Rest In Peace Chas
Chas Newby, the former bassist for The Beatles, sadly passed away in London on Tuesday. Although his contribution to the world’s most iconic band is not widely known, it is worth acknowledging.
During the early 1960s, The Beatles were making a name for themselves in Hamburg, Germany, performing at The Cavern Club. At that time, the band consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Pete Best on drums, and Stuart Sutcliffe on bass guitar. When Sutcliffe decided to pursue his art career, The Beatles found themselves in need of a bassist.
Enter Chas Newby, who had previously played with John and Paul in their earlier group, The Quarrymen. When asked to step in, Chas graciously accepted the opportunity. This was a crucial moment in The Beatles’ ascent as they were gaining recognition in Germany, leading to a record deal and ultimately making history.
Despite his temporary stint with the band, Chas had other aspirations. He had a keen interest in pursuing a university education and specializing in chemistry. Consequently, he made the decision to leave The Beatles. After graduating, Chas secured a job at a company manufacturing windshields for trains and airplanes.
For Beatles enthusiasts wondering why they needed a bass player when Paul McCartney already played bass, it is important to note that during that period, Paul primarily played rhythm guitar and piano. After some coaxing, he reluctantly assumed the bass duties and excelled in the role.
As for Chas, he expressed no regrets about departing from the famous group. He stated, “Music was never going to be a sustainable career for me. I wanted to pursue chemistry.” He further added, “Some people find it hard to believe, but I genuinely have no regrets.”
Chas Newby’s contributions may have been brief, but they played a significant part in The Beatles’ journey. His decision to follow his passion for chemistry ultimately led him on a different path, and he embraced it without any remorse.
RIP Chas Newby, fill-in Beatle and fair chap. He deputised for Stuart on a few dates when the Beatles returned from Hamburg the first time, end-1960, including the momentous Litherland date. Latterly he’s been one of the Quarry Men too. A charming man, always a pleasure to meet. pic.twitter.com/f3EqtlIL3I
— Mark Lewisohn (@marklewisohn) May 23, 2023
Here is his last interview before his death.