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Chas Newby dead: Former bassist for The Beatles dies aged 81

Tributes have poured in for the late musician, the first left-handed bassist for the band (Picture: BPM Media)

Chas Newby, who played the bass for The Beatles in 1960, has died at the age of 81.

The late musician performed as part of the band for a brief amount of time, while the group’s original bassist, Stuart Sutcliffe, was away pursuing his art career. His cause of death is yet to be announced.

Tributes have poured in for the late musician, including from Roag Best, the brother of former Beatles drummer Pete Best.

In a post on Facebook, he wrote: ‘Both Pete and I and the whole Best family absolutely devasted to hear the very sad news with regards to one of the families closest friends Chas Newby passing last night.

‘Many of you will know him for playing bass guitar for both The Beatles and The Quarrymen, but to us he was laid back Chas with the big smile. We’ll truly miss him. Forever in our thoughts. God bless you Chas x.’

A friend of Newby’s also penned: ‘I am so sad to learn that our dear friend, Chas Newby, has passed away. Chas was (temporarily) the second bass player in The Beatles, after Stu Sutcliffe and before Paul McCartney. He also played in the re-formed Quarry Men and his local pub band.’

Newby was a ‘great storyteller’, a friend wrote in tribute (Picture: BPM Media)

They wrote how ‘blessed’ they were that Newby went to their daughter’s wedding reception, and recalled kjamming together.

‘Chas had a sense of humor that brought a smile to everyone he met. And he was a great storyteller. We will miss you Chas,’ they concluded.

The Cavern Club Liverpool, one of the venues where The Beatles frequently played, also issued a statement regarding Newby’s death.

‘It’s with great sadness to hear about the passing of Chas Newby. Chas stepped in for The Beatles for a few dates when Stuart Sutcliffe stayed in Hamburg and latterly he played for The Quarrymen,’ it read.

‘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 also played the bass left handed, just like Paul McCartney

In 2019, Newby spoke to the Liverpool Echo about his experience of playing with The Beatles, when he filled in for Sutcliffe among the band’s return to their home city from West Germany.

He played four gigs in total with the group, and joked that he was the first left-handed bass played for The Beatles, as McaCartney played the rhythm guitar.

He told the publication four years ago: ‘I borrowed a bass from a guy called Tommy McGuirk, but of course Tommy was right handed, so I got this bass guitar and it’s not as difficult as it sounds but I just played it upside down.’

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