Me & My Life
Len “Chip” Hawkes was born Leonard Donald Stanley Hawkes on November 2, 1945 in Shepherd’s Bush… Music was always in his soul. At the young age of about 14, Len knew what he wanted to do when he first heard Elvis (his idol) sing ‘Jailhouse Rock’. However, he came by the nickname “Chip” due to being a carpenter’s apprentice when he got his break with The Tremeloes.
Chip Hawkes started his professional music career in 1962 with “The Horizons”. The
band featured Chip on bass & Rod Evans on vocals (who later became the original singer for “Deep Purple”). Like many other young musicians such as The Beatles, The Searchers, Cliff Bennett, etc., The Horizons learned their craft in Germany (Hamburg, etc.). Chip joined “Brian Poole & The Tremeloes” in late 1965 and this format went on for about 1 year. Brian embarked on a solo career which eventually led to them splitting. Chip & Alan Blakely found the song “Here Comes My Baby” written by Cat Stevens which proved to be their first global hit and first US success. “Brian Poole & The Tremeloes” hits were restricted predominantly in the UK, Sweden & Denmark.
Over the next 6 to 7 years, “The Tremeloes” produced worldwide hits such as “Silence Is Golden” (which reached #1 all over the world - including the US). Many of the hits were penned by Chip.
In 1974 Chip left the band and was signed by RCA to record in Nashville, Tennessee. He & his young family lived there for 5 years. In 1979 Chip reformed “The Tremeloes” and moved back to the UK. “The Tremeloes” continued touring all over Europe until 1988 when Chip left the band to concentrate on the musical career of his eldest son, Chesney, who had a massive global hit with “The One & Only” written by Nik Kershaw. Chip was not cut out to be a manager at all and after about 2 years of not doing live gigs he formed his own group “The Chip Hawkes Band” and toured with them very successfully all over Europe in the 90’s.
In 2003 Chip formed “The Class Of ‘64” and found a new lease on life. The band included Mick Avory (“The Kinks”) & Eric Haydock (“The Hollies”), allowing Chip to perform classics such as “Waterloo Sunset” & “The Air That I Breathe” along with all The Tremeloes hits. Unfortunately, the band with this format ran its course after 4 years. Chip & the boys went their separate ways, although Chip still occasionally uses the name “The Class Of ‘64” for exclusive gigs.
Chip has found another lease on life. The demand for him as a solo artist has been huge in the UK and Europe as well as the US and he has toured with Gerry Marsden stateside. Chip has earned the much deserved reputation for being one of the most charismatic and exciting solo artists on the Sixties and Seventies circuit. After facing a serious illness that kept him from performing, Chip is once again doing what he loves. Currently, Chip is still gigging as a solo artist as well as with the updated line up of The Tremeloes. Chip is a fighter & living proof you can’t keep a good man down.
Written by Len in 2008... Updated by Dawn in 2019