Charlie Tumahai

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Charlie Tumahai
Be Bop Deluxe.jpg
Background information
Born (1949-01-14)14 January 1949
Origin Orakei, Auckland
New Zealand
Died 21 December 1995(1995-12-21) (aged 46)
Genres Progressive rock, reggae
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Years active 1964–95
Labels EMI
Associated acts Be-Bop Deluxe, Chain, Friends, Healing Force, Mississippi/Little River Band, Tandoori Cassette, Herbs
Notable instruments
Fender Telecaster Bass
Fender Precision Bass

Charles Turu Tumahai (Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand 14 January 1949 – 21 December 1995)[1] was a New Zealand singer, bass player and songwriter who was a member of several noted rock groups in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. He is best known internationally as the bassist and vocalist in Bill Nelson's Be-Bop Deluxe.

He began his music career in New Zealand before moving to Australia in the late 1960s. He was a member of several notable Australian bands including Chain, Healing Force,[2] Friends and Mississippi (which later evolved into Little River Band). Tumahai travelled to the UK with Mississippi in 1974 and remained there when Mississippi broke up. Later that year he joined Be-Bop Deluxe, with whom he played and recorded until 1978. In this year, he joined The Dukes.

He returned to New Zealand in 1985 and joined the popular New Zealand reggae band Herbs. As well as music he became involved in Maori affairs, working as a voluntary member of a scheme set up to assist young Maori offenders in Auckland. He was also developing plans for an arts programme for Maori prisoners and for exploring new ways he could help young Maori people connect with their culture. He died suddenly on 21 December 1995, aged 46, after suffering a heart attack while working at the Auckland District Court.

Equipment[edit]

  • During his days with Be-Bop Deluxe, he used Fender Telecaster and Precision basses.[3]
  • From the late 80's onwards, he became known for playing a black copy of a Steinberger XL2A made by Cort.

References[edit]

External links[edit]