Open main menu

Charles Nicholas Hodges (28 December 1943 – 22 September 2018) was an English musician and singer who was the lead vocalist of the musical duo Chas & Dave.

Chas Hodges
Chas Hodges 2015.jpg
Hodges at Let's Rock Bristol, June 2015
Background information
Birth nameCharles Nicholas Hodges
Born(1943-12-28)28 December 1943
Edmonton, Middlesex, England
Died22 September 2018(2018-09-22) (aged 74)
GenresRock, pop, rockney
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar, bass, banjo
Years active1960–2018
LabelsRetreat, EMI, Rockney
Associated actsChas & Dave, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, The Outlaws, Heads Hands & Feet, Chas & His Band, Deep Purple


Early lifeEdit

Hodges was born at the North Middlesex University Hospital in Edmonton on 28 December 1943 to Albert and Daisy Hodges.[1] He was named Charles Nicholas, but called Chas as it was a common nickname for Charles in Hackney where his father was from.[1] He was raised in north London, and moved to Kent in the summer of 1947.[2] His father, a lorry driver, killed himself the day before Hodges' fourth birthday. Interviewed by The Daily Telegraph in 2015 he said, "We never discovered what caused him to shoot himself with a shotgun."[3] After his father's death, the family returned to Edmonton in North London to live with his grandparents, with his mother making a living playing piano in local pubs and clubs.[1] He attended Eldon Road School,[4] and later Edmonton Higher Grade School but left just before he was 15 at the end of 1958.[5]

Hodges first became interested in Rock 'n' Roll music after listening to Little Richard on Radio Luxembourg around 1956.[6] He was then inspired by Lonnie Donegan to learn to play the guitar when he was 12, and joined a skiffle band a year later in 1957, The Horseshoe Skiffle Group.[6][7] In May 1958, he attended a Jerry Lee Lewis concert and became interesting in learning to play the piano. He worked for a while in a jeweller's shop after leaving school.[8]


Hodges became a professional musician by the age of 16, playing bass guitar with various local bands until he joined Billy Gray and the Stormers in 1960.[9][8] After Billy Gray and the Stormers broke up, Hodges worked with the producer Joe Meek who put Hodges and his former band together as backing band for Mike Berry, forming the Outlaws.[10] They were later joined by Ritchie Blackmore. They also worked as session musicians, backing Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley and Gene Vincent. Hodges claimed that he learnt the piano by watching Jerry Lee Lewis whilst backing him.[11] During this time, Hodges became known as "Sleepy" after his habit of falling asleep during the recording process.[12] The Outlaws broke up, and he was invited to join Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers as a bass player in 1965.[13][2][14]

Hodges had known Dave Peacock for a number of years; they met in 1963 when a friend of Peacock gave Hodges a lift home and found they had similar taste in music.[15] After the Rebel Rousers, Hodges joined Peacock, Harvey Hinsley and Mick Burt in Black Claw (three of the band would later be in Chas & Dave).[16] In 1970, Albert Lee asked him to join a new band Heads Hands & Feet, who supported Blackmore's subsequent band Deep Purple on tour. He played bass with Purple for one show on 8 March 1971, at Music Hall Aberdeen, substituting for the regular bassist, Roger Glover who was ill.[17] They attempted to form a new breakaway band The New Heads Hands & Feet, Lee however left to play for The Crickets, and they finished as a band.[18]

Chas & DaveEdit

Hodges toured America when he was with Heads Hands & Feet, and it was during the tour that he began to have the idea of performing in his natural accent as he thought it "not quite real" performing in an American accent to an American audience.[19] When Heads Hands & Feet broke up in 1972, Hodges and Peacock considered forming a band together, singing in their own accent about things they knew. They began to perform as a duo Chas & Dave. Hodges was originally a bass player, but in Chas & Dave he played the piano and guitar while Peacock played bass. They also recorded as Oily Rags (cockney rhyming slang for cigarettes - "fags") with Gerry Hogan and Ian Wallace, and releasing a self-titled album in 1974.[20][21] They also recorded an album with Oliver Nelson.[22] In 1975 Hodges and Peacock played on Labi Siffre's album Remember My Song. Eminem would later sample a riff from the song "I Got The" (featuring Hodges on guitar and Peacock on bass) on his 1999 hit "My Name Is".[23]

Hodges and Peacock recorded their first album as Chas & Dave in 1974, and this album, One Fing'*'Anuvver, was released in 1975. According to Hodges, the title track "One Fing'*'Anuvver" was their first Rockney song. Burt joined the duo in 1976 as a drummer.[24] They were signed by EMI in 1978, and the album Rockney was released the same year.[25] A song from the album, "Strummin'", was their first song to reach the chart. In early 1979, a song from their first album "Woortcha!" was used used for a notable television commercial for Courage Bitter, and the song was then re-recorded and released as a single, retitled "Gertcha".[26][27] They opened for Led Zeppelin at the 1979 Knebworth Festival.[28]

