Chris Slade Opens Up About His AC/DC Run
via Duke TV/ Youtube
Chris Slade, former drummer for AC/DC, characterized his time with the band as a “good job” and emphasized his professional approach to the role. Despite achieving success with Tom Jones, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, David Gilmour, and others, Slade advised his sons against pursuing a career in percussion.
Slade reflected on his early years with Tom Jones’ band, the Senators, in a recent interview with Wales Online. Slade, then 16 years old, saw an opening when the guitarist was seeking a drummer and boldly volunteered his skills, ultimately landing the job. He remembered the early doubts regarding Jones’s ability, but their partnership resulted in frequent engagements, bringing Slade $6 each night.
Although he acknowledges the imprudence of leaving school, Slade found himself performing at Madison Square Garden with Tom Jones and the Squires just over two years later. His involvement in the recording of Jones’ hit “It’s Not Unusual” remains uncertain, but Slade speculates on the possibility of other drummers being involved.
Facing challenges due to his inability to read music, Slade was briefly fired from the Squires but was later rehired. In 1989, he auditioned for AC/DC, describing the tense encounter with Angus and Malcolm Young. Despite feeling he failed the test, he ultimately replaced Phil Rudd in the band.
AC/DC Departure and Return
Reflecting on his departure from AC/DC in 1994 and the subsequent return in 2015 (leaving again in 2020), Slade emphasized his professional commitment to the job. Praising Malcolm Young, he shared:
“Malcolm was absolutely fantastic. He was a genius. The best rhythm guitarist I’ve ever played with.”
Despite his advice to his sons to pursue keyboards or guitar, two of them ended up as drummers. Slade, who continues to tour with his band, the Chris Slade Timeline, maintains a pragmatic view, noting:
“Drummers come at the bottom of the pecking order.”