Noddy Holder biography
Neville John Holder was born on June 15th 1946 in Walsall, Staffordshire, England as the only child of window cleaner Jack Holder and wife Leah. There are different explanations of his nickname Noddy: one is that he always nodded off in school, another that a noddy holder is slang for a condom. Take your pick!
At a very early age Noddy knew that he wanted to become an entertainer and at the age of 11 he got his first guitar. Nod was a brainy boy, too, so he passed his 11-plus at the Walsall Blue Coat School and went on to grammar school. At the T. P. Riley Comprehensive School in Walsall he passed 6 of his 8 G.C.E. exams, the two that he failed were art and French. Quite significant by the way, as they were Jim's top subjects at school apart from music!
In the meantime Nod had formed his own band, The Phantoms, later re-named The Memphis Cut-Outs, where he played guitar, and at 17 he quit school to concentrate on his music. To earn a little money he started working at an office selling car parts, but also that he quit. Shortly after The Memphis Cut-Outs were approached by singer Steve Brett, who was a well-known entertained in the Midlands. He had his own TV show and fronted the group Steve Brett and The Mavericks. His backing band had quit and he was looking for a new one, so this way The Memphis Cut-Outs became the new Mavericks. They made 3 singles and a TV appearance before Nod quit, too.
In 1966 Noddy was asked by Don and Dave to join The N'Betweens (future Slade) as a singer. Nod was thus the last one to get onboard the Slade wagon shortly after Jim, and it took them 5 years to rise to fame.
Noddy was the frontman of Slade. His loud raucous voice, his muscular rhythm guitar, the innuendo in his lyrics and his extrovert but always good humoured stage personality made him stand out and he went on to become a 1970es pop icon. With Jim he formed one of the most powerful song-writing partnerships ever, Nod writing most of the lyrics, Jim the music. Today they jointly own all of Slade's music and in 1983 they also collaborated as producers of the band "Girlschool".
For years Nod's main stage guitar was a Fender Telecaster. He also played Gibson SG Junior, Antoria Jumbo acoustic and Gibson Les Paul, but the Les Paul was mostly for studio work.
Slade stopped touring in 1984 on Nod's request, but they continued making records. In 1989 and 1990 Noddy and Dave even put out 2 singles on the Mooncrest label using the name "Blessing in Disguise". After Slade's 25 anniversary in 1991 Noddy left the band for good, feeling the urge to do something else in life.
He went on to have his own radio show on Piccadilly 1152 in Manchester and also appeared in various TV shows, notably "The Grimleys" (1997-2001) where he played music teacher Mr. Neville Holder. He also presented a show on Men and Motors, was a team captain in BBC's "A Question of Pop" and he appeared as Mick Burstin on "Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere" (2004). Heck, he was even immortalised as a puppet in the famous children's series "Bob the Builder"!
In 1999 Noddy's autobiography "Who's Crazee Now?" was published by Ebury Press (revised edition in 2000 with an extra chapter) and in 2000 he was awarded an MBE for services to music in the New Years Honours list. At present, he is doing commercials for Nobby's Nuts!
On April 7th 2004 Noddy married TV-producer Suzan Price with whom he has the son Django, born in 1995 and named after legendary gypsy jazz-guitarist Django Reinhardt. From his previous marriage to Leandra Russell (this marriage lasted from 1976 to 1984) he has two grown daughters, Jessica and Charisse, who both work in TV-production. Today Nod lives with his family in Prestbury, Chesire, England.