Insight: Chas Chandler

I TRY TO be as basically honest as I can be… but because of the business I have to tell some lies and I always feel embarrassed… in this business you can achieve more in the end by being honest and not cheating.

I don’t like heights… at one photographic session we had to sit on the parapet of a building and I couldn’t do it — the photographer thought I was taking the mickey and got niggley about it… but I just couldn’t do it.

I’m not afraid of death — you’ve got to go sometime… I don’t believe in life after death — it’s too illogical.

I fear old age… I like to be active, I like the work, I like enjoying myself… that’s why I fear being an invalid.

I’m looking for contentment, but haven’t found it… I don’t know what it is that would make me feel content.

Basically, I like people too much and often get taken in once by a person… I never get taken in twice by them… this sort of thing doesn’t happen a lot because I’m usually good in summing people up.

I’ve already passed all the ambitions I’ve ever had… I suppose I’m looking for two other acts… with them I’d use the knowledge of all the mistakes we’ve had and I’d be able to prove to myself that I could learn from my mistakes.

It’s a great feeling being a success and I suppose I want to continue being a success — I suppose I’m a complete egotist… I don’t want to make too many enemies in the meantime.

Political things aside, I hate bad service in a restaurant while I’m hungry… I hate the fact that you go and order something and the girl behind the counter is insulting… if she doesn’t like the job, why is she there?… she projects her hate to me and all I want is a cup of tea.

I love show business… I love every minute of it… I love the ducking and diving that goes on… I love going on stage and love the feeling when the audience appreciates and digs what you’re trying to do.

Girls knock me out, quite frankly… I’ve played around a lot but I always seem to come back to the nice chicks in the end — they’re the ones that appeal to me… if a girl wants to knock me out she’s got to wear as little make-up as possible… the girls who are natural are the greatest of the lot.

I don’t altogether agree with marriage, to tell you the truth… I’ve never lived with a chick or anything like that, I suppose if I’d ever got to that stage I’d marry her… but if you look at the divorce rate you’d realise marriage is becoming out of date… I know very few happily married couples… there are lots of people who live together — and when they split up there are no hard feelings… I don’t know any divorced couples who can sit down and have a happy conversation because there have been too many lawyers involved and all that stuff.

I’ve never been religious… I went to Sunday school as a kid and my mother used to give me 2d. or 3d. for the collection — and I used to dodge it and buy ice cream or something with it… I remember the first cigarette I smoked was with my collection money — I bought it for kicks… I didn’t like it and didn’t smoke again until I was 25.

I’ve a terrible horror of war… was born before the last war and can remember the bombs and everything… I instill into the rest of the boys the horror of war… I read a lot of books on the subject and I don’t like what I read.

Very optimistic about the future… I live for today — it sounds a bit of a cliché… but whatever happens I’ll always come out all right… if I didn’t feel that way I’d still be working in a shipyard in Newcastle.

There’ll be an Atomic War within our lifetime… there’ll definitely be some atomic bombs dropped in anger — they’ve done it before, they’ll do it again… I suppose that’s why I feel optimistic — I don’t believe in life after death, so you might as well get as much enjoyment in your life as you can.

© Bill HarryRecord Mirror, 16 July 1966

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