Les Chadwick was the bassist for Gerry & the Pacemakers. Born John Leslie Chadwick in Liverpool in 1943, he reached his teens amid the skiffle boom. He was a boyhood friend of George Harrison -- both were guitar enthusiasts. Chadwick eventually linked up with Gerry Marsden and Freddie Marsden who, with Arthur Mack (nee McMahon) on piano, had formed Gerry & the Pacemakers out of their earlier incarnation as the Mars Bars. They'd evolved out of skiffle and into rock & roll, with a repertory that included country & western, folk, and R&B numbers. When Chadwick joined, he didn't even own an electric bass guitar -- in those days, he played a Fender Stratocaster guitar with the bass setting on the amplifier cranked up to the top. Coming out of a 1959 event built around visiting American rock & roller Gene Vincent, the group made their name playing a lively, highly danceable brand of rock & roll that went over big in Liverpool and also in Hamburg. They rose to national (and, later, international) fame directly behind the Beatles, recording for the same label, Parlophone, and sharing the same producer, George Martin. Apart from a few live efforts early in their history, such as attempting to do a version of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five," the Pacemakers never aspired to do very complex or groundbreaking music -- what they recorded was what they could (and would) do on-stage. Their music was rock & roll, with occasional four-instrument adaptations of pop standards and show tunes (most notably "You'll Never Walk Alone") -- their most subtle and sophisticated playing was on the latter, and originals such as "Ferry Cross the Mersey" and "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" (a shared group copyright). Chadwick shared copyrights with Gerry Marsden on a couple of early songs, "Away from You" and "It Happened to Me," but his main role was as a bassist, and he and Freddie Marsden made a solid rhythm section, and the very fact that they could be heard amid the screaming fans that were typical of their shows from 1963 onward, and in some of the vast venues they were booked into (especially in the States), spoke well for their work; for a perspective on their sound and range, check out the group's album tracks and also the live recordings from the Gerry in California EP, and The T.A.M.I. Show movie. Chadwick remained with the group until their breakup in 1966, after which, having had a lot of fun, made a little money, and seen a lot more of the world than he'd ever expected to when he started out in music, he decided to quit while he was ahead of the game. He went into partnership with Les Maguire, Mack's successor on keyboards, in a garage business, and moved to Sydney, Australia in the 1980s, where he opened an employment agency. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi