"For the record, we would like to clarify that Chas did not die of cancer"
British singer-songwriter Chas Hodges from musical duo Chas and Dave died at the age of 74 on September 22.
Chas Hodges’ family released a statement today (September 25), clarifying his cause of death as pneumonia.
The statement read: “Chas’s wife Joan, his children and Dave have been overwhelmed by the many thousands of messages of love and support and would like to thank everyone for those.
“For the record, we would like to clarify that Chas did not die of cancer. The doctor’s final diagnostic was pneumonia and the cancer was under control at the time of death.
“We feel this is important to state as Chas wanted to bring comfort and hope to people suffering with cancer through his own experience with the disease, and it would mean a lot to him that the hope remains.”
The news of the late musician and poet’s death was initially confirmed via the duo’s Twitter account on September 22. The post read, “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 and Dave Peacock rose to fame in the 1970s and 80s with their lighthearted ‘rockney’ tunes that celebrated a specific brand of working-class culture. Their hits ‘Rabbit’, ‘Gertcha’, ‘Margate’ and ‘Ain’t No Pleasing You’ were more than novelty tunes, behind the humorous lyrics was solid musicianship. Their partnership lasted for over 40 years.
In 2017, Hodges revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. After undergoing chemotherapy, he returned to performing with Dave last year, but was forced to cancel recent gigs on doctor’s advice.
Tottenham FC paid tribute to lifelong Spurs fan Hodges, who performed four FA Cup final songs with Spurs, including 1981 single ‘Ossie’s Dream’, which reached number five in the charts.
Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley described Hodges as a ‘lovely lovely gentleman’ and Right Said Fred paid tribute to ‘an excellent performer and musician’.
Comedians Lenny Henry, Robin Ince and Rob Beckett all took to Twitter to praise Hodges, Henry described him as a ‘kind, respectful’ man, while Ince recalled the times he caught Chas and Dave live. Beckett said: ‘Together with Dave he wrote the soundtrack to my childhood’.
A number of fans were quick to recall Hodges’ long history in music. Before forming Chas and Dave, he worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent and Bill Haley in the late 1950s and early 60s. Hodges also played alongside the Beatles on their final British tour in 1966.
The duo had recently enjoyed a revival in popularity, supporting The Libertines and putting on a sell-out headline show at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014.
Chas and Dave were scheduled by The Libertines to perform at the Wheels and Fins festival in Kent on September 9.