Pete Best, born Randolph Peter Best in Madras, India on November
24, 1941, joined the Beatles, John, Paul, George, and Stu
Sutcliffe, in late 1960. Their previous drummer, Tommy Moore, had left
earlier in the year. Pete's mother, Mona Best, ran The Casbah
Club, a cellar club in Hayman's Green, where the Beatles had been
playing. When Allan Williams got the Beatles booked to play
two months in Hamburg, Pete was asked to join the group.
Pete was very quiet in Hamburg, he did not partake of the uppers the
way everyone else did, and spent alot of his off time out of
the company of the others. The girls in Hamburg were wild over
him, and would shout at him on the stage in English and
The other Beatles thought Pete was a pretty good
drummer, but then in Hamburg they heard and met Ringo. When
the Beatles and Pete returned to Liverpool, Mona acted as the
booking agent for what she considered "Pete's band". She got
them introduced into the Cavern Club. Pete played on "My
Bonnie" and the other tracks recorded with Tony Sheridan for
Bert Kaempfert in Germany.
In November 1961, Brian Epstein became the Beatles' manager, and
in April, 1962, Brian succeeded in getting them an audition with
George Martin at Parlophone, which happened on June 6. By this time,
both Paul and George were encouraging Brian to help them get rid of
Pete, to bring on Ringo permanently, who had been filling in for Pete
with the Beatles every now and then.
In late July, George Martin
commited to recording the Beatles. When George Martin told
Brian that he didn't care for Pete, and that they would use another
drummer on the sessions, he didn't know the Beatles were
already thinking the same thing. Brian told him during a lunch
time meeting in his office on August 15.
broke the news on August 23. Pete Best fans were outraged.
Petitions signed by hundreds were received at Mersey
Beat. Cries of "Pete Best Forever---Ringo, never!" were
heard at the Cavern Club. The following Monday, one of the
many scuffles outside the Cavern Club resulted in a black eye
for George Harrison.
In His Their Words
In this sound clip from a 1995 interview, Pete Best talks about getting
the phone call from Paul to join the Beatles in 1960.
Here, Pete talks about his relationship with John.
Beatles producer George Martin talks about Pete's drumming abilities
and how he planned to replace him as drummer on
the Beatles records.
Pete talks about his final meeting with Brian in 1962, and how he's
felt about it all these years.
In this clip, John Lennon talks about how they'd always planned on
getting rid of Pete,
and dispels rumors that it was because Paul was jealous of his good looks.