at metalwork and enjoyed music lessons, his granddad being a doctor in music. At first Dave wanted to learn how to play the recorder, then the piano, but ended up being taught how to play the guitar from a friend. In his early teens he had his first group called The Young Ones before joining an outfit of old blokes playing sax in working men's pubs. Here he was spotted by the manager of Don's group The Vendors and invited to an audition. In the early 1960es Dave thus joined The Vendors, who eventually became The 'N Betweens, then Ambrose Slade and finally Slade. Dave worked for 3 years as an office boy at Tarmac before turning pro.
Money was tight when Dave started playing guitar and right handed guitars were cheaper than left handed ones, so even though Dave is left handed he ended up playing and still plays guitar right handed. His best know guitar was the John Birch Superyob, custom made for Dave in 1973. It became a vital part of his image just like his huge platform boots, the fringes and the outrageous costumes. Dave also played a Framus Nashville guitar, John Birch J2 guitars, a white John Birch SG custom style guitar and "The Bat" made by John Birch in plain white. His main guitar was, however, "Dad's Gibson", a guitar with a Gibson neck and Sam Lee body that his dad helped him buy early on in his career. Today Dave plays the John Birch Superyob 2001.
Dave's bizarre costumes actually appalled Jim, by the way. Dave just laughed at it and said about their hits, "You write 'em, I sell 'em." One thing's for sure; once seen you never forgot Dave again as he looked like no one else on earth. Dave was referred to by the other members of Slade as plain "H" so he's the H mentioned in both "Know Who You Are" (1970) and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (1972). Later when Dave shaved his head bald Noddy nicknamed him "the grasshopper".
At the end of the 1970es Dave went into the wedding car business, hiring out his Rolls Royce with the registration YOB 1 to drive newly weds. He was seriously contemplating to leave Slade by the end of the 1970es and had to be talked into playing a final gig at the 1980 Reading Festival. The gig meant a revival of Slade and the band carried on for 11 more years. In 1989 and 1990 Dave even put out 2 singles with Noddy under the name "Blessing in Disguise".
Slade split up in 1991 but within long Dave decided to start over. It was actually rock queen Suzi Quatro's ex-husband Len Tuckey who brought the idea of touring as Slade again into Dave's mind and when Don accepted in 1992 Slade II was born. Apparently it was Nod who came up with the name Slade II, although it was shortened back to Slade in 1997. Today Len Tuckey is the new Slade's manager.
Dave married his wife, hair dresser Janice Parton, in Mexico City in 1973 and they have the children Jade, Bibi and Sam. Dave and Jan have embraced the Jehovah faith and today they live in Penn, Wolverhampton in Staffordshire, England.

3 Comments:

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous denise warner said...

i love dave hill. he is a great deal of fun and makes the slade concerts fantastic. i have been a slade fan for 38 years and have been to lots of their concerts all over england. the latest in dundee a week ago. i had the greatest moment in my life when i met don powell. my hero. i would give anything to repeat that and meet the great dave hill as well to thank him for so many years of foot stomping rocking fun. denise warner

 
At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Slade too. As a teenager in mid 70s I used to listen Slade all the time here in the Southern Russia. Thanks to all of them for the nice music!!!!

 
At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walking through Sorrento on holiday last week walked past Dave Hill and his wife shopping.

 

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