Gypsy Roadhog

Album: Whatever Happened to Slade? (1977)
Charted: 48

Songfacts®:

  • On page 17 of the January 22, 1977 issue of New Musical Express is a full page advertisement for Gypsy Roadhog, which was Slade's new single. It is doubtful if the advert paid for itself because the song spent only 2 weeks in the charts and peaked at #48, the worst performance ever for Slade in the 1970s at a time they were riding high. Even an appearance on Top Of The Pops two days earlier could not boost sales.

    Written by Messrs Jim Lea and Noddy Holder, produced by Chas Chandler, this uptempo number runs to 3 minutes 20 seconds, and was released on Barn Records backed by "Forest Full Of Needles".
  • A decade and more later in a TV interview with Tony Blackburn and Jenny Hanley, Noddy Holder said that after they wrote the song, they were asked to appear on the popular children's magazine programme Blue Peter, where they went out live (although they didn't actually perform live). The song he said was actually an anti-drugs song although it was about an American cocaine dealer. Unfortunately, the next day Keith Richards appeared in the newspapers in connection with possessing cocaine, and the details given included the use of silver spoons, something alluded to in the song. The people at Blue Peter were furious, and Radio One banned the song.

    Keith Richards appeared in court on January 12, 1977 where he was fined £750 after cocaine was found in his car following a crash. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments: 1

  • David from Hawarden, United KingdomSlade were certainly not "riding high" in 1977. The hits had long since dried up following the ill-fated years in America and the arrival of punk in the UK. Around the the time Gypsy Roadhog was released, Slade were playing at tiny clubs, desperately trying to claw their way back. Not until their appearance at the Reading Festival in 1980 did they begin their resurgence which lasted until the mid 80s. The album which featured Gypsy Roadhog, however, Whatever Happened To Slade, was a stunner. It failed to chart but was received warmly by every hardcore Slade fan I know. I must add that the performance of this song on Blue Peter, with the band pretending to be driving along in some silly "car" on a show for children was my most embarrassing memory of Slade in the 70s. The anti-Slade kids at school (there were many!) took the micky for weeks after that.
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