Chas Hodges would have celebrated his 77th birthday this week.
Chas and Dave, two of the loveliest men you could meet. I worked with them a number of times and I remember around 20 years ago we were working together for three consecutive nights and I said to Chas, ” Do you mind if I bring a single in tomorrow to get autographed,” to which he replied, “Only one? You must have more being a DJ,” when I confirmed that I had, he said, “bring the lot in and we’re scrawl all over them,” and they did.
After attending a Jerry Lee Lewis gig he was inspired to learn piano and then not too long after, was inspired again to learn guitar after seeing Lonnie Donegan perform. He turned professional at the age of 16 playing session bass in various bands and later backed Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley and Gene Vincent on their UK tours. He worked with Joe Meek becoming a regular member of the Outlaws until they disbanded where he joined Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.
He and Dave Peacock met in 1963 but began their duo partnership in 1972 but had to wait seven years for their first hit, Strummin which stalled at number 52. Hits like Getcha and The Sideboard Song followed but they really hit the big time when Rabbit made the top 10 in early 1981. They had further hits with Stars Over 45, Ain’t No Pleasing You and their final top 10 hit came in 1986 when they teamed up with various professional snooker player to record Snooker Loopy.
In February 2017, Chas announced that he had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, but it had been caught early and the future was looking good. Optimistically, they said they would be back on the road again soon, but Chas contracted pneumonia and passed away in September 2018.
Let’s remember The Sideboard song from 1979.