The Jungle Drum - Cheers Chas
Cheers Chas - A Tribute
A Jungle Drum Special to celebrate the life of Chas Hodges with tributes from Spurs legend Micky Hazard & Rachel Martin of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporter’s Trust.
When Arsenal fans, Chelsea fans and West Ham fans are all paying homage to a man who was so intrinsically linked with Tottenham Hotspur, then you know they have lived a very special life. Chas Hodges died one Saturday in Autumn, but the legacy he leaves will be forever Summer.
This isn’t a biography of Chas - and it certainly ain’t an obituary. It’s a tribute to someone who touched my life deeply.
A prodigiously talented musician, he was often under-rated by the music world, because him and his partner, Dave Peacock, made several highly successful novelty records. But these “novelty records” are so iconic that they are completely a part of our heritage. Whether they be Snooker Loopy, or the 4 Cup Final songs that they made for Spurs, they always made us feel good about life.
And frankly, we probably need that more than ever.
Before the height of his Chas & Dave fame, he was a well-respected session musician. And of all the wonderful, bizarre, things in this world Chas & Dave being on an Eminem record is up there in the pantheon of brilliant things. For his major label debut single My Name Is, Dr D.R.E. & Eminem Sampled Labi Siffre’s “You Got The”......Chas & Dave played on that record.
Reading the many, many, touching tributes after his passing at the weekend, one thing becomes apparent. He was universally loved. Every single person who knew him personally lead with tributes to his generosity of spirit & just how much of a nice man he was.
He was even more than that. If you grew up in London, or the South, the chances were that your Grandparents raised you on Chas & Dave records. It was no different for me. My Grandmother would have their songs on an infinite loop. I knew all of the words to Gertcha & Rabbit by the tender age of 5. My Granddad used to say “Gertcha” so much - I actually thought it was him singing on the record in my childish brain. This was before I even understood them as a Spurs band. That came later.
I’ve lost count of the number of times, down the years, that I sat in Park Lane or The Shelf singing “Spurs are on their way to Wembley.” They were just always there - as much a part of the club’s identity as White Hart Lane, Bill Nic or years ending in 1. They were the Spurs band. They are so much a part of the club that were invited onto the pitch at the Lane finale & their version of “Glory Glory” is still played at home matches.
Then a bit later when The Libertines took them on tour, they came back into my consciousness. Their talent apparent for a new generation.
But what Chas & Dave were, above all else, was the sound of a knees-up in an old London boozer. They were the younger generation’s link to a disappearing past. Have a few pints, have a sing-song round the old Joanna. I was lucky enough to come of age & be living in East London before it had been over-taken by trendy media types. You could still smoke, there was still a piano in most pubs & when good grub was still considered a handful of nuts to soak up the beer.
That was Chas & Dave - and they never forgot their roots - not one time.
Chas Hodges has always been a part of my life - even decent enough to talk to me on Twitter on a few occasions. I wish I’d met him. I never had the honour - but a little part of my heart died with him. My Nan passed away a couple of years ago & my most treasured memories of her are singing along with Chas & Dave. White Hart Lane has now gone too - Chas & Dave will forever be Tottenham to me. They will always be part of us.
And so cheers Chas - and thank you for everything. I’ll sink a warm beer tonight to the sound of Gertcha and toast your life.
J.S. Leatherbarrow - Editor
I’ll leave you with the words of someone who did know him & who was kind enough to give this touching tribute to Football And The City - Spurs icon, Micky Hazard. Rachel Martin of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporter’s Trust was also extremely generous in providing a beautiful tribute on their behalf which can be read below.
Share your favourite memories of Chas, your favourite songs of his, photos & everything else on Twitter here.
The regular Jungle Drum will be back next week.