The Chas and Dave account on Twitter posted today-
“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of our very own Chas Hodges. Despite receiving successful treatment for oesophageal cancer recently, Chas suffered organ failure and passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning.
Chas Hodges, one half of this popular musical duo, had been receiving treatment for oesophageal cancer.”
He died aged 74.
Chas 'n' Dave were still a popular singing duo before Chas sadly died today although music careers began as session musicians so many years ago.
As a band they performed what has been labelled Rockney music a combination of rock and cockney. The style of music is almost traditional pub sing-a-long music but much better.
Charles Nicholas Hodges played piano and was lead vocalist but could also turn his hand to banjo and guitar.
David Victor Peacock sang along as he twanged guitar but he was also a multi-talented musician turning his hand to banjo, piano and ukulele.
In the early days Mick Burt bashed away at the drums but he retired in 2011 and Nicholas Charles "Nik" Hodges, Chas’s son took over the role as drummer.
In October 2014 it was announced Mick Burt had died.
Chas and Dave songs have a comedy theme but still sound great and there was never any doubting Chas and Dave’s musical talents.
However some of their songs will make the 21st Century listener wince as they are anything but politically correct.
Dubbed a cheeky cockney duo Chas and Dave were often underestimated as musicians.
During their long musical career they had eight Top 40 hit singles and nine successful albums.
The single that set them on the path to success was Gertcha released in 1979. Chas and Dave even opened for Led Zeppelin at Knebworth Festival that same year.
In 2013 they released their first studio album in 18 years.
Chas and Dave reached stardom in the late 1970s and 1980s in Britain. It was a time of light entertainment variety shows on British television and this cheeky pair popped up on our screens time and time again.
In the mid 1980s Chas and Dave hosted a variety show set in an East End of London pub. The show was called Chas and Dave’s Knees Up with more than a nod to their cockney roots.
Love them or loathe them Chas and Dave played catchy songs that people still sing-a-long to.
The songs utilize cockney rhyming slang with rabbit substituted for talk in the song of the same name. In cockney rhyming slang rabbit and pork is talk. This song refers to a great looking woman who cannot stop talking.
Gertcha is loosely translated as get out of it!
Today tributes are pouring in not least from Tottenham Hotspur Football Club-
“The official Spurs Twitter account wrote: “Everyone at the club is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of our own, Chas Hodges. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Chas and Dave worked with Tottenham on various singles and Chas was a long time fan of the team.
In July 2018 they played to a full house, supporting headline act Eric Clapton, but Chas looked far from well. Later scheduled appearances were cancelled.
Perhaps the final words should go to Chas; words which are being reported across the mainstream media. In April they released their first album of new songs in decades and interviewed at the time Chas said -
“This is our first Chas & Dave-produced album for over 30 years. “Tell you what, though, we ain’t waiting another 30 years before we do the next one. The older you get, it seems time goes quicker. Yet as soon as we got in the studio it seemed like yesterday that we were producing our last album. My mum used to say the same thing in 1960: ‘Thirty years ago I was 17 and it seems like yesterday.’ ‘How can 30 years ago seem like yesterday?’ says I, slightly mockingly. ‘Well it bloody well does’, says mum, getting the deserved last word, and that’s that.”
Yes it does.
The so called curse of 2016 continues as the death of Debbie Reynolds is announced just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died.
Yes you can die from a broken heart.
Ms Fisher who was aged 60 suffered a heart attack on a transatlantic flight last week. On arrival in the USA she was hospitalised and reports varied from in a stable condition to worse. December 27 Carrie died, her Mom Debbie Reynolds dying one day later aged 84.
She was planning her daughter's funeral.
The Telegraph opts for this headline "Debbie Reynolds, Hollywood star and mother of Carrie Fisher, dies of suspected stroke - her last words: 'I want to be with Carrie'."
Ms Reynolds had continued working into older age. She had a role in TV's Will and Grace and one of the shows stars Debra Messing has posted this tribute on Facebook.
Debbie went to be with Carrie. She always worried about her. Carrie left too soon and now they are together again. My heart is literally broken. For 8 years she was my mom. She was pure energy & light when she came on stage. She was loving, and bawdy, and playful- a consummate pro- old school and yet had the work ethic and investment in her craft of a new fiery up and comer. She was always running off to Vegas or somewhere else "on the road" to be a hoofer, to sing and dance and make people laugh. She performed 340 days out of the year. An inspiration on every level. A Legend of course, the epitome of clean cut American optimism, dancing with Gene Kelly as an equal, a warrior woman who never stopped working. A devoted mother and grandmother, and aunt and great aunt, and friend. I lost my mom a few years ago. She loved that Debbie was my TV mom. I hope they find each other and hug and kiss and my mom says, "I got you, Debbie. Carrie's waiting for you." RIP Bobbie Adler. ❤
That tribute says it all.
Has 2016 been a bad year for celebrity deaths?
It certainly seems that way though there are many explanations for this "phenomenon."
