Everyone knows the four Beatles—Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—and most people know that there was a fifth Beatle, Pete Best, who was the original drummer for the group. Some people may even know that there was a sixth Beatle, Stuart Sutcliffe, who was the original bassist for the group. But for a brief period there was a seventh Beatle—Chas Newby.
In early December 1960, the Beatles had just returned to Liverpool from their first gig in Germany. Bassist Stuart Sutcliffe decided to stay behind because of a cold, and didn’t come back to Liverpool until January 20, 1961. But the Beatles had three gigs during the time he was away and needed a fill-in bassist. They recruited their friend (and former bandmate of Pete Best) Chas Newby for the job, who was on holiday from college at the time. After the gigs were done John Lennon asked him to go back to Germany with them, but Chas refused. He never really wanted to be a full-time musician, so he decided instead to go back to school, thus ending his career as a Beatle. Newby is now a math teacher in England.
Interesting side note: Chas, like Paul McCartney (who took over as bassist when Sutcliffe left in 1961), plays bass left-handed; he also shares the same birthday as McCartney—June 18 (Chas is one year older.)
On this day in Beatles history: February 7, 1964: Beatles arrive at New York’s Kennedy Airport for their first visit to the United States. Beatlemania is born.