|Born||14 January 1949|
|Died||21 December 1995(aged 46)|
|Genres||Progressive rock, reggae|
|Associated acts||Be-Bop Deluxe, Chain, Friends, Healing Force, Mississippi/Little River Band, Tandoori Cassette, Herbs, The Dukes (British band)|
|Fender Telecaster Bass
Fender Precision Bass
Charles Turu Tumahai (14 January 1949 in Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand – 21 December 1995) 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, 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.
- During his days with Be-Bop Deluxe, he used Fender Telecaster and Precision basses.
- From the late 1980s onwards, he became known for playing a black copy of a Steinberger XL2A made by Cort.
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