Chris Slade

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Chris Slade
Chris Slade in 2008
Chris Slade in 2008
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Slade Rees
Born (1946-10-30) 30 October 1946 (age 76)
Pontypridd, Wales
OriginCardiff, Wales
GenresHard rock, heavy metal, blues rock, progressive rock, jazz fusion
Instrument(s)Drums, percussion
Years active1964–present
LabelsBronze, EMI, Albert Productions, Inside Out Music, Atlantic, Interscope

Chris Slade (born Christopher Slade Rees; 30 October 1946) is a Welsh[1] musician, best known for playing for the Australian rock band AC/DC. He drummed for the band from 1989 to 1994, performing on their 1990 album The Razors Edge along with their first live album with singer Brian Johnson, AC/DC Live and on the "Big Gun" single released in 1993. He returned to the band in February 2015 to replace Phil Rudd for the "Rock or Bust World Tour".[2][3] Slade has also played with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Tom Jones, Toomorrow, The Firm, and Asia.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Slade (middle) with Uriah Heep in 1980.

Slade was born Christopher Rees in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, South Wales. He has worked with Gary Numan, Tom Jones, Olivia Newton-John (as co-members of the band Toomorrow), and Uriah Heep. Slade was an original founding member of Manfred Mann's Earth Band, playing on their eight studio albums released from 1972 to 1978.

In the mid-1980s Slade played with Paul Rodgers and Jimmy Page in The Firm.[4] He has played with Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, and Gary Moore on his 1989 world tour.[5]

Slade received his highest exposure in November 1989 when he was asked to join AC/DC after drummer Simon Wright had departed. AC/DC were signed to the same management company as Gary Moore, with whom Slade had just finished touring. The Young brothers (Angus and Malcolm) initially hired Slade only temporarily through management, then asked him–during the recording of the only album he made with them – to join the band. Slade played on The Razors Edge album in 1990 and the accompanying world tour, and the "Big Gun" single released in 1993. According to Slade, after working on demos for the following album, Ballbreaker, Malcolm Young called Slade and told him they wanted to try a reunion with former drummer Phil Rudd. Slade replied, "That's me out then, I'm gone." Young said that he wanted to keep Slade on hand if Rudd's return did not work out, but Slade refused. However he made statements that he still got on well with AC/DC and "it was an honour and a privilege to play with those guys".[6]

After his departure Slade spent a few years living in the UK countryside, before receiving a call from Geoff Downes of the British progressive rock group Asia. Slade played with Asia for six years, before departing in September 2005.[citation needed]

Slade has fronted an AC/DC tribute band, Chris Slade Steel Circle, and is currently touring the World with THE CHRIS SLADE TIMELINE – a band formed to celebrate 50 years as a rock drummer. The band takes music from all aspects of his lengthy career and has appeared at major festivals including Hellfest, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Harley Davidson Aquitaine, and Saint Tropez and is the only rock band to play the Moscow Olympic Stadium for the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament.[7][8]

Return to AC/DC[edit]

Speculation regarding Slade's return to AC/DC started shortly after Phil Rudd's legal troubles became public.[9] In a December 2014 podcast by Chris Jericho, Jericho mentioned that he had it on good authority that Slade would be returning to AC/DC.[10]

Slade was photographed signing albums with the band on 7 February 2015.[11]

After the photo appeared publicly, Slade finally admitted that he was going to be the band's drummer and admitted to secrecy surrounding his return, and stated that it was done for the right reasons.[12] The band issued a statement, "Chris Slade will be on drums for the upcoming Rock or Bust world tour.".[13]

Since that time, in addition to playing live, Slade has appeared in all promotional photos taken with the band and appeared in the music video for the single "Rock the Blues Away". In late April 2015 AC/DC's official website listed him as the band's drummer.[14]

On 30 September 2020, his role within the band was made clear: Phil Rudd was returning to AC/DC on the drums, effectively making Slade leave the band for a second time. In the same announcement, Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams were also returning to the band.


Slade endorses Drum Workshop drums, pedals and hardware,[15][16] Paiste cymbals,[16] Remo drumheads,[16] LP percussion and London drumsticks.[16] Before switching to DW, he previously endorsed Pearl drums, pedals and hardware.[15]



  1. ^ "Bio". Chris Slade.
  2. ^ "Drummer Chris Slade Photographed at Grammy Awards Ahead of Ac/Dc's Performance -". BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
  3. ^ "Chris Slade Confirms Return To Ac/Dc: 'This Is An Amazing Opportunity For Me' -". BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
  4. ^ a b Hill, Gary. "Biography: Chris Slade". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Bio – Chris Slade". Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Chris Slade on AC/DC, Tom Jones, Jimmy Page, Gary Numan, and more". Music Radar. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  7. ^ "The Official Chris Slade Website. Drum Icon Chris Slade invites all his fans to stop in and see whats new in Sladeyland". Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  8. ^ "The Chris Slade TimeLine". Chris Slade. 16 February 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Who should be AC/DC's new drummer?". UT San Diego. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Chris Jericho Podcast with Chris Slade". Chris Jericho. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Chris Slade Photographed With AC/DC at Grammy Event". Ultimate Classic Rock. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Chris Slade Confirms Return to AC/DC". Ultimate Classic Rock. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  13. ^ "AC/DC confirm Chris Slade will replace Phil Rudd on their 2015 tour". The Guardian. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  14. ^ Staff (2015). "The Band, The Official AC/DC Website". Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  15. ^ a b Rhythm. "Chris Slade on AC/DC, Tom Jones, Jimmy Page, Gary Numan, and more". MusicRadar.
  16. ^ a b c d "Drummerszone news - AC/DC drummer to host rare drum clinic in Dublin". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.

External links[edit]