In 1980, Chas & Dave formed their own record label Rockney with their manager Bob England. Their first release under this label "Rabbit" became a top 10 hit.[27] They had a bigger hit song in 1982 with "Ain't No Pleasing You", written largely by Hodges.[29]

Hodges was popular amongst supporters of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club owing to singles he had released as Chas & Dave. These include "Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur", "Hot Shot Tottenham!", "When the Year Ends in One", "Spurs Medley" and "Ossie's Dream (Spurs Are on Their Way to Wembley)".[30]

He also played piano for short-lived supergroup called the Rockers, which featured Roy Wood, Phil Lynott and John Coghlan.[31]

In 2009, following the death of his wife Sue, Peacock announced his retirement from performing with Chas & Dave.[32] However, he changed his mind the following year and announced a tour for 2011.[33]

They also played their "Christmas Jamboree" at the IndigO2 in December 2011 and December 2012. They undertook a 'Back By Demand' tour of the UK between February and May 2013. In 2012, Hodges wrote and recorded a charity single with his band and 2012 Premier League Darts players called "Got My Tickets for the Darts". The video featured Hodges, his band, the 2012 Premier League Darts players, and walk-on girl Jacqui Adams. It was released on 18 May, the night after the play-offs at the O2 arena in London, where it was premiered, and proceeds from the single were donated to the Haven House Children's Hospice, in Woodford Green, Essex.[34]

In 2009 Hodges released an eponymous solo album on Talking Elephant Records[35] In 2010, he guested on an album by Vince Eager (Western Star Records) called 788 Years of Rock n Roll, the following year Hodges returned to the label to record a solo album titled Together We Made Music.[36] In 2014, Hodges also guested on Simon Fowler's new band Merrymouth's album, Wenlock Hill, contributing piano on the song "Salt Breeze".[37]

Hodges was a keen gardener. In 2014, he started his Rock n Roll Allotment column in the British newspaper the Daily Express.[38]

Illness and deathEdit

On 6 February 2017, it was announced that Hodges had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. A statement on social media said the illness had been caught "at an early stage", and that he would be undergoing treatment immediately.[39] The pair stated that they hoped to be "back out on the road" soon.[40]

He died in his sleep in the early hours of 22 September 2018, from pneumonia, aged 74.[41][13]

Discography (1961–2018)Edit

Solo recordingsEdit

  • Chas Hodges (Talking Elephant Records, 2009)[35]
  • Together We Made Music (Western Star Records, 2011) [36]
  • Chas Hodges & the Premier League Boys: Got My Ticket For the Darts (Matchroom Sport Ltd, 2012, digital single)

With Chas & Dave (1974–2018)Edit

With the Outlaws (1961–1965)Edit

Main article The Outlaws discography

With John LeytonEdit

  • Johnny Remember Me / There Must Be (Top Rank International, 1961, single) (With the Outlaws)

With Dave AdamsEdit

  • Telstar (demo) / Telstar (2nd stage demo) (Decca Records, 1962, demo) (With the Outlaws)[42]
  • San Francisco Bay / Like A Bird Without Feathers (Decca Records, 1962, single) (With the Outlaws)
  • The Birds & The Bees / Something At The Bottom Of My Garden (Decca Records, 1962, demo) (With the Outlaws)

With the ChapsEdit

With Gene VincentEdit

  • The Crazy Beat Of Gene Vincent (Rockin' Jamboree Records, live 1963) (With the Outlaws)

With Mike BerryEdit

  • Rock's In My Head (Polydor Records, 1976)
  • Sounds Of The Sixties (Castle Communications, 1989) (With the Outlaws)
  • Rock'N'Roll Daze (Rollercoaster Records, 1998) (With the Outlaws)

With Miki DallonEdit

  • As From Tonight (RPM Records, 1962, demo)
  • Stairway To A Star (RPM Records, 1963, demo)
  • Full Grown Doll (RPM Records, 1963, demo)
  • You Got What I Want (RPM Records, 1964, demo)

With Michael CoxEdit

With Gunilla ThornEdit

  • "Merry Go Round / Go On Then" (His Master's Voice, 1963, single)

With Glenda CollinsEdit

  • "If You've Got To Pick A Baby" / "In The First Place" (His Master's Voice, 1963, single) (With the Outlaws)
  • "Thou Shalt Not Steal" / "Been Invited To A Party" (His Master's Voice, 1965, single) (With the Outlaws)

With Davy KayeEdit

  • A Fool Such As I / It's Nice In't It? (Decca Records, 1964, single) (With the Outlaws)

