SLADE IN ENGLAND
I have been fiddling around with internet web sites since the time when the 'Internet' wasn't even called the internet and what was there consisted mainly of linked bulletin boards used almost exclusively by boffins, nerds and super nerds.
There were no web browsers, no Google, no graphics...nothing at all in fact that one would today consider useful at all for the man in the street. I am these days a lapsed systems engineer, but way back in 1997 I was an aspiring engineer looking to complete the Microsoft Certifiication for Systems Engineer examinations, one of which was centered around building and looking after 'web sites'
It was dull dull dull, such a dry subject to study and put into practice, I needed a way to help me pass the examination and I decided almost out of desparation to learn what I needed to know by building my own site, it was surely the best way to learn, turn a boring subject into something interesting by creating a site about something I knew about. By this time, mid 1997 the internet had started to evolve, we now had web browsers and search engines, who remembers Netscape and Alta Vista?
It was during one of these down moments in my studies that I typed the word 'Slade' into Explorer, my trusty 486 connected to the world via a 14k modem whirred and clicked and eventually a small list of associated results slowly populated my screen. There was not much, a few American sites that featured either a senator (Slade Gorton) or a gaggle of US sports personalities with the name 'Slade', finally buried deeply below the fold I found the first Slade web site I had seen. It was based in Germany, consisted of about 6 pages that seemed to suggest that Slade were a five piece band currently on tour playing 'Wurst In A Basket' type venues. I saw no mention that either Noddy Holder or Jim lea had ever been in the band, and I was completely incensed that the site was not at all representative of the Slade I had been following since the days of Skinheads and 'Play It Loud'
I searched further and eventually found a one page nonentity of a site run by a bloke in Wales which seemed to suggest that he was the Official Mouthpiece of the band, that man and his name were to come back to haunt me in a few months once the first 'Slade In England ' site went live.
Immediately I wanted to create a site that would cater for people like me, Old Guard fans that had no interest whatsoever in 'Slade 2' as the five piece band were being billed as, moreover, there was not one site that I could find that was actually English, in a few clicks I had become motivated enough to want to create my own site and in doing so, pass my exams and bring a proper Slade presence to the 'net'.
The one thing that the sites I could find lacked was quality, it is fair to say that in those early days web site building was more hit than miss, and the sites that were around were basic and all seemed to consist of a zillion flashing icons and other irritants...no class, no style, no quality....no good.
I grew up in an age when there were kite marks on UK built goods and most good quality products were stamped with the 'Made In England' sign of quality. I thought that it would be a good idea to use that idea to create 'Slade In England' with a logo that was just a rubber stamp, the sign of quality!
The first ever incarnation of Slade In England went live on July 27th 1997 using the photo at the top of this page as the first ever 'logo' and consisted of initially just 12 or so pages. The new technology of the day was the MP3 format for compressing audio files down to a tenth or so of their original size, no one at all was using MP3's in the big wide world and I saw it as an opportunity to draw traffic to the site and in many ways 'meet' true Slade fans from around the world.
I started to make mp3 files available for download, a few a day as we were all using low speed modems in those days and bandwidth was also a consideration a long long time before broadband was even dreamed about. Within a matter of days, literally I was receiving hundreds of mails from fans desperate to get hold of the tracks. In addition I received many many mails from people threatening me, calling me all the names under the sun because they had mistaken me for someone else called 'Dave' who had taken their money from them for goods that they had never received, it took a good few months before I was able to shake off this mistaken identity and put a great deal of distance between myself and the other 'Dave' who it seemed had been pilfering money from unsuspecting fans who had sent him money for mugs, stickers, T shirts and other tatty oold pieces of shit he had been selling.
The internet grew and so did Slade In England. In 1999, by August the site had racked up over a million visitors for the year as the site was now populated with some 600 pages of information and was firmly established as the number 1 choice online for Slade related info and memorabilia.
There was in addition to the Slade sites, one being operated from Belgium, which was perhaps the worst of the lot, there was attached to it a forum for all Slade fans to join and participate in, unfortunately they didn't seem to want anyone there that didn't agree with what their rules were, rules that included not being allowed to argue with anyone about their views pertaining to Slade II. I was duly banned with a ringing condemnation in my ears something along the lines of...It takes a lot of time and hard work to run a message board, if you think you can do any better then do it....
No more encouragement was needed, and within 20 minutes I had registered and created The All Singing, All dancing fab and groovy slade in England message bored (sic) or ASADFAGSIE for short! This was hosted then by EZBoard, now rebranded Yuku, the board became a knock about place of high humour but with a hellovalot of Slade information packed into the eventual 250,000 posts. The 'bored' is still there, you may have to register for Yuku to see the content, but I urge any Slade fan who missed out on the fun to be had there to take a look, you never know you might learn something! (ASADFAGSIE)
It was during this time that the logo, now changed to show the two creatures from the inside cover of Slade Alive and the word 'Official' was added to show that anyone could add 'Official' to their site if they wanted to, this was done purely to annoy the Belgians who considered themselves the only 'Official' site. SIE was now 'Official'!
I have often had to field questions from some people regarding the use of the Union flag as a backdrop for the 'England' text, as most school children know, England's flag is a simple red cross on a white background, and it was too difficult to get a nice looking image using just red and white, so the Jack was used, especially as it is more widely known around the world!
SIE is currently being revamped, something that has needed to be done for some considerable time, as always, SIE will NEVER carry any information on the band currently doing the rounds using the name 'Slade'. With the best will in the world, and with all my very best regards and wishes to both Don and Dave, Slade finished in 1991, and Slade In England will remain the ONLY site online that has no interest whatsoever in 'Slade II - VII'
You are free to click on any of the ads that are served here on this site, it is more of a technical experiment more than a money making exercise, unless I believe that I can retire on the proceeds gained from earning approximately 4 cents from proper clicks, but it all adds up, and over the years this site and domain has cost well over £2.5k to keep online, if you have ever downloaded anything, be it the audio or video, or have enjoyed stepping back in time to relive some of your childhood memories of one of the worlds premier rock bands, then do so :)
Slade......long may they be remembered and revered.