Slade drummer Don Powell claims he was fired by email after almost six decades of partnership

Noddy Holder, Dave Hill, Jimmy Lea and Don Powell of Slade in 1981: Rex Features
Noddy Holder, Dave Hill, Jimmy Lea and Don Powell of Slade in 1981: Rex Features

The drummer in Slade, Don Powell, has claimed his bandmate Dave Hill fired him in a “cold email”, following almost six decades of partnership.

Slade, which first formed in 1964, was one of the most successful bands of the glam rock era.

A statement on Powell’s website reads: “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. 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 disputes Powell’s claim, writing on Facebook: “I am sad to announce that Don and I will no longer be working together. Our parting of the ways has not come out of the blue and his announcement is not accurate.”

He added: “I wish Don every success in his future efforts. I will, of course, carry on and look forward to many future performances and meeting fans.”

When Slade first formed, Powell and Hill were original members alongside Noddy Holder and Jim Lea.

Unusually for a rock band, their Seventies Christmas song “Merry Xmas Everybody” became one of their biggest hits.

They secured six UK No 1 singles between 1971 and 1973, with 16 top 10 hits in total across their career.

Different musicians have joined and left the band over the years and, after a short split in 1992 when Holder and Lea left, Powell and Hill continued with other new members.

Powell has also announced a new Slade rival, called Don Powell’s Slade and featuring the band’s former bassist Craig Fenney.