I was extremely saddened to hear of the death of Chas Hodges, one half of “Cockney novelty act” Chas & Dave. Of course, what lies behind all great success stories is the sheer hard work and preparation. It’s rare to have success in one easy move. In fact Chas & Dave were no novelty or a product of luck. Chas Hodges worked with The Beatles, Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Joe Meek, Richie Blackmore and Labi Siffre. He was also sampled by Eminem. This is testament to the importance of preparation and sheer hard work in success.
Chas’ death resonated strongly as I’d only just finished recording a song in honour of Chas & Dave last month. I’m sure he would have loved its embedded non political correctness and cheeky allusions to Cockney rhyming slang. Now we’ll never know 😦
I’d heard a round of criticism from people in social media that I’d dared record a Chas & Dave song. These people of course are not musical, just musical snobs. A quick analysis of any one of their songs will tell you just why they are so popular. Great vocal syncopation, superb hooks, tight integration of the rhythm section to the words and a number of great earworms in every song. Not a second wasted. 20 minute Genesis songs they are not, but that’s a different skill altogether. There is a tremendous skill in writing a 3 minute pop song. It was a really hard job to bring these elements together in a respectful way in the song and I hope we gave a nod and a wink in the right direction.
I was extremely lucky as I saw Chas & Dave some 300 yards down the road from my house when they played a festival in my town. I could not believe that people of all ages knew all the words to their songs and the sheer euphoria of their performance and musicality. True professionals.
We finish with some of their great songs:
Chas Hodges R.I.P.