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Rue & The Rockets

Rue & The Rockets celebrated their 50 years in showbusiness in 2010

Click on this link to see Rue & The Rockets on YouTube

With Gerald Batey

Alan, Jimmy and Rueben Slater are three brothers who started playing professionally in 1960 when they were just lads aged 13 to 16 years old. Rue is the youngest of the Brothers.

The Slater family business, based in Wigton, is running a funfair and one of their traction engines was called "The Rocket" and so came about the name "Rue & The Rockets"

Their first gig was at Haltwhistle Working mens Club in Northumberland for which they earned £6 even though they only knew 8 songs.

Since then they have played all over the UK and in Europe, in venues of all sizes with lots of top names in the business.

They still enjoy playing in small venues as much as the big ones.

Rue & The Rockets enjoy recording at Tom Tyson's Music Farm studio near Egremont.

Rue & The Rockets' latest CD "Down To Earth" is now available and is arguably their best yet, with all the songs written by Jimmy.

It features a variety of guest stars including ace guitarists Albert Lee, Jimmy Henshaw and Tony Rennie together with other musicians such as Tom Tyson and John Marcangelo. CDs are available from :-

JAR Slater,
Station Road,
Cumbria CA7 9BA
telephone 016973 42585
or email: rueslater@aol.com



Rue is the the lead vocalist and drummer and he still has his set of german drums made by Trixon, which he bought new in 1963.

Alan plays bass guitar and also sings. He currently uses a Rickenbacker and has owned several guitars since they started playing.

Jimmy is the lead guitarist and also sings. Many of the bands songs has been composed by Jimmy. His first guitar was a Futurama and then he bought a Fender Stratocaster. He sold it to one of the lads in Shawaddywaddy and then found that to be a big mistake. Later he bought another Stratocaster from a member of The Dakotas. He plays a Gibson 345 and the 'Strat' on stage.

Jimmy, Rue and Alan in Captain Nelson's
pub in Maryport in Dec 2002

Rue & The Rockets were the first live band to appear on Border Television's "Beat in The Border" program .

They had a regular spot on Tuesday nights in Newcastle's Majestic Club in 1962-63.

The list of just some of the many extremely varied acts they have appeared with read like a history of pop music in the UK :-
Lonnie Donegan, Tony Christie, Marty Wilde, The Animals, Black Sabbath, Bo Diddley, Dire Straits, Manfred Mann, Van Morrison, Billy Fury, Gene Vincent, Status Quo, Johnny Kidd, Spooky Tooth, Alvin Stardust, Joe Cocker, Ruby Murray, Alma Cogan, Guy Mitchell, Jeff Beck, Dave Berry, The Bay City Rollers, Kenny Ball, Herman's Hermits and Jimmy Shand!

One of Jimmy's compositions is about a naked lady who performs erotic magic tricks on the stages of Benidorm night clubs - Sticky Vicky. The song was No.1 in Benidorm for a long time.

A spectacular part of every Rue & The Rockets gig, which comes at the end of the first show, is Rue's drum instumental where he plays drums, mic-stands, anything between him and Jimmy and then he plays on the strings of Jimmy's Gibson, returning to the drums and climaxing in a great wall of sound.

Rue & The Rockets must be one of the longest lived bands in the country, if not the world, to have been performing regularly with the original lineup for 46 years. Their popularity is undimmed and their act is as lively as ever.

As they say, the reason they are still going strong is that to them performing is more like a hobby than work!

Thanks to Tom Jenkins for pictures and information supplied.