As noted earlier, the BBC is pulling the plug on “Top Of The Pops” after 42 years. With the final transmission scheduled for Sunday evening, Slade’s Jim Lea shares his fond memories with the Guardian’s Dave Simpson and Dorian Lynskey.
There was a lot of rivalry. When we first went straight in at number one [with Cum On Feel The Noize], I remember walking in and other acts went quiet. Ray Davies came up to me in the BBC bar and said, “Don’t keep doing the same thing”, and I hummed his hits at him and said, “It didn’t stop you!” He threw Coca-Cola over me and it all kicked off. We were banned from the BBC bar for months. Jimmy Savile gave me the best advice: “Always remember the tide comes in and goes out again.” We were regular blokes who treated it like a night’s work and had a pie afterwards, and I think that’s why people loved us. But we went to town on the outfits, especially Dave Hill. He’d get changed in the bogs and every time he came out I held my head in my hands. Someone said, “Have you seen the state of your guitarist? He looks like a metal nun!”