Former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade spoke in an interview with Antihero Magazine and remembered his first audition for AC/DC.
Was it just another audition given that you were already familiar with playing with musical legends? Was it just another audition given that you were already familiar with playing with musical legends?
“I haven’t had many auditions in my life but that was one of a few, Pagey phoned and asked me to play with him and so did Gilmour, Moore, and Manfred Mann, along with just about everyone else.
The AC/DC guys had no idea that I was so experienced, (I played Madison Square Gardens for a week with Tom Jones in the mid 60’s using The Count Basie Orchestra).
While we were recording “Razors Edge”, Malcolm and Angus actually said, ‘we had no idea you’d been playing with other people before, we thought you were sort of starting out’. I had auditioned against 100 top, top drummers and I was the last one because they called my home phone before I had driven the hour from rehearsal place to back home.”
“There’s no such thing as best for any instrument there have been many great players on every instrument. How could you choose between Page, Gilmour, Moore, or Angus?“
All the bass players I have worked with have been great and it’s important to lock in with the bass. Without me locking with Cliff Williams, AC/DC just wouldn’t work. I recommended Pino Palladino to Gary Numan, and we worked together on Numan’s “I Assassin” album as well as touring together.
I didn’t know it was Pino’s first professional gig on bass, he was a guitarist before, but I knew he was a wonderful fretless player. Tony Franklin (The Firm with Page and Paul Rodgers) is a monster player. Bob Daisley with Gary Moore. Colin Pattenden with Manfred Mann’s Earthband. Trevor Bolder with Uriah Heep, he was also of course in The Spiders of Mars.
All these guys are great players but more importantly, we could work together as a rhythm section. In fact, I can’t think of a single bass player I’ve worked with that I would say I don’t want to do that again. They might think that about me though, haha.
I had the great honour to jam with Jaco Pastorius in New York, just me and him, for about 15 minutes at the Brecker Brother’s club, that was an honour and an inspiration. People were shaking my hand, slapping me on the back. A crew guy said to me afterward, “I didn’t know you could play like that”, Pagey said, “I did”! I started playing, (learning, listening to) jazz in the 50’s because there weren’t many great drummers on pop records then.
Click here to entire interview.