Today, November 24, 2022, is Pete Best’s 81st birthday. Liverpudlian, born in India, was the first drummer of The Beatles and joined the band alongside John Lennon, Paul McCartney and george harrison. However, on August 16, 1962, he was expelled from the group. The Fab Three replaced Pete with a drummer they had met over the years, Ringo Star. Although he hasn’t spoken much about Pete in the past, he did have some rough comments for the musician.
Ringo explained that his arrival in the band in 1962 was not well received by the band’s fans. He said: “There were riots! Pete had a big following, but I had been known for years at Liverpool so I had a number of supporters as well. So there was this whole game of shouting : ‘Ringo never, Peter forever’ and: ‘Pete never, Ringo forever.’ There was this whole battle going on, and I’m just trying to drum up.”
Years later, however, he thought back to Pete’s drums and turned his nose up at him. He said: “Pete Best? – No offense, but I never thought he was a great drummer.” (via Culture Sonar)
30 years after Pete was kicked out of the band, Ringo is still being asked if he ever felt sorry for replacing the young drummer. He replied confidently, “No. Why should I? I was a better player than him. That’s how I got the job!”
Despite these comments, it seemed that Pete’s drumming wasn’t the only reason for his exclusion from the Beatles.
Ringo’s biography, Ringo: With a Little Help, was written by Michael Seth Starr (no relation), who revealed that Pete had a very different persona from John, George and Paul.
Michael wrote: “His personality slowly drove a wedge between Pete and his fellow Beatles. Best was moody and aloof, didn’t seem to share the same sense of humor as his Beatles brothers and, more often than not, kept to himself after a show rather than joke with the guys.” (sic)
Paul corroborated this claim, once calling his former drummer “different”. He said: “Pete had never been like us. We were the wacky trio and Pete was maybe a little more… sensible. He was slightly different from us, he wasn’t as artistic as us. And we just haven’t hung out much together.”
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Eventually, John, George, and Paul made the decision to get rid of Pete. But as young newcomers to the music industry, they didn’t want to do it themselves. Instead, they asked their boss to do it.
Beatles manager Brian Epstein was given the gruesome task of telling Pete he was being kicked out of the band. He pulled Pete aside and broke the brutal news.
Years later, John showed remorse over how Pete was removed from the Beatles. He said in the Beatles Anthology: “We were cowards when we fired him. We made Brian do it.”
However, these comments were a far cry from what he had said years before. John said, “By [August, 1962] We got tired of Pete Best too because he was a bad drummer, you know? He never got better and there was always this myth that built up over the years that he was great and Paul was jealous of him because he was good looking and all that c**p.”
Paul also made some comments about Pete’s exit. He confessed that he felt a bit repentant about the group’s actions. He said, “I feel sorry for him, because of what he could have done.”
George also spoke about Pete, saying: “We weren’t very good at telling Pete he had to go. Historically it might seem like we did something mean to Pete and maybe we could have manage it better.”
Pete then started his own band, The Pete Best Band.
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