At first glance cockney geezers Chas And Dave would be unlikely bedfellows for a rapper like Eminem but the three of them all appear on the hip-hopper’s breakthrough 1999 hit “My Name Is.”
NME reports that it’s a little known but intriguing fact that Chas Hodges, who sadly passed away last week at the age of 74, played the catchy and lilting guitar on Slim Shady’s classic track.
The song, which was the first small step in Eminem’s journey to becoming a household name and conquering the globe, also features Dave Peacock’s bouncing bassline.
Here’s how the strange hybrid happened in the first place.
Before Chas And Dave invented “rockney” and smashed into the hit parade throughout the 1980s with crowd-pleasing classics such as “Margate,” “Gertcha,” “The Sideboard Song,” and “Ain’t No Pleasing You,” they were jobbing session musicians.
One of those sessions was to provide guitar and bass on soft rock musician Labi Siffre’s “I’ve Got The…”
You can find the track on Labi Siffre’s album Remember My Name. It takes two and a half minutes before the iconic refrain kicks in but when it does it’s unmistakable.
The bizarre pop fact first came to light in author Mark Mason’s book published in 2009, The Importance Of Being Trivial.
The writer explains that Chas was not really a hip-hop fan and only became aware of his and Dave’s involvement on the Eminem track when his son clued him in.
“The first Chas heard of his connection with rap royalty, he told me, was from his son. He came into the room and said, ‘I can’t believe it – my dad’s on a worldwide hit!’ What about royalties? ‘We ain’t had any yet,’ said Chas, ‘but someone’s chasing it up. We’ve signed something, anyway.'”
Strangely this wasn’t the first time Chas And Dave had mad a foray into the world of rap. Wu-Tang Clan sampled the same bassline on 1993’s “Can It Be All So Simple” and Jay Z’s 1997 track “Streetz Is Watching” is also liberally sprinkled with that old Chas And Dave vibe.
Chas and Dave were musical partners for five decades and more importantly the best of mates. Chas, who had been battling cancer, passed away on Saturday night but that morning the two old-timers were enjoying a spot of fishing together.
Fondly recalling the last time he saw his old mate, Dave said, “His spirits were always up. Nothing ever got him down. We sat there fishing, having a bit of banter. He was singing – he was always singing. Even when he was eating – he couldn’t stop. He was great.”
It’s unclear if Eminem has even been a fan of Chas And Dave and their rollicking cockney jams, but what would be great is if Eminem could return the favor and do a hip-hop version of “The Sideboard Song.”