How Chas and Dave ended up on an Eminem track

Gertcha lugs round this

Some sniffy reactions to Chas and Dave's appearance on the Today programme this morning, but I don't care (I don't care, I don't care if he comes round here …) The doyens of pub rock can do little wrong in my opinion. And if you don't trust that, maybe you'll trust the opinion of Eminem. He sampled their work for his first hit ‘My Name Is …'

How Chas and Dave ended up on an Eminem track

Or rather he sampled Labi Siffre's work, in the form of the track I Got The ... from Siffre's 1975 album Remember My Name. But who are two of the session musicians on that track? None other than Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock, in the days before they teamed up and consigned their surnames to obscurity. Chas played guitar, Dave bass.

Chas confirmed the story when I checked it during research for my book The Importance of Being Trivial. The first he 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.'

You can hear the track in question here (the relevant section starts at 2'08"). And once you have, you'll never listen to Rabbit in the same way again ...


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Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.