Drummer Chris Slade has revealed he quit AC/DC in 1994 as a result of "stupid pride" – and he'd react differently if the situation rose again.
The Welshman was with the Aussie giants for five years, appearing on 1990 album The Razor's Edge and playing their headline set at Monsters Of Rock the following year.
But he resigned just as the band were gearing up to record Ballbreaker in 1995 after an argument with mainman Malcolm Young, which led to Phil Rudd's second stint behind the kit.
Slade tells Music Radar: “I’d been doing demos with the guys in London for two months, when Malcolm called and said they wanted to give Phil a try. I said, ‘That’s me out then – I’m gone.’ Mal said, ‘No, we want to keep you on. We don’t even know if Phil can play.' I told him that was his problem now."
He recalls his attitude at the time was "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and adds: "They wanted to keep me on for months and months, and that didn't feel right. I resigned the next day."
But he wouldn't make the same decision now. "If that was my son I'd say, 'Just sit there – they'll come back to you.' To be honest I think they would have. But they're very proud themselves, and they wouldn't come back now."
Slade has warm memories of his time with AC/DC, and remains friends with them. “It was an honour and a privilege to play with those guys," he says. "People always ask me what I did when things went wrong on stage, but nothing ever went wrong. They were like clockwork, like a machine. What a wonderful experience.”
During his 50-year career the drummer has played with members of Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, David Gilmour, Uriah Heep and Asia, among others. He now leads his own band, Chris Slade Timeline, and says the secret of his longevity is "a combination of your people skills and your drumming skills.
"You've got to get on with people," he insists. "If you're an arsehole you won't get work after the first tour. Look at Jimmy Page – he's a very humble guy. He doesn't walk around thinking he's Jimmy Page; he's just a nice guy."
AC/DC have just completed work on the follow-up to 2008 album Black Ice, although Malcolm Young has been sidelined by illness. Current drummer Rudd last week said: "We're happy to have it done, and it's all very good."
Feature / 2 Sep 2014The Ultimate AC/DC Playlist
The essential AC/DC collection
News / 2 May 2014AC/DC start album work
Aussie giants bring in producer Brendan O'Brien once again - as early-era drummer performs for first time in nearly 40 years
News / 28 Apr 2014AC/DC ex Slade hails Malcolm Young
Drummer Chris calls former colleague “greatest rhythm guitarist ever born”
Feature / 21 Aug 2014Your Favourite AC/DC Songs Revealed
The best AC/DC songs – voted by you!
News / 16 Apr 2014Brian Johnson: AC/DC not retiring yet
UPDATE: Band confirm Malcolm Young is "taking a break" as singer says May studio sessions will go ahead
Feature / 19 May 2014Every Home Should Have One: Highway To Hell By AC/DC
Nick Harmer of Death Cab For Cutie raves about this classic album. First published in Classic Rock issue 101
News / 19 Apr 2015Hammett lost 250 Metallica riffs
Kirk hopes missing phone will turn up with rough recordings in memory
News / 19 Apr 2015Armstrong thanks Green Day mates in Rock Hall speech
Frontman Billie Joe acknowledges colleagues’ support as trio are inducted in 1st year of eligibility
News / 19 Apr 2015Lou Reed would have loved Rock Hall honour
But late Velvet Underground mainman’s sister admits he wouldn’t have let his pride show
News / 19 Apr 2015Joan Jett hails politics of rock
Hall Of Fame inductee proud of genre’s “integrity, rebellion, frustration, alienation”