Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde
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timeline...part one (before 1964)

Part one of the timeline will take a look at the Chad & Jeremy that (comparatively) very few knew, the pre-fame lives of the dynamic duo...

David Chadwick, at age six.Michael Clyde, at age two.

    In 1963 and 1964, the pop music scene changed forever. Invading America on the same wave as the Beatles was a whole boatload of new British acts. One act in particular stood out from the bunch. Where others were unkempt anti-heroes, Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde were well groomed (if long haired) intellectuals. Not exactly establishment, their wit allowed them to disarm the older generation, while their music appealed not only to the average teenybopper, but to her parents and to her college-aged brother as well. Their natural acting talent enabled them to appear in the homes of millions of Americans on a regular basis. Their records sold millions of copies worldwide. But we're getting way ahead of ourselves . . . .

    Long before there was Chad and Jeremy, the duo, there were Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde, the people.  Chad was born David Stuart Chadwick, in Windermere, in the North West of England, on December 10th, 1941. His father, Frank, worked in the lumber industry and his mother, Alice, was a nurse. After an idyllic early childhood, his father was transferred to the North East of England, to a town called Hartlepool, which Chad recalls as a "not very pleasant place in which to grow up". Fortunately, his musical talents were recognized early on and at the age of ten, he went away to Durham Cathedral school where he was a chorister. (For the uninitiated, that's a boy singer.)  After graduation, he attended art school for a year before switching to drama. He won a scholarship to the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, which is where he met Jeremy.
    
    Michael Thomas Jeremy Clyde was born to an entirely different set of circumstances. His father's family had made a name for themselves in the shipping industry, and his mother was the daughter of the Duke of Wellington. (Remember your history? Jeremy's great great great grandfather defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo. Good for Jeremy's great great great grandfather, and good for Britain.)  He was born on March 22, 1941, in Dorney, Buckinghamshire, 20 miles west of London.  Jeremy attended Eton, England's most prestigious private school, where, foreshadowing his future fame, he was both soloist in the choir and very active in drama and film. In fact, one film he wrote and directed during his Eton days won an Amateur Oscar. He also spent a year at Grenoble in France, which he remembers as "sort of a degree in partying!" Jeremy set his sights on a professional acting career, and the Central School of Speech and Drama. It was early in his second year when that serendipitous meeting between Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde took place. Jeremy was known not only as a rising acting talent, but also a musical talent, and so he took immediate interest when a friend told him about a first year student who was "a genius, because he could play the Shadow's 'Apache" all the way through!". 
Jeremy in '63 The Jerks in 1962
They struck up a fast friendship, the basis of which was Chad's teaching Jeremy how to play the guitar. Jeremy remember: "When I met Chad, I could play six chords, and gradually, he got me playing 12, then 18, then 24." By 1962, as well as playing together as a folk duo, they had formed a band. The Jerks were a scruffy, long-haired, rock and roll group, a few years before such things were fashionable.   Lead singer Stephen Holder, stage named "Stephen Geraud", was not the greatest vocalist of all time, but he was able to use his connections to get the band a new amp, making him alright by the standards of any twenty year-old starving drama student cum budding rock star. Along with Jeremy and the recently rechristened (though he wouldn't change it legally until 1964) "Chad Stuart" were Liam Hill, a local real estate agent, on drums and on bass, Ray Stiles, whose father owned a music store - a handy place to rehearse and borrow equipment. The biggest gig they ever seem to have gotten, outside of school dances, was for the Coming-Out Ball (the 1960s British upper class equivalent of a "sweet sixteen" party) for Duke of Wellington's niece, who just happened to be Jeremy's cousin. 

    Chad got himself elected secretary of the students union and one of his duties was to make new students welcome. He became enamored with one of them, a beautiful young brunette named Jill Gibson. She later became his wife and went on to a career in her own right in America as one of Eileen Ford's top models. From this point on, Chad had two important partnerships in his life - his romantic one with Jill, and his musical one with Jeremy. Funny how, either way you slice it, it's still C&J, isn't it?

      Jeremy graduated a year ahead of Chad and departed for the Dundee Repertory Theatre in the Northernmost part of Scotland. The band broke up and Chad, facing the boredom of a year in drama school without his best mate, made a momentous decision. It was time to leave Chad in '63 school and get into the record business. He first got a job as a copyist, while studying arranging with Gordon Franks, one of England's foremost composer-arrangers. Around this time he began a song writing collaboration with Russell Alquist, who was married to Juliet Mills (older sister of Hayley).
Jeremy with Russell Alquist
     Before too long, Jeremy returned from Scotland, ready to conquer the world of the theatre. But a protracted strike by the actor's union, Equity, prevented him from getting any sort of acting job! There was one obvious way for Jeremy to earn some cash - form a duo with your best friend. One of the first places they ever played was a coffeehouse called Tina's, for the grand payment of $15 a week and free meals. Before long they were attracting a fair amount of attention.

      Composer and record producer John Barry saw the duo and decided to sign them.  Chad explains it thus: "Jeremy's mother knew a literary agent who new a manager - Tony Lewis- who dragged John Barry in to Tina's one night."  Barry had by then left his position at EMI, and was a freelance producer and composer, then in the midst of his series of classic 007 scores.  He made a deal with Ember Records, the only small independent label in England at that time, to produce the duo in an attempt to make a name for the obviously talented twosome. It was a fateful decision which virtually guaranteed hit- making problems in Britain for Chad & Jeremy. Ember was a tiny label, with no real distribution or promotional resources.  It was the summer of 1963, and too early to anticipate the emergence of British acts in America. The dynamic duo would have to fight hard to have hit records in the U. K.

 

II. Fame, Part One (1964-1966)

III. Fame, Part Two (1966-1968)

IV. Epilogue (1969-1982)

V. Rebirth (1983-1987)

VI. The Wilderness Years (1987-2002)

VII. C&J Today (2002-present)



An Electric Paintbox production.
Copyright 2006  Frank Jason Rhoden.
 

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