Classic Rock

A Tribute To Chas Hodges


Dave Peacock previews a charity memorial show.

Let’s start by saying that Classic Rock is very sorry for your loss.

Cheers, mate. It’s been a very tough time. Chas and I were together for more than fifty years. I was fishing with him two days before he died.

Would Chas have been surprised by the extent of the nation’s grief?

Maybe so, though of course he knew he was very popular. He would have been happy to know that so many people were thinking about him.

He put up a brave fight, having been diagnosed with oesophagea­l cancer in February but continuing to play concerts. Making music was all that Chas lived for. He was a keen gardener as well, but he played and played and played – and sang all the time, too.

That final show on the bill with Eric Clapton in Hyde Park must have been difficult on a number of levels.

Yeah, I suppose it was, but when we came off stage Chas told me: “I could do it all over again”. The adrenaline carried him through.

Whose idea was this charity tribute show? I think it came from Chas’s wife, or maybe his son. It’ll be great. We’ve got the three best guitar players on planet Earth – Richard Smith, Albert Lee and Martin Taylor.

Other guests include Ralph McTell, Jackie Lynton, Ed Tudor Pole and comedian Matt Lucas – a very diverse bunch.

Yeah. I won’t be playing with all of those but I’ll appear with quite a few of them.

All proceeds from the show are going to WaterAid, which aims to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene available to everyone, everywhere, within a generation.

It was a cause very close to Chas’s heart. I hope we can raise a lot of money for them.

Is it a bit too premature to ask what you might do next?

I haven’t really thought about it yet. I also play in a little bluegrass band, but apart from working with Chas… well, I don’t know what I’ll do. DL

The concert takes place at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on December 17.

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