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Whatever happened to former Beatle Pete Best?

Original Beatles drummer Pete Best
Original drummer Pete Best
If you're a true Beatles fan you know of Pete Best. For the rest of you, he was the Beatles' drummer for a period of two years, from August 12, 1960 to August 16, 1962. This is the period during the Beatles' formative years of playing the clubs in their hometown of Liverpool and in Hamburg, Germany, where they played endless hours to very demanding audiences.

The story goes that the Beatles were to record with their new producer, George Martin, and Martin felt that Pete may have been good enough for their live performances, but not for the recording sessions. He suggested using a session drummer. The other three Beatles discussed with their manager, Brian Epstein, that they'd like to see if they could get Richard Starkey (better known as Ringo Starr) to permanently replace Pete. Brian was left with the task of sacking Pete, and Ringo joined the group after he finished his engagements with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. In Liverpool, Pete was actually the most popular Beatle with the famale fans and they didn't take the change very well. During Ringo's early performances as a Beatle the fans would chant "Pete forever, Ringo never!".

Ironically, after the change behind the drum kit, producer Martin didn't feel Ringo was good enough to play on "Love Me Do" or "P.S. I Love You" so he employed session drummer Andy White to play on those tunes and Ringo was demoted to tambourine ("Love Me Do") and maracas ("P.S. I Love You"). Soon though, Ringo earned the drummer spot for good and became a full-fledged Beatle.

Pete Best in later years
Pete Best in later years

As for Pete Best, he is still playing music these days. He and his band, The Pete Best Band, have even released a new CD in 2008 of original material titled 'Haymans Green'.

Best has indicated that he has moved on from pondering "what if" after these many years later since being booted out of the Beatles. In fact, says Best, should he ever run into Paul McCartney again -- and the two haven't spoken since Best's firing in 1962 -- he wouldn't say, "Tell me why."

"A lot of people's assumption, I know, would be I'd try to find out what happened 40 years ago. Believe me, that would be the last bloody question I'd ask him," said Best. "It's one of those things. Life has gone on. I'm a big believer in karma, and maybe that tapestry was written and I was not to be a part of it.

"But I look back in hindsight and I'm happy. I have a great band that gets great accolades. I've got an original album done that I'm proud of, a marriage that's lasted 45 years, two beautiful daughters and four grandsons I can spoil. I can walk around Liverpool and be respected. I can go all around the world and wake up with the feeling I'm happy."

Pete has a website located at petebest.com. You can even hire Mr. Best as a one man show, talking about his Beatle days, supported by a multimedia presentation. Or you can hire him and the Pete Best Band to perform. Check out his website for more info on the man who was "almost famous".

The early Beatles with drummer Pete Best
Go to PeteBest.com
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