With Andy CavellEdit

  • Tell The Truth / Shut Up (Pye Records, 1964, single) (With the Outlaws)

With Houston WellsEdit

  • Galway Bay / Livin' Alone (Parlophone Records, 1964, single) (With the Outlaws)
  • Ramona (Parlophone Records, 1964, EP) (With the Outlaws)

With the Rally RoundersEdit

  • The Bike Beat 1 / The Bike Beat 2 (Lyntone, 1964, single) (With the Outlaws)

With the SessionsEdit

  • Girls Go For Guys / Chico (Guyden Records, 1964, single)
  • Bouncing Bass / Let Me In (Fontana Records, 1965, single)

With Heinz and the Wild BoysEdit

  • Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right / Big Fat Spider (Columbia Records, 1964, single)
  • Digging My Potatoes / She Ain't Coming Back (Columbia Records, 1965, single)

With Jess ConradEdit

  • Hurt Me / It Can Happen To You (Pye Records, 1965, single) (With the Outlaws)

With the MurmaidsEdit

  • To Know Him Is To Love Him/... (Chattahoochie, 1965, single) (With the Outlaws)

With the LancastersEdit

  • Satan's Holliday / Earthshaker (Titan, 1965, single) (With the Outlaws)

Wih the Ritchie Blackmore OrchestraEdit

  • Little Brown Jug / Getaway (Line Records, 1965, single) (With the Outlaws)

With Cliff Bennett and the Rebel RousersEdit

With Ronnie JonesEdit

  • Satisfy My Soul / My Only Souvenir (Line Records, 1966, single)

With Soul SurvivalEdit

  • Soul Sounds (Columbia Records, 1967)

With Boz BurrellEdit

  • I Shall Be Released / Down In The Flood (Columbia Records, 1968, single)

With AnanEdit

  • Madena / Standing Still (Pye Records, 1968, single)

With Black ClawEdit

  • Good Times / Sally (Revolver Records, 1969, single)
  • Across The Great Divide / Sally (Bell Records, 1969, single)
  • Walkin' Shoes / Around And Around (Line Records, 1969, single)
  • That's All Right Mama (Castle Music Records, 1970)

With House BandEdit

  • Your Cheatin' Heart / Breathless (Line Records, 1970, single)
  • Reelin' And Rockin' / Ballad Of Billy Joe (Line Records, 1970, single)
  • Black Claw / Balls Of Fire (Line Records, 1970, single)

With Ritchie Blackmore and FriendsEdit

With Heads Hands & FeetEdit

With Jerry Lee LewisEdit

  • The Session Recorded In London With Great Guest Artists (Mercury Records, 1973)

With Bread & ButterEdit

  • Images (Blow Up, 1973)

With Teresa BrewerEdit

  • Teresa Brewer in London with Oily Rags (Flying Dutchman, 1973)
  • Teresa Brewer in London (Amsterdam Records, 1973)
  • Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (Means That You're Grand) / Bo Weevil (Amsterdam Records, 1973, single)

With Jim LoweEdit

With Oliver NelsonEdit

With Big Jim SullivanEdit

  • Big Jim's Back (Retreat Records, 1974)

With Les WalkerEdit

  • Whatever Mood You're In (Retreat Records, 1974)

With Jackie LyntonEdit

  • The Jackie Lynton Album (WWA Records, 1974)
  • No Axe To Grind (BB Records, 1979)

With Labi SiffreEdit

  • Remember My Song (EMI Records, 1975)

With SiouxEdit

With Robert CampbellEdit

  • Living In The Shadow Of A Downtown Movie Show (Decca Records, 1977)

With Charlie AinleyEdit

  • Bang Your Door (EMI Records, 1978)

With Albert LeeEdit

With the RockersEdit

  • "We Are The Boys (Who Make All The Noise)" (CBS, 1983)

With Danny McCulloch's FriendsEdit

With The PandamoniumEdit

With Vince EagerEdit

  • 788 Years of Rock n Roll (Western Star Records, 2011)

With The FilamentsEdit

  • Land Of Lions (Burnout Records, 2013))

With Simon Fowler's MerrymouthEdit

With Jerry AllisonEdit

With Gilbert O'SullivanEdit

  • Gilbert O'Sullivan (BMG, 2018)


  • Chas & Dave: All About Us (2008)[45]
  • Chas and His Rock 'n' Roll Allotment (2010)[46]
  • 101 Facts you didn't know about Chas and Dave (2013)[47]
  • Memories of The Lane: Good Times at Tottenham (2018)[48]


