The Beatles' temporary bassist Chas Newby: History and Facts
Today The Beatles are known as the Great Liverpool Four, whose bassist and ideological "engine" (along with John Lennon) until the collapse was Paul McCartney. However, the early history of the band, when the Beatles were just taking their first steps into the world of the music industry, was different... Thus, their first drummer was Pete Bestand Paul's place was taken by Stuart Sutcliffe. In the early 1960s Sutcliffe left the lineup temporarily and stayed in Hamburg, Germany, to concentrate a little on the visual arts. And returning from Germany without him, the Beatles were faced with the question: who would be their new bass player?
The name of this man is known only to the most devoted fans of The Beatles, who have studied the biography of the band up and down. It is not even mentioned in most books about the Beatles! Well, that's not surprising: Chas Newby was the Beatles' bass player for only a few gigs. He played a couple of shows in Liverpool with John, George and their drummer Pete as Sutcliffe's replacement. However, when the band decided to return to Germany, Ches stayed in his homeland, intending to get the desired education and a profession far removed from music...
When Ches briefly joined the Beatles, their lineup included George Harrison, John Lennon, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe, who had decided to say goodbye to his musical career and devote himself to the visual arts. What Ches played with the Beatles several concertsThe reason for this was due to his connections, namely his friendship with Pete. In his interview, Newby said:
"Me and Pete knew each other well from another Liverpool band we used to play in, The Blackjacks!"
So, back to the events that forced the Beatles to enlist Chas' help. As the band returned to Liverpool and Sutcliffe stayed in Germany, the Beatles urgently needed bassist for four concertstwo of which took place at Liverpool's legendary The Casbah Coffee Club. One concert Newby played with the band at Litherland Town Hall in Litherland, England, has been retrospectively called the beginning of Beatlemania. Even then the Beatles were gaining fans and, in particular, female fans... It was around this time that Newby was in his second year at university. Many years later he recalled:
"I was asked to play bass as a temporary replacement for Stuart. I knew it wouldn't be for long, so I agreed..."
Shortly after the last performance in Liverpool with Newby on bass, it was time for the band to return to Hamburgand Ches stayed in his homeland.
"I assumed Stuart would be back by early January 1961..."
He was far from the truth, for already in 1962 Sutcliffe had died of cerebral haemorrhages At the age of 21.
He never wanted to be a professional musician
When they parted ways, Ches had no way of knowing how legendary the Beatles would become in just a few years. However, such speculation... he had. And yet...
"In my mind, I might have allowed that one day they would be a great band. You know, miracles happen, and the guys you have coffee with today could be stars tomorrow! But no matter what, I wasn't going to stay in the band from the beginning. I knew I was going back to college. That was very important to me. And I was never going to be a professional musician - rather, music was my teenage hobby. I knew that it was never going to be my livelihood. You know, everyone has their own path in life. For me, my true passion was chemistry. That's what I always wanted to do..."
Newby also recalled feesHe and the other Beatles guys got for their concerts:
"We got £1 for each performance, and that wasn't sustenance. I worked, and my education was paid for..."
So: in 1962, Sutcliffe was gone. Soon enough. Paul McCartney took over as bassist in the band, and Pete Best was replaced by Ringo StarrThe most famous lineup in the history of British rock was completed.
As for Newby, he got a degree in chemistry and became a teacher, which, in his own words, he was always more than satisfied with. Newby, however, hasn't completely given up on music. Since 2016, he's been performing and touring with a revamped tribute lineup The Quarrymen - the name of the band that could be considered the starting point in the history of The Beatles. Alas, in May 2023, at the age of 81, Chas was gone...