Jeff Slate: Biography

Jeff Slate is an ASCAP award winning singer-songwriter from New York City. He co-founded the 1980’s mod/punk band the Mindless Thinkers (which was named by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols), and in the mid-90’s released The Townshend Tapes, on which The Who’s Pete Townshend acted as executive producer. He later opened for Sheryl Crow on her “Tuesday Night Music Club” tour before founding the band The Badge in 1997, which released three albums and countless singles, EPs and live “bootleg” sets, two “best of” compilations, and went on to become darlings of the UK/European “mod” scene in the 2000’s. 

In 2010 Slate released the solo single “Dreamtime,” which featured Earl Slick (Lennon, Bowie) and Carlos Alomar (Bowie, Lennon), as well as other alums of David Bowie’s bands. Birds of Paradox, his first solo album of original material, was released in 2012. It was followed in November 2013 by Imposters & Attractions, and his contribution to the Pete Quaife Foundation Kinks tribute album Shoulder To Shoulder, in 2015, which honored the band’s late bassist. His 2016 album Secret Poetry was another all-star affair, lauded by critics and fans alike. A video of the song “Letter From Paris (Showed Me The Way)” featuring Slate and Slick, was directed by Patrick McGuinn.

During the 2020 lockdown, Slate performed over forty Facebook Live and Instagram Live streaming concerts to thousands of fans each week, including one for the Martin Guitars series “Jam In Place,” and released the live album Lockdown Live, taken from those performances. He also released the single and animated video “Heartbreak,” which featured Slick, Duff McKagan and other rock and roll luminaries, and contributed a cover of the Traveling Wilburys’ song “Handle With Care” with his band to the official celebration of Tom Petty’s 70th birthday.

Jeff's music has appeared in advertising and films and on television, including in the hit shows Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill.

Over the past decade Slate has been a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and many other publications, writing about music and culture, and has appeared on television and radio numerous times, including on former-Sex Pistol Steve Jones’s Los Angeles drive time show Jonesy’s Jukebox, and SiriusXMs Volume channel, where Slate is also a guest host, as well as the BBC numerous times. He is the co-author of the 2017 book The Authorized Roy Orbison, written with the late legend’s sons, and has written liner notes for albums by Orbison, the Small Faces, Shawn Colvin, for the Stax Records 60th anniversary reissue series and for The Beatles’ 50th anniversary edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 2018 Slate wrote the 10,000+ word essay included in Bob Dylan’s More Blood, More Tracks, the 14 edition of his long-running Bootleg Series. In 2021, he contributed the 11,000 word book included in the Rolling Stones' 40th anniversary expanded edition of the classic album Tattoo You.

In 2019 Slate appeared onstage at the first World Of Bob Dylan conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sponsored by the Bob Dylan Center there, where he interviewed The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn and performed with the legend. He also performed at all-star concerts celebrating The Clash’s album London Calling in New York and L.A.

In 2020, and Slate appeared at a show in Los Angeles fronting the band from the “Echo In The Canyon” film, as well as at an all-star concert at New York City’s Town Hall honoring the 80th birthday of the Woody Guthrie song “This Land Is Your Land.”

Returning to the road in 2022, Slate appeared at the grand opening of the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, and will be appearing the Tom Petty Birthday Weekend in the late-legend's hometown, Gainesville, Florida, later this year.

Slate proudly plays a Martin OM-28E Retro Acoustic Guitar with Martin Strings, as well as Hofner basses and Vox amps.


For over a decade, Jeff Slate & Friends have played to sold out crowds paying tribute to artists like John Lennon, David Bowie and more, played by musicians who have worked with artists as diverse as Pete Townshend, Ozzy Osbourne and Mott the Hoople. The band’s Weekend Wilburys show – honoring the music of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne’s ELO and Roy Orbison – has wowed crowds across the country. Bandleader Jeff Slate, who came up in the 1980s post-punk scene, and made his name working with his band The Badge and The Who’s Pete Townshend in the 1990s and 00s, is a world-class frontman and songwriter. He has appeared on stage and worked with music legends like Townshend, Roger McGuinn, Jeff Tweedy and Sheryl Crow, and his music has appeared in advertising and films, and on television, including in the hit show Gossip Girl.

Jeff’s writing can be found in The New Yorker, Esquire, the Wall Street Journal, where last year he interviewed Bob Dylan, and Rolling Stone, among others. Jeff is also a regular guest host on SiriusXM, is the co-author of the 2017 book The Authorized Roy Orbison, with the late-legend’s sons, and has written liner notes for albums by Orbison, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, among many others. Jeff’s fourth solo album, The Last Day of Summer, featuring Dave Stewart, Duff McKagan, Earl Slick and members of Paul Weller’s band and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, is due out later this year.

FREE (reservations suggested)

Beloved classics, deep cuts and lost gems from Damn the Torpedoes, Hard Promises, Southern Accents, Full Moon Fever, the Traveling Wilburys, Wildflowers, Echo and more in an evening celebrating Tom Petty’s 73rd birthday!

Live music is back at Hill Country Live! as Jeff Slate & Friends once again lead a celebration of Tom Petty’s birthday at Hill Country Barbeque in New York City on Friday, October 27th.

Jeff and his all-star band – and some very special guests – will treat you to an evening of stellar rock and roll as they dig deep into Tom Petty’s venerable songbook.

Tickets are $15 in advance, inclusive of all fees.

Jeff Slate made his Hill Country Live! debut in May 2014. Prior to the 2020 lockdown, he returned monthly with stellar, packed shows celebrating Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Tom Petty and others, and playing original music inspired by those legends. Since live music returned he has performed across the U.S. – and returned to Hill Country regularly – to packed houses.


The Best Of Jeff on Spotify!

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