Slick was initially hired by David Bowie to replace Mick Ronson as lead guitarist for the Diamond Dogs tour in 1974 (the live album David Live was culled from this tour). Slick also played lead guitar on Bowie’s Young Americans and Station To Station albums, released in 1975 and 1976 respectively. It was Slick’s powerful playing that made the latter album’s “Stay” an enduring favourite of fans of Bowie and of guitar virtuosity alike.
After running afoul of Bowie’s management, Slick was replaced as lead guitarist for the Station To Station tour (1976), his role being taken by Stacey Heydon. Slick continued as a session musician, working for Leo Sayer, Ian Hunter, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono, but also formed his own solo band.
Slick returned to Bowie for 1983’s Serious Moonlight tour, which supported the Let’s Dance album. Ironically, Slick, who had been ousted as lead guitarist from Bowie’s 1976 tour, was the last-minute lead-guitarist replacement for this 1983 tour, substituting for Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Slick then formed Phantom, Rocker & Slick with Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker. In 1990, Slick was in the collaboration Dirty White Boy which only saw one album, Bad Reputation (1990), and industry showcases in London and Los Angeles.
The early 2000s saw Slick return to Bowie’s roster, appearing on the tours supporting the Heathen (2002) and Reality (2003) albums. He also played briefly in Little Caesar in 1991-92. For some time he was a member of both The Eons and Slinky Vagabond. In 2006 he began an association with singer and songwriter Saphin, a project which became the duo The Eons. Slinky Vagabond are Glen Matlock, Clem Burke, and Keanan Duffty. Slinky Vagabond (the name comes from the lyrics to the David Bowie song “Young Americans”) played their debut concert at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash in May 2007
On February 11, 2011, UK-based Noble PR announced Slick had joined the New York Dolls for their March UK tour. New York Dolls’ rhythm guitarist Sylvain Sylvain confirmed the report, “We made some calls and now we finally have got Earl Slick playing guitar. So Earl’s going to be joining us for the upcoming tour. He’s the newest member of the New York Dolls, if I can put that right now.”
Click on the link below to view Earl Slick talking Orange AD30s at Orange USA HQ in Atlanta
in an exclusive OrangeAmplifiers-on-YouTube August 2011 video (listed under ‘Recent Activity’)