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Beatles’ Best guilt revealed.

There are very few truly dirty secrets in The Beatles that are somewhat public knowledge.  The firing of Pete Best is one such story.  We all know some versions of the story of the way in which he was fired, but no one is admitting the reason.  It is one mystery that will remain in Beatle-lore for all-time.  I don’t think anyone will really ever know. 

Maybe Brian Epstein is the only one who truly knew for sure.  There’s not much news here, but it’s interesting to me that this story pops up periodically.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The Beatles were embarrassed about the way their original drummer was ditched to make way for Ringo Starr, the band’s biographer Hunter Davies has revealed.

Davies, journalist, biographer, columnist, prolific author and raconteur, told an audience at Burgh House in Hampstead how his visit to the so-called fifth Beatle Pete Best while he was researching the biography had unnerved John, Paul and George.
He said: “When I told the Beatles. . .they sort of turned away because they were too guilty and embarrassed at the way they’d got rid of him. They got Brian Epstein to do the dirty deed. They hadn’t told him themselves, and that really hurt.”
Davies, who now lives Dartmouth Park, added. “ When I saw him (Best) he was wearing a grubby pair of white dungarees, having just come off the night shift where he had been slicing bread for £18 a week. At that moment The Beatles were among the richest and most successful people on the planet.”

Source: Camden New Journal


4 Responses

  1. Well to be fair… he wasn’t as good a drummer. He was pretty stiff and just didn’t have the technical skill. Plus, the other 3 got along with Ringo better, and it’s not like he was a major contributor to the artistic direction of the band, or the look like Stu S. was. I consider Ringo to be lucky, because he was really just along for the ride. If Pete Best had talent, he would’ve made it on his own, he essentially just missed a free ride.

  2. So much has been reported on this subject indeed. The story I always heard was more
    complicated. One, Pete didn’t fit in with the Beatle style. More and more, the other three
    were growing musically and created an identity that set them apart from the other
    Liverpool groups. The Beatles engaged in wild stage antics that Pete didn’t seem to
    be a part of. Two, Pete Best was good looking when you think about it. A group can only
    have one crooner. Paul was the heart throb. Ringo complemented the group beautifully.
    And sad to say-replacing Pete was, in the end, a wise decision.

  3. Pete is a nice guy and a good drummer. He has come back to do concerts and even threw out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game. His firing was an ugly situation with only one good outcome, the addition of Ringo Starr. I’m also interested in the argument with Colin Hanton that caused him to quit the Quarrymen.

  4. First of all, Pete Best’s drumming was far superior to Ringos. Just take a listen to “Besame Mucho” on “Anthology 1”, The Beatles Polydor recordings featuring Tony Sheridan or any of the tracks from “The Pete Best Combo: Beyond the Beatles” CD for solid evidence of that fact.

    Before Ringo joined, Beatlemania was already in full bloom in Liverpool. Pete was THE most popular member at that time which helped them get noticed by Brian Epstein and subsequently signed to EMI. All Ringo did was join an enormously popular band and ride the gravy train to fame and fortune. The Beatles were already signed without any contribution from him.

    Ringo Starr is one of the luckiest people in show business.

    I find it interesting that the prevailing attitude for so many hardcore Beatle fans is that Pete Best was a failure and unsuccessful. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    He was a member of arguably the biggest band of all time. He contributed to a number one album in 1995 (“The Beatles Anthology 1”) which sold millions and made him a millionaire. He has authored or co-authored several books (“Beatle! The Pete Best Story”,”The Beatles: The True Beginnings”, etc.) All of these books sold relatively well. His own production company produced an excellent documentary (“Pete Best of The Beatles.”) which aired on PBS and sold considerably well on DVD. His excellent sixties recordings are still in print (“The Pete Best Combo: Beyond The Beatles”) He also contributed to TWO Beatles hit singles,”Ain’t She Sweet/Nobody’s Child”(#19 July 18, 1964) and “My Bonnie/The Saints”(#26 February 8 1964.) And Bear Family Records released an amazing two disc set containing all of his Polydor recordings with the Beatles featuring Tony Sheridan.

    WOW! I wish I could be as unsuccessful as Pete Best!!!!

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