Twenty years ago today rock legend Chas Chandler died on North Tyneside. He was 57.  He’d been a founding member of The Animals, a Newcastle band who surfed the wave of Beatlemania in the US and topped the charts both sides of the Atlantic in 1964 with House of the Rising Sun.


Within months of leaving the  The Animals in 1966  he’d discovered Jimi Hendrix and was living in Swinging London with him and nurturing Jimi’s unique talent. Chas managed Jimi, produced his albums and seemingly loved and cared for him like a family member. It was with a heavy heart he walked away from Hendrix. Chas couldn’t bear the Hendrix groupies, the heavy drug scene and all that time-wasting in the studio. It was not what this hard-working Geordie bloke wanted to do with his working time.

Chas went on to discover Slade and guided them to chart success in the UK and Australia. The Wolverhampton Wonders never “broke” America. There’s no accounting for taste…

Chas never forgot Hendrix. It appears he felt responsible for his death and in 1991, 21 years after Hendrix died Chandler commented:“My only obvious regret is I wonder if I didn’t walk out maybe he would still be alive. He is a loss; he was a good friend.”

chas again

I spent several years researching and writing a biography of Chas. Sadly it never reached publication stage but I’m still keen to do something with my research. In the meantime I was pleased to contribute to an article on BBC Online about Chas, Jimi…and  heart-warming news about his youngest daughter. You’ll have to read the article to find out what she and her family are up to today. Thank you for the music, Chas, the songs we’re still singing…