  1. ^ a b c Hodges 2009, Chapter 1: First Memories.
  2. ^ a b Beal, James (2 July 2008). "This week: Musician Chas Hodges, from band Chas and Dave, who are playing at the Palace in Bridgwater this week". Bridgewater Mercury. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  3. ^ Webber, Richard (1 October 2018). "Chas: 'It doesn't matter who wrote which song - we always go 50/50 on the money'". Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  4. ^ Hodges 2009, Chapter 2: 11, Harton Road.
  5. ^ Hodges 2009, Chapter 6: Jerry Lewis for Me.
  6. ^ a b Hodges 2009, Chapter 5: I Become a Rock 'n' Roller.
  7. ^ Hann, Michael (27 September 2018). "Chas Hodges, an appreciation: one of the most significant English folk musicians".
  8. ^ a b Hodges 2009, Chapter 7: First Real Job.
  9. ^ "A Tribute to our friend and The Pearly King of Rockney Mr Chas Hodges". The Pearlies. 29 September 2018.
  10. ^ Hodges 2009, Chapter 9: The Outlaws.
  11. ^ "The piano's got heart". The Guardian. 11 October 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  12. ^ Watts, Derek (2008). Country Boy: A Biography of Albert Lee. McFarland. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-786-48295-5.
  13. ^ a b McShane, Asher (22 September 2018). "Chas Hodges of Cockney music duo Chas and Dave dies aged 74 after suffering 'organ failure' in battle with throat cancer". Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  14. ^ Bloom, Jerry (2006) Black Knight: The Ritchie Blackmore Story, Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-1846092664, p. 41
  15. ^ Rees, Jasper (23 September 2018). "theartsdesk Q&A: Chas and Dave". theartsdesk.
  16. ^ Hodges 2009, Chapter 16: Now What Can We Do to Get Some Money?.
  17. ^ "Chas & Dave: 'We were on telly about seven times one day'". The Guardian. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  18. ^ Hodges 2009, Chapter 18: HH & F – RIP.
  19. ^ Hodges 2009, Chapter 17: Heads Hands & Feet.
  20. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Oily Rags". AllMusic.
  21. ^ Clarke, Donald (1998). The Penguin encyclopedia of popular music. Penguin Books. p. 239.
  22. ^ Wyse, Pascal (28 October 2005). "We're jammin': Chas & Dave". The Guardian.
  23. ^ Burnett, Bryan (28 October 2008). "My name is...Chas and Dave". BBC. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  24. ^ Hodges 2009, Chapter 20: First Record Deal.
  25. ^ Rushton, Susie (19 December 2007). "Rockney geezers: A knees-up with Chas & Dave". The Independent.
  26. ^ Fletcher, Winston (17 January 2006). "Obituary: John Webster". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
  27. ^ a b Hodges 2009, Chapter 22: Bob England and 'Gertcha!'.
  28. ^ "The 1979 Knebworth Concerts". Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  29. ^ Hodges 2009, Chapter 24: No Pleasin' You.
  30. ^ "Chas from Chas and Dave dies aged 74 and Tottenham, the fans and ex-players pay tribute". TalkSport. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  31. ^ Stroud, Graeme (2017). Status Quo: Song by Song. Fonthill. p. 168.
  32. ^ "Entertainment | Pop veterans Chas and Dave split". 22 September 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  33. ^ "The return of Chas & Dave! – farewell tour 2011". Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  34. ^ "Chas & Stars Record Charity Single". 8 March 2012. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012.
  35. ^ a b "Chas Hodges - Charles "Chas" Hodges - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  36. ^ a b The Western Star Story: Part 1: The First Decade. Western Star. 2013. ISBN 978-0957594302.
  37. ^ "New Album: Merrymouth – Wenlock Hill". Navigator Records. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  38. ^ "Meet our Chas and his Rock'n'Roll Allotment". Daily Express. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  39. ^ "Chas Hodges from Chas and Dave diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  40. ^ "Chas & Dave Singer Chas Hodges diagnosed with cancer". 6 February 2017.
  41. ^ O’Connor, Roisin (22 September 2018). "Chas Hodges death: One half of famous London duo Chas & Dave dies". The Independent. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  42. ^ "Dave Adams* - The Dave Adams Story". Discogs. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  43. ^ "Green Bullfrog". Bad Cat Records. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  44. ^ "Before We Grow Too Old - J. I. Allison, Chas & J.I., Charles "Chas" Hodges, Chas Hodges - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  45. ^ Hodges, Chas (2008). Chas and Dave: All About Us. John Blake Publishing. ISBN 978-1-857-82826-9.
  46. ^ Hodges, Chas (2010). Chas and His Rock 'n' Roll Allotment. Apex Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1-906-35877-8.
  47. ^ Hodges, Chas (2013). 101 Facts you didn't know about Chas and Dave. Andrews UK Limited. ISBN 978-1-909-94950-8.
  48. ^ Hodges, Chas (2018). Memories of The Lane: Good Times at Tottenham. Andrews UK Limited. ISBN 978-1-911-47647-4.


External linksEdit