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Chas Newby, Former Bassist for The Beatles, Dies at 81

By    |   Wednesday, 24 May 2023 11:32 AM EDT

Chas Newby, a bassist who famously performed in the early lineup for The Beatles and played one of the band's most formative shows of the 1960s, has died at 81.

The news was confirmed by the Liverpool venue the Cavern Club, the city's epicenter of Beatles tourism, in a post on Facebook on Tuesday. 

"It's with great sadness to hear about the passing of Chas Newby," the venue management wrote. "Interestingly, he was also the first left-handed bass guitarist in the Beatles. RIP Chas Newby thoughts and well wishes from everybody at The Cavern Club."

Newby first became acquainted with members of The Beatles while performing alongside Pete Best — who would later briefly play drums for the iconic pop group — in the skiffle group The Blackjacks, according to Guitar World.

The band often played at a club operated by Best's mother in the cellar of her Victorian home, which is where The Quarrymen, comprised of a young John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, also performed.

"The only reason people know who I am is down to Pete Best," Newby told Liverpool newspaper The Echo. "I was at school with Peter and I played rugby with him, and when his mum opened that club, The Casbah Club, underneath their house, we were all there on the first night."

The Quarrymen went on to become The Beatles, recruiting Best, then Newby, during its formative stays in Hamburg.

The band played four shows with Newby, including at Litherland Town Hall, which was a pivotal point in the band's career. 

"It was that evening that we really came out of our shell and let go. We stood there being cheered for the first time," Lennon recalled in 1967, according to The Beatles Bible.

"This was when we began to think that we were good. Up to Hamburg we'd thought we were OK, but not good enough. It was only back in Liverpool that we realized the difference and saw what had happened to us while everyone else was playing Cliff Richard s***."

As The Beatles returned to Hamburg, Newby returned to his studies and became a math teacher. 

"RIP Chas Newby, fill-in Beatle and fair chap," wrote The Beatles biographical writer Mark Lewisohn in a tribute on Twitter. "A charming man, always a pleasure to meet."

Zoe Papadakis

Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


TheWire
Chas Newby, a bassist who famously performed in the early lineup for The Beatles and played one of the band's most formative shows of the 1960s, has died at 81.
beatles, bassist, chas newby
385
2023-32-24
Wednesday, 24 May 2023 11:32 AM
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