Slade drummer Don Powell said he has been sacked from the band without warning via a “cold email”.
Powell, 73, has been part of the group for more than 50 years and performed on their most famous hit Merry Xmas Everybody.
In a statement on his website, he said lead guitarist Dave Hill, also 73, his friend since 1963 and the only other original member still playing in the glam rock band, gave him the boot from the band in a message out of the blue.
“It is with great sadness and regret that Don needs to inform his fans that he now is no longer a member of Dave Hill’s Slade,” the statement said.
“Dave has sent Don a cold email to inform him that his services are no longer required, after working together and being friends since 1963.”
Powell said he will continue performing as a rival, using the name Don Powell’s Slade.
I wish Don every success in his future effortsDave Hill
However, in a statement of his own on the official Slade Facebook page, Hill denied the parting of ways had been without warning.
“I am sad to announce that Don and I will no longer be working together,” he said.
“Our parting of the ways has not come out of the blue and his announcement is not accurate. I wish Don every success in his future efforts. I will, of course, carry on and look forward to many future performances and meeting fans.”
Slade were formed in Wolverhampton in the late 1960s and were one of the most successful bands of the era.
They were the first act to have three singles enter the charts at number one.
Noddy Holder, who was Slade’s singer, left the band in 1992.