Op-ed: 2016 has been one hell of a year for celebrity and famous deaths. Some had their three scores years and ten and more while others died way too young.
The latest Friday is two elderly political figures. One is Fidel Castro who has died aged 90.
Castro’s younger brother Raúl announced the revolutionary leader’s death on television Friday night saying “With profound sadness I am appearing to inform our people and our friends across [Latin] America and the world that today, 25 November 2016, at 10.29pm, Fidel Castro, the commander in chief of the Cuban revolution, died. In accordance with his wishes, his remains will be cremated.” Raúl Castro concluded his address with the famous revolutionary slogan: “Onwards to victory!”
Castro was a famous figure during the 50s and 60s as a revolutionary leader in the true sense in Cuba.
He established the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere after leading a successful overthrow of the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959.
You may have expected the West to applaud the overthrow of a military dicatorship but it was the days of "better dead than red" in the USA.
"Soon after the success of the Cuban Revolution, militant counter-revolutionary groups developed in an attempt to overthrow the new regime. Undertaking armed attacks against government forces, some set up guerrilla bases in Cuba's mountainous regions, leading to the six-year Escambray Rebellion. These dissidents were funded and armed by various foreign sources, including the exiled Cuban community, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Rafael Trujillo's regime in the Dominican Republic" Wikipedia.
Wikipedia also claims "In August 1960, CIA contacted Cosa Nostra in Chicago with the intention to draft a simultaneous assassination of Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and Che Guevara. In exchange, if the operation succeeded and that a pro-American government was restored in Cuba, the United States agreed that the Mafia gets their " monopoly on gaming, prostitution and drugs."
On February 16, 1959, Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro became the country's youngest ever premier.
Long standing US sanctions against Cuba hit the ordinary people over many decades but there was no surrender. On February 19, 2008, Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency handing over to his younger brother Raul but he will step down in 2018.
What next for Cuba?
In August 2015 the U.S. embassy in Havana finally reopened with US Secretary of State John Kerry attending the ceremony.
A thaw in U.S. Cuba relations after deacades.
But former revolutionary leader Fidel Castro was cautious and in August 2015 published an open letter on Cuba Debate.
The following is a translation via Google of Fidel Castro's open letter; apologies for the translation which is far from perfect but has all the relevant points;
"Writing is a way to be useful if you consider that our suffering humanity should be more and better educated at the incredible ignorance that surrounds us all, except for researchers seeking in science a satisfactory answer. It is a word that implies few letters in his infinite content.
Everyone in our youth we hear ever of Einstein and, especially, after the outbreak of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ended the cruel war unleashed between Japan and the United States. When those bombs were dropped after the war unleashed by the attack on the US base at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese empire was already defeated. United States, the country whose territory and industries remained outside the war, became the richest and best armed of the earth, in a world shattered, full of dead, wounded and hungry.
Together, the USSR and China had lost over 50 million lives, coupled with enormous material destruction.
Almost all the world's gold went to the coffers of the United States.
Today it is estimated that all the gold and currency reserves of that nation reaches 8000 133.5 tons of the metal. However, shattering the commitments made at Bretton Woods, United States, unilaterally declared that they would not honor the obligation to support the Troy ounce of gold to the value of their paper money.
Such a measure ordered by Nixon violated the commitments made by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt."
The open letter was posted the day after Fidel Castro celebrated his 89th birthday on August 13, 2015.
The second death Friday from the world of politics is in the UK and Labour peer Lord Taylor of Blackburn, 87, who died after being seriously injured when his mobility scooter collided with a van outside Parliament during rush hour the previous week.
BBC News reports;
He was the Labour leader of Blackburn Council in the 1970s before being made a life peer in May 1978 and becoming a businessman.
Both elderly statesman who will be missed by colleagues.
Both men had long lives.
One however, Fidel Castro, stayed true to his political beliefs. He may have been a divisive political figure to some but he was a political giant and game-changer.
Local celebrity Brian Rix died Saturday aged 92.
His name is likely more famous with older British readers and some charity workers.
Rix was born in Cottingham on the outskirts of the Yorkshire city of Kingston-upon-Hull.
Born January 27, 1924, the youngest of four children the Rix name was famous locally for many years and linked to the oil industry.
He began his acting career aged 18, on deferred service from the Royal Air Force, with Donald Wolfit's Shakespeare Company.
By the time this blogger was a child in the 50's Rix was a familar face in British films.
The man behind the "Whitehall" farces in London theatres and across the country also managed to appear in various film comedies.
He featured in a series of one night only series of farces screened on the BBC but few survived and are archived.
He turned his attention to the charity MENCAP after the birth of his eldest daughter Shelley in 1951. She had Down syndrome a condition called mongolism back then.
Brian Rix and his wife actress Elspet Gray quickly realised that there were few schools and even less support for children with learning disabilities.
Thus began his life work.
He entered the House of Lords as a cross bencher in 1992 and campaigned tirelessly to support any legislation which would help people with learning disabilities.
