Remembering Chas Chandler On His Birthday

The Animals bassist and Jimi Hendrix’s former manager was born on this day in 1938

Remembering Chas Chandler On His Birthday

Bryan James “Chas” Chandler was born on December 18th, 1938 in Heaton, England. Having originally learned to play the guitar, he became the bass player with The Alan Price Trio in 196 which later, after Eric Burdon join the band, were renamed to The Animals. Chandler’s bass intros on some of The Animals hits such as the 1965 “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” received praise. He was also the most prominent of the group’s backing vocalists and did occasional songwriting with Burdon. In 1966, despite commercial success, Chandler became disillusioned with the lack of money, he changed direction in the music business and became a talent scout, artist manager, and record producer. Chandler played a key role on the rise to fame of Jimi Hendrix, During his final tour with The Animals, Chandler saw a then-unknown Jimi Hendrix play in Cafe Wha?, a Greenwich Village, New York City nightclub. At the time Hendrix was performing under the name “Jimmy James”. In September, Chandler convinced James to accompany him to Britain,there Chandler recruited bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell as the other members of the Experience. His enthusiasm fueled Hendrix during the early days. Chandler provided the young musician with living accommodations and financed the Experience’s first single “Hey Joe”, before they had a recording contract. He was also instrumental in introducing Hendrix to Eric Clapton. It was through this introduction that Hendrix was given the opportunity to play with Clapton and Cream on stage.It was Chandler’s idea for Hendrix to set his guitar on fire, which made national news when this idea was used at a concert at the Finsbury Astoria Theater and subsequently at the Monterey Pop festival. Hendrix’s sound engineer Eddie Kramer later recalled that Chandler was very hands on with the first two Hendrix albums, adding that “he was his mentor and I think it was very necessary.” By 1968, Chandler had become fed up with the recording sessions for Hendrix’s album “Electric Ladyland”, claiming they were self-indulgent. He left Hendrix’s management service during the following year. Chandler then managed and produced the British Glam Rock band Slade for twelve years, during which they achieved six number one chart hits in the UK. In 1977, Chandler played and recorded with The Animals during a brief reunion and he joined them again for a further revival in 1983, at which point he sold his business interests, in order to concentrate on being a musician. Chas Chandler died of an aortic aneurysm at Newcastle General Hospital on 17 July 1996, only days after performing his final solo show. Chas was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 as a member of The Animals.

Look back at The Animals performing “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” featuring Chas Chandler famous bass line intro in 1965

Listen to the compilation album “The Most Of Animals” on Spotify

Watch more 1960’s related videos


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