'Merry Xmas Everybody' rockers Slade split up after 53 years

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Slade's Dave Hill, Jim Lea, Don Powell and Noddy Holder (PA)

Glam rock band Slade have split up after 53 years - with guitarist Dave Hill sacking drummer Don Powell by email.

The Merry Xmas Everybody rockers formed in 1966 and are best known for their hit Christmas single released in 1973 and still played every year in the run up to December 25.

Powell revealed on his official website: “It is with great sadness and regret that Don needs to inform his fans that he now is no longer a member of Dave Hill's Slade.

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“Dave has sent Don a cold email to inform him that his services are no longer required, after working together and being friends since 1963.”

Hill is yet to comment.

Slade's Don Powell, Noddy Holder, Jim Lea and Dave Hill in 1984 (Getty Images)

The 73-year-old drummer is now forming his own rival band Don Powell’s Slade with bass guitarist Craig Fenney, who has previously played with Slade.

Powell’s statement continued: “The great news is that Don is now fully fit to play drums again! He is coming back with his band who will be called Don Powell's Slade. He is forming it with ex-Slade 2 bass guitar member Craig Fenney. We will post more news about the recruited members in due course.

“Don hopes that all his loyal fans will support his new ventures which he is very excited about.”

Powell and Hill, 73, were among the original line-up of Slade when they formed in 1966.

Slade’s original lead singer Noddy Holder, 73, quit the band in 1992 due to internal feuding. Bass guitarist Jim Lea, 70, left at the same time.

Noddy Holder has said the feuding of his former Slade bandmates is upsetting (PA)

Holder said in 2015: “It really saddens me that the four guys who were in Slade can’t get together and sit round the dinner table.

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“Five years ago I got the four of us together so we could air our grievances face to face, but it was so painful I’d never want to repeat it. I was shocked.”

Merry Xmas Everybody sold 500,000 copies within a week of its original release in 1973. The song has no official music video.

According to The Official Charts Company, as of December 2012, it had sold 1.21 million copies in the UK.

Other Slade hits include Cum On Feel The Noize.