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“It began with an act of charity,” Jeff Slate says in
the liner notes to his new album “Birds of Paradox”, due this Summer. “I was the
musical director for a charity event and Steve Holley, who used to be the drummer in
Wings, was one of the guest performers. We hit it off and I asked him to drum on some
songs of mine in the studio a few weeks later. When we got in there it was exciting.
The songs sounded better than I could have ever dreamed. After 15 years making
records and playing live with The Badge a new door had opened and I was excited
again about making music.”
Those initial sessions led to an album’s worth of songs with an all-star cast of players,
including Holley and former Wings bandmate Laurence Juber, Gary Van Scyoc and
Adam Ippolito (John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Elephant’s Memory Band), Jimmy “Mack”
McEggliott (Gene Cornish, Tommy Ramone), Gene Parsons (The Byrds, Flying Burrito
Bros.), Simon Townshend (The Who, Roger Daltrey), Josh Phillips (Procol Harum),
Susie Collins (ELO, Ace Frehley) and Alex Alexander (Prince, Dido).
In support of the release of “Birds of Paradox” – which derives its name from the fact
that May Pang, whom John Lennon wrote the song “Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird of
Paradox)” about, introduced the core band of Slate, McEggliott, Van Scyoc, Ippolito and
Holley – Slate played a release party in New York City in late 2012, as well as
dates around the Northeast throughout the 2012-2013.
With a setlist of songs from “Birds of Paradox”, crowd favorites from Slate’s tenure with
The Badge, and classics that Van Scyoc, Ippolito and Holley performed live with Lennon
and McCartney, as well as hits by Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison and other giants
of the last 50 years of popular music, upcoming live shows are sure to bring the house
“We’ve been rehearsing at the old Hit Factory, which is now the New York headquarters
of Gibson Guitars,” said Slate. “It sounds fantastic. And it’s such a thrill to play these
songs with these musicians. It’s intimidating to think the last time Gary and Adam
played ‘Come Together’ was with John Lennon at Madison Square Garden, but even
more than that it’s exciting.”
Jeff Slate (vocals, guitar) is a singer/songwriter from New York City. He co-founded the
1980’s mod/punk band the Mindless Thinkers, who were mainstays on the Northeast
college circuit. In the mid-90’s he released “The Townshend Tapes”, on which The
Who’s Pete Townshend acted as Executive Producer, and opened for Sheryl Crow on
her “Tuesday Night Music Club” tour. In 1997 he founded the band The Badge, who
released four albums and countless singles, EPs and live “bootleg” sets and went on to
become darlings of the UK/European “mod” scene in the 2000’s. In 2010 Jeff released
the single “Dreamtime”, which featured Earl Slick (Lennon, Bowie) and Carlos Alomar
(Bowie, Lennon). “Birds of Paradox” is his first solo album of original material. Jeff has
appeared on television and radio numerous times and his songs have appeared in
network television shows and major motion pictures. Jeff proudly endorses
Gibson/Epiphone guitars, Hofner basses and Vox amps.