Chas Hodges of Chas & Dave is 74 on Boxing Day.
Chas, who was born in Edmonton, north London, learned piano as a kid and began his career way back in the early 60s as a session man for producer Joe Meek. He was a backing musicians for Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis and later claimed that his piano playing technique was learnt from watching Jerry Lee.
He became a member of Mike Berry’s backing bans, the Outlaws, and then a member of Cliff Bennett’s Rebel Rousers. Their drummer at the time was Mick Burt who later would be Chas and Dave’s regular drummer. In the early seventies he joined Heads, Hands and Feet before meeting Dave Peacock and forming Chas and Dave.
The duo had hits in the later seventies with Gertcha, The Sideboard Song (Got My Beer in the Sideboard Here) and in the 1980s with Rabbit, Ain’t No Pleasing You and Margate. They also played with Tottenham Hotspur on their hits Ossie’s Dream…(Spurs Are on Their Way to Wembley) and Hot Shot Tottenham! In 1986 they were joined by a number of professional snooker players for the hit Snooker Loopy under the name Matchroom Mob.
At the beginning of 2009 Dave Peacock announced he was calling it a day following the death of his wife but within a year he had a change of heart and Chas and Dave continued. In February Chas announced on Twitter that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, fortunately it was caught early and following a number of treatments he made it known he was on the mend.
Let’s enjoy their first top 20 hit, Gertcha, which was partially banned on Top of the Pops because the producer didn’t like the sound of the lyrics ‘cowson’ deeming it be a kind of swearing so told them in no uncertain terms not to sing it. Watch how Chas and Dave performed it….and watch the wry smile on Chas’s face!