Earlier this month, on November 24, 2022, Pete Best celebrated his 81st birthday. The Indian-born Liverpudlian was the original drummer for the Beatles and was recruited into the band by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. However, on August 16, 1962, he was fired from the band. The Fab Three replaced Pete with a drummer they had met over the years: Ringo Starr. Although he hasn’t spoken much about Pete in the past, he did have some rough comments for a musician.
Once Ringo was in the band, he was not welcomed by the band’s fans. He later reflected that his arrival in the band in 1962 did not sit well with the band’s fans. He said: “There was a riot! Pete had a huge following, but I had been known for years in Liverpool, so I had a lot of followers too. So there was a whole shouting match: ‘Ringo never, Peter forever’, and: “Never Pete, Ringo forever.” There was this whole fight, and I’m just trying to watch.”
However, years later, he’d look back on Pete’s drumbeat and turn up his nose at it. He said, “Pete Best? — it’s no offense, but I never felt he was such a great drummer.” (via Sonar Culture)
30 years after Pete was kicked out of the band, Ringo was asked again if he ever regretted replacing the young drummer. He confidently replied, “No, why should I? I was a better player than he was. That’s how I got the job!”
Despite these comments, it seemed as though his drumming wasn’t the only reason he was left out of the Beatles.
The Ringo biography, Ringo: With a Little Help, was written by Michael Seth Starr (no relation), who revealed that Pete has a very different personality than John, George, and Paul.
Michael wrote: “His personality slowly drove a wedge between Pete and his fellow Beatles. Best was moody and aloof, he didn’t seem to share the same sense of humor as his Beatle brothers, and more often than not, he kept to himself after the show rather than bantering with the guys.” . (sic)
Paul backed up the claim, once calling the former drummer “different”. He said, “Pete was never quite like the rest of us. We were the goofy trio and Pete was probably a little more… sane. He was a little different than us, he wasn’t quite as artistic as we were. And we just didn’t spend much time together.”
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In the end, John, George and Paul made the decision to get rid of Pete. But as youngsters who are new to the music industry, they didn’t want to do it themselves. Instead, they asked their boss to do so.
The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, has been given the harrowing task of telling Pete that he has been fired from the band. Pete pulled aside and delivered the harsh news.
Years later, John showed some remorse for how he removed Pete from the Beatles. He said in The Beatles Anthology: “We were cowards when we kicked him out. We got Brian to do it.”
However, these comments were a far cry from what he had said several years ago. John said: With a pen [August, 1962] We were so sick of Pete Best too because he was such a lousy drummer, you know? It 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 pretty and all that c**p. “
Paul also made some comments about Pete’s coming out. He admitted that he felt a little remorseful at the band’s actions. “I feel so sorry for him,” he said, “for what he could have been.”
George also spoke about Pete, saying, “We weren’t very good at telling Pete he had to go. Historically, it would seem like we did something bad to Pete and maybe we could have handled him better.”
Pete started his own band, The Pete Best Band.
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