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Slade’s Jim Lea tells his own cancer story

By Kirsten Rawlins | Music | Published:

Slade icon Jim Lea insists he simply ‘carried on’ when he discovered he had cancer – adding ‘I’ve not battled with anything; I was just normal’.

Jim Lea

The bassist and songwriter, who was born in Wolverhampton, was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2014.

And though the inspirational star admits the treatment has affected his voice, physical appearance and energy levels, he insists that such a diagnosis leaves no option but to ‘carry on and take what’s coming’.

“If things go wrong, we’ve all got to get on the bus at some point. It’s just a matter of when,” said Jim. “I didn’t really take a lot of notice of the cancer.

“You hear all these words like ‘remission’ and ‘battling with cancer’... I’ve not battled with anything; I was just normal. They warned it could travel to my bones, so I’ve been lucky in that sense. The cancer treatment affects my voice all the time.

“That’s what happens when they remove the testosterone – and it takes a whole range of times to come back again. But I don’t think it will for me.

Jim, left, with the Black Country superstars in their 70s heydays

“They’ve said it’s best to exercise to get it to come back.

“I’ve been left with muscles, but no power. I’ve got what looks like a beer belly, but I don’t drink. My legs have gotten fat.

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“They told me all these things would happen, and it started just two weeks after the treatment. It also left me very, very tired.” Since Slade released the band’s last single Universe in 1992, which was written and produced by Jim, the members have had little contact with one another as a group.

The 69-year-old artist, who co-wrote the majority of Slade’s catalogue of hits, says he does not ‘feel any real loss’ over the lack of communication. “I sometimes bump into Dave or Don. But Don lives in Sweden, so it’s rare I get to see him,” added Jim.

“When we met up as a band it was not good. There was a bit of screaming and shouting. In the end, we just had to talk about other things about business. But there you go. “To be honest, I can’t think of any band that didn’t happen to in the end.”

Jim’s latest solo EP Lost In Space went on sale on June 22 – his first mini album release in more than 10 years.

For more or to buy the record, see jimleamusic.com

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_Star

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. E-mail me kirsten.rawlins@expressandstar.co.uk, or phone 01902 319368

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