22nd May, 2017

Don Powell: Slade drummer visits The Beatles Story

Don Powell, drummer for English glam rock band Slade, and long-time fan of Ringo Starr visited The Beatles Story today. He was visiting Liverpool to attend the launch of a new book, entitled Ringo Starr And The Beatles Beat, for which he has written the foreword.

Slade were the most successful British group of the 1970s, dominating the charts during the century based on sales of singles. The band achieved twelve Top 5 hit singles in the UK between 1971 and 1974, three of which went straight to number one.

No other UK act of the period enjoyed such consistency in the charts as Slade and they were the closest of any group to matching The Beatles’ 22 Top 10 records during a single decade.

Whilst speaking with staff at the award-winning attraction, Don reminisced about the time NME referred to Slade as “the new Beatles”, due to the fact they had successive singles in the charts and a feature film. Upon meeting with John Lennon, Don asked The Beatle what he thought of the statement – to which John replied “who’d want to be the new Beatles?”.

 

Don is a huge fan of fellow drummer Ringo Starr, and whilst learning how to play himself, had purchased the same Ludwig drum kit as used by the Beatles’ drummer. He said: “Ringo is a great drummer, underestimated by the public but much appreciated by the professionals, and he could swing like hell”. It was clear for Don how essential Ringo was to The Beatles’ sound, especially in their live performances, without which many of the famous bands of the 70s would not have existed.

 

 

He also spoke about how savvy Slade’s manager Chas Chandler was – having learnt so much from what Brian Epstein did in the 60s, as well as his own experience as bass player with The Animals. Chas, of course famously discovered and managed Jimi Hendrix, another great fan of The Beatles.

Both The Animals and The Jimi Hendrix Experience feature alongside The Beatles within our special exhibition, ‘The British Invasion: How 1960s beat groups conquered America’. To purchase tickets, click the link below.

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