Roadie Noddy Holder spills beans on Robert Plant
They are two of the biggest stars the Black Country has produced – and now Noddy Holder has reminisced about the times he spent as a roadie for a young Robert Plant.
The former Slade frontman used to drive the Led Zeppelin singer around the Wolverhampton scene in his father's window-cleaning van when he was in an early band called The Tennessee Teens.
And Noddy said Plant would often take female fans into the back of the van 'with the window-cleaning ladders and buckets banging all around him'.
He added: "I went to see Led Zeppelin when they played Earls Court, not long after we did. Robert went: 'I see my ex-roadie's in tonight, Noddy Holder!' and they did Kashmir for me. Black Country humour."
Noddy, from Caldmore, is promoting a new collection of the albums and singles from the band's early 70s heyday – and admits some people think he 'only comes out at Christmas' when the classic Merry Xmas Everybody is a fixture on the airwaves.
He said: "We had 40-odd hits and people still think the Christmas record was the one, but it's been good to us. You wouldn't believe the offers I get in December. I appear as Santa for charityeindeer and everything, but people think I live in a cave all year and come out in December, shouting: 'It's Chriiisstmasss!'"
And he has spoken of his pride at being given the Freedom of Walsall last year – and joked the titel had plenty of perks.
"Apparently this entitles me to lead sheep through the town, carry a rifle as long as it's got a bayonet fixed and demand a free drink in any pub in town," he said. "There's a lot of pubs in Walsall."
But it appears that any hopes of a full Slade reunion are going to be dashed, as Noddy has no intention of joining the current incarnation featuring guitarist Dave Hill.
On the amount they have been offered to reform, he said: "Silly money. Only Abba have been offered more, probably, but for any amount of money, we wouldn't have the same magic again.
"I left when my dad was dying, I was going through a divorce and wanted to be at home.
"Also, after 25 years, because I wanted to try something else, so it's usually me that turns it down."
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