Ringo Starr had harsh words for The Beatles’ first drummer, Pete Best

Today, November 24, 2022, is Pete Best’s 81st birthday. The Indian-born Liverpudlian was the original drummer for The Beatles, joining the band alongside the likes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. However, on August 16, 1962, he was expelled from the band. The Fab Three replaced Pete with a drummer they had known over the years, Ringo Starr. While he hasn’t talked much about Pete in the past, he did have some general comments for the musician.

Ringo reflected that his arrival in the band in 1962 was not well received by the band’s fans. He said: “There were riots! Pete had a big following, but I had been known for years in Liverpool so I had a big following too. So there was this whole shouting match: ‘Ringo never, Peter forever’, and: ‘Pete never, Ringo forever.’ There was this whole battle going on, and I’m just trying to walk away.”

Years later, however, he would remember Pete’s drumming and turn his back on him. He said, “Pete Best? Not an offense, but I never felt like he was a great drummer.” (via Culture Sonar)

30 years after Pete was kicked out of the band, Ringo was once again asked if he ever felt sorry for replacing the young drummer. He confidently replied: “No. Why should I? I was a better player than him. That’s how I got the job!”

Despite these comments, it seemed that Pete’s drumming was not the only reason behind his removal from The Beatles.

Ringo’s biography, Ringo: With a Little Help, was written by Michael Seth Starr (no relation), who revealed that Pete had a very different character than John, George, and Paul.

Michael wrote: “His personality slowly drove a wedge between Pete and his fellow Beatles. Best was moody and aloof, didn’t seem to share the same sense of humor as his Beatle brothers and, more often than not, kept to himself after a while.” “. show instead of joking with the boys.” (sic)

Paul corroborated this claim, once calling his former drummer “different”. He said: “Pete had never been like the rest of us. We were the crazy trio and Pete was maybe a little more… down to earth. He was a little different from us, he wasn’t as artsy as we were. And we just didn’t spend much time together”.

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Eventually, John, George, and Paul made the decision to get rid of Pete. But as young people new to the music industry, they didn’t want to do it themselves. Instead, they asked their boss to do it.

The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, was given the gruesome task of telling Pete he was going to be kicked out of the band. He pushed Pete aside and delivered the brutal news.

Years later, John showed some remorse over the way Pete was dropped from The Beatles. He said in The Beatles Anthology: “We were cowards when we fired him. We made Brian do it.”

However, these comments were a far cry from what he said some years earlier. John said: “For [August, 1962] We were also pretty sick of Pete Best because he was a lousy drummer, you know? He never got better and he always built this myth over the years that he was cool and Paul was jealous of him because he was pretty and all that shit.”

Paul also made some comments about Pete’s departure. He confessed that he felt a bit sorry for the band’s actions. He said: “I feel sorry for him, for what he might have been doing.”

George also spoke of Pete, saying, “We weren’t very good at telling Pete he had to go. Historically, it may have looked like we did something nasty to Pete and it may have been that we could have handled it better.”

Pete went on to form his own band, The Pete Best Band.


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