Chas & Dave: All About Us
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Bursting onto the music scene in the 1970s, Chas 'n' Dave released songs that spoke about life in London and used their own accents rather than the fashionable but fake transatlantic twang. They knew that if they wrote and sang about their own experiences that fans would be interested. With hits like "Gertcha," "Rabbit," "The Sideboard Song," and "Margate," they created a sound that was uniquely British and rockin' to boot. What most people don't know is that both Chas and Dave had previous careers playing with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, nor do fans know the stories about getting caught illegally fishing, getting ripped off by sketchy producers, going crazy while locked in recording studios, playing with the Beatles, and generally having a good time.
and developed a talent for recording ideas. I was always interested in tape recorders and editing and overdubbing etc. Mick, on my suggestion, got hold of two Ferrograph tape recorders. I’d overdub between the two tapes – piano, guitar and whatever – then we’d add vocals. The demos we turned out were good. Mick liked the glamour side of the pop world. I wasn’t too interested in that. I was just into the music, but all the same Mick, being a bit of a snappy dresser, came in handy one night. I
Jimmy Bryant. It was unusual for the time. Most people took the piss out of C&W music. There was, still is, and always will be a lot of duff C&W records, but the good ones among ’em are gems. It’s a fact that they are few and far between, but the musicians who think for themselves, and don’t go by what they read, will find ’em if they look for ’em. Me and Dave had found ’em and so had Albert. We introduced Albert to a good C&W band we knew who played on the Hammersmith circuit (the Red Cow, the
some stupid bird don’t reckon it? Bollocks!’ P’raps I did upset him and it might have been an insult to his bird, but to me giving up Rock ’n’ Roll was like putting your Dad in a home. Me and Rock ’n’ Roll won in the end. The Little Richard bit, the Jerry Lee bit, the Fats Domino bit. People began asking specially for it. Even George. ‘Do zer Rack ’n’ Rolly. Zer pipple love it!’ By the time we left, it was the most requested part of the act. Rock ’n’ Roll will never die! We left for home just
dancing there was not a lot of money. Record companyies are all the same. They still try to get away with it but tried it on especially in the early days. They figured they were doing the artist a favour by getting his voice heard on radio stations. And most artists didn’t care anyway as long as they had enough money for a pint. I know I didn’t. Someone said to me recently in an interview, ‘What business advice would you give to a young person going into the business?’ I couldn’t think of any!
thousand-plus seated theatre, cannot be deemed to be so loud that it sent punters running.’ ‘It wasn’t only that. It was the rest of the sound!’ ‘But you control that Ted!’ ‘You boys are fucking exasperating! You won’t listen will you? You were too fucking loud but you won’t have it will you?’ It was Ted’s second mistake. Oh well. So long Ted! Stanley Mills, our publisher in New York, has become a good friend. His dad ran the most famous American music publishers of the last century, Mills