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Slade guitarist Dave Hill launches autobiography at Robin 2

By Annabal Bagdi | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

It was the night diehard Slade fans across the Black Country had waited years for.

So it was no surprise guitarist Dave Hill lived up to expectations when he finally launched his hotly-anticipated autobiography, revealing the man behind all those extravagant costumes.

Dubbed So Here It Is: How the Boy From Wolverhampton Rocked the World With Slade, he joined crowds of fans to celebrate the newly-penned title on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Express & Star ahead of his show at The Robin 2, the performer said: "Launching a book is the first thing I have done for myself, I have always done everything in Slade.

"I wanted to write a book that was not just about what people already knew about me, and the glam and glitter.

"I wanted to make it about a boy growing up in Wolverhampton, in a council house, who went to school here, learnt to play guitar and learnt to find his own way."

Dave Hill launches new book at the Robin 2

Booms of applause and roaring cheers welcomed Dave to the intimate venue, as DJ Mike Read stood poised ready to talk about the musician's 'fascinating' life.

With his Cheshire Cat grin and his charming wit, the star had the crowd in stitches within just minutes of boldly strolling on to the Bilston stage.

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Adorned in silver sparkles, the crowd-pleaser's striking look was not far from his days in Slade when he grabbed attention for his eye-catching attire.

Donning a glittering zebra-print Versace jacket and glitzy black t-shirt, along with a fitting black hat, he began by recalling his humble beginnings growing up in the city during post-war Britain.

The performer credited sister Carol for inspiring him to leap into the entertainment industry - as she lovingly watched on from the front row before later joining her brother on stage.

Leaning against a wooden stool with DJ Mike Read nearby, Dave reminisced about his early days with fellow band member Don Powell after meeting in Bilston.

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He said: "Don and I had this vision, we really wanted four blokes in a band. We had this image and we went for it. We wanted a band with three lead guitarists."

The showman then revealed his chance meeting with Slade's Noddy Holder, managing to persuade the icon to join the band after bumping into each other outside the city's Beatties store.

The newly-formed band then realised they were on to a good thing when they played together for the first time, with Dave noting the 'spark' which burst across the room.

Discussing his flamboyant wardrobe choices over the years, Dave said: "I was not going to be like any other. I was going to be myself."

The performer told his waves of fans how emotional he found bringing the book together before treating them to a collection of tunes close to his heart.

His autobiography was crafted in his beloved Black Country after meeting a Walsall writer and Slade fan, who encouraged him to jot down his memories.

Publishers were slow on the uptake so the pair took it to Unbound, the pledge-funded organisation - achieving 116 per cent funding from 564 backers.

Not afraid to tackle the trials and tribulations he has faced during his career, the book touches on Dave's mental health struggles and battle to recover after suffering a stroke.

He said: "The story of my life is not all smooth running, and I think that makes for a better read.

"I have not always been happy - there were some quite difficult things in the past but you come through it.

"I'm in a good place now. I wanted to share the journey."

You can buy Dave's autobiography here

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

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