The couple had three more children.
Shelley Elspet Rix died in 20o5 aged 53. Her mother and Brian Rix's wife Elspet died in 2013 aged 83.
On August 6 the Daily Mirror reported "Actor Lord Rix has revealed that terminal illness has left him in constant pain, bed-ridden and unable to sleep. The 92-year-old said he is stricken “like a beached whale” and now longs for the right to end his life. He added yesterday: “I have been dying now for two months or more and that is a very, very long time".”
Previously in the House of Lords Rix voted against the assisted dying Bill.
But that view was due to his daughter Shelley and all the other Shelleys out there.
As his health failed he had talked to his family about assisted dying and they were comfortable with it.
The cause of death is not known at this time but he was terminally ill.
Boxing legend Muhammed Ali has died aged 74. Friday there were reports that he had been hospitalised due to breathing problems but that he was doing OK. It seems he was not.
When Ali was a young boxer called Cassius Clay we used to tune in to watch him hammer his opponents. We did not so much tune in but rather were in the room watching as Dad was a boxing nut.
I have never like the brutal so-called sport of boxing but it is ironic that I married a man who is a boxing fan. He never met my father but I can imagine the two of them watching a match together and both joining in.
My father would listen to boxing on the radio and catch whatever match he could from either side of the Atlantic and he was an active armchair boxing fan. He would be almost ducking and diving as he watched his hero Cassius Clay take no prisoners.
Mum on the other hand would claim that Clay either hypnotised or talked his opponents into defeat. She was not the only person to make such wild claims.
Certainly as he danced gracefully around the ring and his opponents he kept a steely gaze on the other fighter and never seemed to stop talking.
But the reality is that in his early and younger days Clay was a magnificent boxer.
His name change followed a change of faith and for a brief time his popularity dipped a little. It allowed him to avoid the draft in America but he his reputation was tarnished to some.
The Guardian archives from April 29, 1967, report:
Boxing authorities in America today stripped Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) of his world heavyweight title and suspended his boxing licence after he had refused to be inducted into the United States Army.
But you could never keep Ali down and he returned to boxing against the odds.
He was a black rights campaigner and in the sixties when Britain had an unofficial "colour bar" he visited areas of London showing support.
A man who could not read and write but taught himself Ali was always a fighter, even outside of the ring.
From humble begins he became a giant of a sporting hero.
Sadly the years of boxing took a toll on his health.
The self-named pretty boy however kept his looks but was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and in recent years looked mentally frail.
Ali endured Parkinson's for 32 years.
According to the BBC Saturday the cause of death was from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson's disease. Sunday they have updated that to "Boxing legend Muhammad Ali died of "septic shock due to unspecified natural causes", his family has said."
Muhammed Ali was a great man, an inspiration to many, a fighter in every sense of the word, at times a big mouth, a showman and he will be missed.
Obituary: A sunny afternoon Tuesday here in Yorkshire meant all this 64-year-old wanted to do was laze about in the garden with a book. That meant as the air chilled and the sun took its downward path all that there was to do was mooch back into the house and on with the internet.
Reading on Facebook that Victoria Wood has died aged 62 and my brother commenting "This is such sad news.’Housewife, 49' was a brilliantly observed film (her script and acting). Her comedy could be gentle but thought-provoking and, more often than not, just downright funny" I felt incredibly sad; it is almost like losing a friend.
Lancashire lass Victoria Wood shot to fame as part of that generation of new comedians in the UK during the 1980s.
Sadly we have already lost comedians from that era namely Rik Mayall and Mel Smith.
Their comedy was less joke telling and more observations of life that were sometimes just too close for comfort.
Often teamed up with Julie Walters, Wood took on many roles.
These included the excellent and hilarious Acorn Antiques a spoof of long running British soap Crossroads.
Acorn Antiques may have a slightly different setting to Crossroads but the similarities are easy to spot mainly in the purposely bad acting of Acorn Antiques.
It formed part of a sketch show but many viewers simply tuned in for Acorn Antiques.
Wood performed stand-up comedy, toured, composed and sang many funny songs. She took on serious roles along the way such as Housewife 49 which highlighted that snobbery was alive and well during WWII in the UK.
She will be most recently remembered for writing and starring in BBC sit com Dinner Ladies.
It seemed fitting to start this brief obituary with one of Wood's most popular and funny renditions.
The Guardian reports her publicist, Neil Reading, said: “Victoria Wood has sadly passed away, after a short but brave battle with cancer.” The multi Bafta award-winning writer, director, actor and comedian died peacefully at her north London home with family this morning. She was 62. The family ask for privacy at this very sad time.”
"Wood married the magician Geoffrey Durham in March 1980 and the pair had two children, before separating in 2002. She was made an OBE in 1997 and a CBE in 2008. David Cameron called Wood a “national treasure” – a title Wood had sought to dismiss last year."
Victoria Wood has left us all a wealth of laughter but we will sorely miss her.