The Beatles: Why did the Fab Four fire Pete Best for Ringo Starr?

The Beatles: Get Back documentary teased by Peter Jackson

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The Beatles first got together in the late 1950s. The band was comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stuart Sutcliffe and George Harrison. While they were first named The Quarrymen, they soon changed their name to The Beatles and found a small amount of fame in Liverpool. In August 1960 the band were invited to take up a residency slot in Hamburg, Germany, but required a drummer to fill their spot. After auditioning fellow Liverpool musician, Pete Best, they were on their way to Europe – but Pete didn’t last long.

Why did The Beatles kick Pete Best out of the band?

In 1962 The Beatles had been signed by Brian Epstein and attended Abbey Road Studios in London to record their first batch of singles.

Upon their first session, producer George Martin reportedly complained about Best’s drumming technique, before suggesting the band use a session drummer instead.

Epstein had been contemplating replacing Best anyway, so Martin’s words were the final straw for him.

Epstein spoke to the other members of the band to get their take, before deciding that Best’s time in The Beatles was up.

On August 16, 1962, Epstein called Best into his office to announce that he had been removed from the band.

Best was known around Liverpool as “mean, moody and magnificent” on account of his drumming talents.

Unfortunately, his “sullen” personality apparently never fit in with that of Lennon or McCartney’s.

What do you think? Should Pete Best have been kicked out of the band? Join the debate in the comments section here

The Beatles: Get Back preview released by Peter Jackson

Roag Best, Pete’s brother, exclusively spoke to about the dismissal and confirmed the musician was “shocked” when he was removed.

“[Epstein said:] ‘Yeah all of a sudden we’ve basically decided you’re not good enough.’

“Do you know what I see on social media all the time? ‘Ringo’s a better drummer, Pete is a better drummer’ – do you know what the bottom line is? They were both good players. They’ve got different styles.

“I’m sure Ringo could do what Pete was doing and I’m sure Pete could do what Ringo did.”

Meanwhile, it has also been suggested Best was removed from the band for being “too good looking”.

Mona Best – Pete’s mother and close friend of the band – spoke out in an interview in 1963: “From the point of clash of personalities, well, probably that may be it because Peter did have a terrific fan club, you know, compared to the others.”

She was then asked if Pete was “too good looking”. She replied: “I’ll leave that for other people to say but from my point of view we haven’t come here to sort of throw sticks and stones at the boys because there is no really hard feeling.

“There was at first, but it’s just the way that it was done that has annoyed us.”

Mona added: “If it had been done a bit more straightforward it would have been more to the mark.”

Website Parade wrote that Best was the most popular Beatle at the time and had hordes of women fighting to get at him just to grab a piece of his shirt.

Radio Merseyside presenter Spencer Leigh wrote in her book that the rest of the band – McCartney in particular – were extremely jealous of Best’s growing popularity.


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