John Leslie “Les” Chadwick (born 11 May 1943, Aigburth, Liverpool, Lancashire, England) is an English bassist.
Chadwick’s bass guitar work can be heard on all of the recordings made by the 1960s pop group, Gerry & the Pacemakers.
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, in which Chadwick has a substantial role as Gerry Marsden’s sidekick “Chad”
Like many British bassist 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 & 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.
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.