Noddy Holder - "Thoughts Out Loud": about youth, meeting Freddie Mercury, and the famous hat with mirrors

"It seemed like a bad thing to a lot of people, but it worked. We just made people laugh! Our outfits had nothing to do with our personal tastes. If you can make people smile, then you're halfway there!"

What Noddy Holder thinks about: interesting statements, thoughts and memories, facts

Noddy Holder is one of those musicians who needs no introduction. In the distant '60s, together with the band Slade it made a real fashion revolution: the members of the rock band shocked the public with their extravagant appearance with plaid pants, high heels, chic top hats and giant ties! It was the Slade who were the originators of the glam rock movement and became, as a result, its leaders (at least one of them). But the world was shocked not only by the bold image of the British rockers - their instantly recognizable sound could not leave anyone indifferent. Even domestic music lovers.

"In the heyday of Slade, I was just a teenager! Many years have passed, and I still listen to their songs in the car with great pleasure. Slade is forever. It's my youth. This music literally flows in my veins..." - Internet users write, and there are thousands of such comments!

Slade's greatest hits!

At the head of Slade's distinctive sound was phenomenal voicewhose trademark hoarseness is easily recognized by every third domestic listener. And that voice belonged to Noddy Holder. Today's article can be characterized as "thoughts out loud".

"Wasted Youth."


Gered Mankowitz - British photographer, one of the best of his craft. He was incredibly popular in the '60s and '70s, and worked with the leading stars of that era, mostly musicians. Having seen his exhibition these days, he's in his eighth decade. Noddy Holder couldn't help but indulge in memories. These pictures reminded him of the glam-rock era, which in many ways was revolutionary.

"It was strange to see myself like that on the wall, 40 years later. It reminded me of my wasted youth: we traveled the world, and most of that time passed in a blur. But even though I can't relate that young man to who I am now, I'm still proud of who I was!"

According to Holder, the glam rock movement was undervalued In due course:

"What really struck me, looking at it all, was that the glam rock era was largely ignored. It was a bright and frivolous time, but it was actually a very important time in terms of art and culture. It was revolutionary. We, Slade and Mark Bolan, really led the whole fashion and style aesthetic of glam rock. It was a very deliberate policy: we decided to dress so outrageously on Top of the Pops that we would be the talk of the next day. And it worked!"

Noddy Holder
Noddy Holder and Dave Hill

However, Noddy emphasizes that nothing has not gone away.

"I was happy to see how many young people were at the show. They probably don't even realize how much influence glam still has today. Look at Lady Gaga? Her inspiration is obvious!"

"The Baby Boomer Generation."

Noddy Holder
Noddy Holder

Holder was born in 1946 and was part of the so-called the baby boomer generation. The term is associated with the post-World War II surge in fertility.

"I had a happy childhood, and we were a typical - and very friendly - working family. My mother was very loving and saw the good in everyone. I was severely asthmatic until I was five, and she was very protective of me. She couldn't have any more children after me, so when I was seven, she took in a few more boys. I didn't mind. Living in a terraced house, with three families sharing a toilet in the backyard, I got used to interacting with a lot of children."

However, the terrible events World War II has not gone unnoticed by Noddy's father:

"It was an important and at the same time terrifying event for my father. He never talked about World War II unless he'd had a few drinks. He served with Montgomery's Desert Rats, and many of his buddies never returned, which left him with a burning hatred of the Germans. I only realized the strength of his sense of rejection of that people when I dated a German girl. She came to us when I was still living with my parents, and my father practically ignored her..."

Nevertheless, Noddy's father was "the carefree guy." (as the musician himself puts it): he worked as a window washer, and everyone in Walsall knew him.

"Sometimes he was repaid with goods. So, one day he came home with a big sack of meat! It drove my mother crazy. But they loved each other very much. Dad tried not to get sentimental and emotional, but sometimes he would sing "You Made Me Love You" and other songs like that to Mom. And that meant a lot more than words..."

First guitar

Noddy Holder with his first guitar
Noddy Holder with his first guitar

My first guitar Noddy got it when he was 12 - it was a gift from his parents for Christmas.

"It wasn't even electric, but I really wanted it. Every time I passed a flea market, I was fascinated - with my eyes and mouth wide open - to look at this guitar! It cost three pounds, and that was a lot of money for me...".

Noddy Holder - "Thoughts Out Loud": about youth, meeting Freddie Mercury, and the famous hat with mirrors
Noddy Holder

When Holder received the gift, he was overjoyed! But there was one problem: he was completely couldn't play.

"I had absolutely no ability to play, from the word go. Luckily, my mother knew a gifted jazz guitarist named Freddy, who agreed to teach me. That's how my road to fame began!"

Noddy learned to play pretty quickly, and in his own words - in those years he was inspired by "bad guys.".

"I learned to play right when Cliff Richard became a household name. Believe it or not, back then he was the bad boy of British rock and first made his name on a TV show called Oh Boy! Every Saturday night I would run to the TV to watch my idols - Cliff, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Adam Faith and Joe Brown - perform their latest hits. Then I would rush to my bedroom with my collar up to mimic the new moves that were an integral part of their performances!"

"Everything else is a bonus."


To focus entirely on music, Noddy dropped out of school in 17 years. His parents did not even discourage him - they fully supported their son's hobby, despite the fact that the school teachers were indignant about it.

"My parents were very proud of my later success, but they were never impressed by my material possessions. My father always told me, 'You only need one meal a day, one pair of shoes, and a roof over your head. Everything else is a bonus." When I made enough money, I wanted to buy them a nice house in the Midlands, but they weren't willing to part with their friends."

According to Noddy, his parents could not understand his stage persona, and were stunned the reaction of the audience to Slade's performances. Unfortunately, no one lasts forever...

"Dad died in 1988, and it hit me hard. He had health problems, including severe arthritis from washing windows in all kinds of weather. Mom passed away in 2002. She came to visit us for the holidays and we found her breathless in her chair on Christmas Eve morning..."

"Back off, Freddy!"

Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury

Today, Holder is proud of his career! He started out as a young roadie. Robert Plante - used to drive the singer around in his father's van. As he approached rock-star status, Noddy increasingly crossed paths with now iconic musicians. And when he didn't. Bona Scotthe was offered to be the voice of AC/DC. But Holder refused:

"I've always been loyal to Slade.

There is also a very curious legend that was spawned by Holder himself. It concerns Freddie Mercury and the famous mirror cylinder Slade vocalist. It's up to everyone to believe in it or not:

"It's actually an antique coachman's hat with mirrors glued on it. I got it off a guy in Kensington Market named Freddy. He said: "One day I'm going to be a big star like you." And I said: "Fuck off, Freddy! That's how he became Freddie Mercury!"

Noddy Holder
Noddy Holder

According to Noddy, he gave away most of his crazy glam-rock era outfits to charity. However, this particular noteworthy cylinder left behind - the headdress is still in the bank vault to this day. Returning to the theme of the whimsical images of the time, Holder emphasizes:

"It seemed like a bad thing to a lot of people, but it worked. We just made people laugh! Our outfits had nothing to do with our personal tastes. If you can make people smile, then you're halfway there!"


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