Les Chadwick

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Les Chadwick
John Leslie Chadwick

11 May 1943
Died26 December 2019 (aged 76)
Known forBass guitarist in Gerry and the Pacemakers

John Leslie Chadwick[1] (11 May 1943[2] – 26 December 2019), was an English bassist, best known as a member of Gerry and the Pacemakers.


Chadwick was born in Aigburth, Liverpool, Lancashire (now Merseyside), England. His bass guitar work can be heard on all of the 1960s recordings made by the pop group, Gerry and the Pacemakers.[1]

Chadwick originally did not own a bass guitar and played a standard Fender Stratocaster with the bass setting exaggerated until obtaining a proper bass. He eventually acquired a sunburst Epiphone Rivoli bass which he used for most of his performances with the Pacemakers. This bass can be seen in the film Ferry Cross the Mersey (1965) in which Chadwick has a substantial role as Gerry Marsden's sidekick "Chad".[citation needed]

Like many British bassists of the era, he used a plectrum and favoured short scale hollow body basses such as the Epiphone and a Höfner Verythin.

On 19 October 1961, the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers merged to become the 'Beatmakers', for a one-off performance in Litherland Town Hall. The line-up comprised Gerry Marsden, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Les Maguire, Pete Best, Freddy Marsden, plus vocalist Karl Terry from the Cruisers with Chadwick on bass guitar.[3]

When the Pacemakers split up in 1966, he bought a garage with fellow former Pacemaker, Les Maguire. In 1973, Chadwick moved to Sydney, Australia, where he set up an employment agency.[1]

He died in Sydney on 26 December 2019, from brain cancer, aged 76.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b c "Ask Jeeves - What's Your Question?". Uk.ask.com. Retrieved 8 March 2014.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Les Chadwick : Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 99. ISBN 978-0600576020.
  4. ^ Paddy Shennan, "Pacemaker Les, 76, loses battle with brain cancer", Liverpool Echo, 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020
  5. ^ "John Leslie “Les” Chadwick, bass guitarist with Gerry & the Pacemakers has passed away.", Facebook