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Exclusive: Chad Stuart on Beatlemania, 'Dick Van Dyke Show,' 'Batman' part 2

(Introduction: Here's the second part of our exclusive interview with Chad Stuart of Chad & Jeremy, who'll be performing at this weekend's Fest for Beatles Fans. You can read the first part here.)

Chad & Jeremy in 1966.
Wikimedia Commons unless noted.
Chad & Jeremy
Courtesy Chad & Jeremy

Chad Stuart says he also met Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

“Ringo, I only sort of politely met him at a BBC taping of 'Juke Box Jury' where he said 'Summer Song' wouldn't make it in England, but it would be a hit in the States. And he was right. And then George I met because he came to a performances of 'Pump Boys and Dinettes' that Jeremy and I were in. It was a pretty goofy show, but it did quite well for a while. And George came and we all went out for drinks afterwards. It was great. He's a good man. He was nice enough to let me and my second wife borrow his house in Hawaii, which was terribly nice of him.

“That was a trip and a half. That gave me an indication of what it was like to live that life. Planes and boats would go by with guys with megaphones, yelling,'George Harrison's house.' I mean, that's quite a price to pay.”

Stuart said he found Geoff Emerick's book on recording the Beatles, “Here There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Beatles,” while on vacation in Hawaii and couldn't put it down.

“I realized it was obvious. They go into a situation where they could experiment. To George Martin's credit, he let them experiment. And that's really important. He was using the studio as one giant instrument full of toys. Very interesting. What appealed to me about Emerick's book is it was from a record production point of view. And that was fascinating to me.”

Chad and Jeremy appeared on several TV shows in the '60s. Perhaps the best known of these was their guest appearance on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in the episode “The Redcoats Are Coming” in which they played a duo that was basically the Beatles.

“They were on a very tight schedule,” Stuart says. "It took a week. So you go in on Monday morning and you run through the script sitting at a long table with coffee and donuts and hopefully all the other actors. And you run it with all the other actors and shoot it on Friday, as I remember. That was the first American sitcom we ever did and easily the best. Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore and the other guys, Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam and the director was Carl Reiner. You couldn't do much better than that. It was great.”

He said they also doing “The Patty Duke Show,” in which they played a similar role as a singing duo, was equally fun.

“'The Patty Duke Show' was great. We liked her a lot. She's heck of an actress. But the whole principle was a little weird. I mean identical cousins? What the heck is that all about?”

They also did a guest shot on the Adam West “Batman” series.

“That was a lot of fun to do. Adam West lives up here, just up the road from here. He's a super actor. He must have known when he did 'Batman' that that would hammer a dent in his acting career. It's funny, but up here if you look up Adam West in the phone book, it says, 'See Batman.' Then you look up Batman and it says, 'See Adam West.' “We didn't have an integral part in the story other than it was about this act, Chad & Jeremy, and the Catwoman stole our voices. And so we didn't have a lot to do but get our voices. It was fun to do. The most disillusioning thing was finding the Batmobile was a beat old Chevy with a fancy outside. The inside was rubbish. They didn't shoot the inside. They just shot the outside.”

The duo put out a new album in 2013 called “Rien Ne Va Plus.”

“What (the title) means is in French casinos 'Rien Ne Va Plus' is what they do when they call a halt to the card games or whatever. And what it means in English is 'nothing goes any more.' It's like saying stop. But it's a song Jeremy wrote with his lyricist Dave Pierce and it's kind of maudlin and sad. We may do it onstage if I bring a mandolin.”

He also says the most recent album could also be their last.

“Odds are we won't be getting together and doing any new material any time soon because we had a big fire up here and I had to tear down my recording studio. We got lucky and didn't have to evacuate, but now the studio is in boxes.”

However, he is working on fixing it up.

“I'm redecorating the room and rebuilding it and making it more of an atmosphere than making it just a bunch of gear.”

He says for him the studio is like a retreat.

“It's just a place to go and be alone. It's great. You don't work with a committee or a staff producer and all of that other rubbish, and you just get on with it.”


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