Nécrologie – Mort cause de décès.
Chas Newby, the former bassist of the Beatles at the beginning of their career, has passed away at the age of 81. The news was first announced by the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles gained their fame, and later confirmed by Roag Best, the brother of former Beatles drummer Pete Best.
The cause of his death has not yet been announced.
The Cavern Club Liverpool wrote on Facebook: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Chas Newby. Chas replaced the Beatles for a few dates when Stuart Sutcliffe stayed in Hamburg and later played for the Quarrymen. It is interesting to note that he was the first left-handed bass guitarist of the Beatles. RIP Chas Newby: thoughts and good wishes from everyone at the Cavern Club.”
Roag Best wrote: “Pete and I, as well as the entire Best family, are absolutely devastated by the very sad news of the passing of one of the closest friends of the family, Chas Newby, last night. Many of you know him for playing bass guitar for the Beatles and the Quarrymen, but for us, he was the easy-going Chas with the big smile. He will be greatly missed. He will forever remain in our thoughts. God bless you Chas.”
Newby played bass with the Beatles for a short period of concerts in late 1960 when the then-bassist, Stuart Sutcliffe, was unable to play with the group. Sutcliffe later resumed his activities with the Beatles until his departure in July of the following year. Newby was also the first left-handed bassist of the group, followed by guitarist-turned-bassist Paul McCartney.
Newby also played with the Quarrymen between 2016 and 2022.
After performing with the Beatles, Newby returned to university to complete his studies. He told Sunday Mercury in 2012: “Music was never a livelihood for me. At the time, we were all thinking about what we were going to do with our lives, some teaching, some studying science, etc. I wanted to do chemistry. John, Paul, and George just wanted to be musicians. But I did the four concerts and went back to university the following week.”
Since the announcement of his death, Newby has received a handful of tributes, including from Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, who wrote: “RIP Chas Newby, replacement Beatle, and honest man. He replaced Stuart on a few dates when the Beatles returned from Hamburg for the first time, late 1960, including the famous Litherland date. Recently he was also one of the Quarry Men. A charming man, always a pleasure to meet.”
It is a developing story, and further details are yet to be released. However, the legacy of Chas Newby as the first left-handed bassist of the Beatles will always be remembered by music enthusiasts worldwide.