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Pete Best

Rock Musician

Born: 24 November 1941
Birthplace: Madras, India
Best known as:

The first drummer for The Beatles

Pete Best was the drummer for The Beatles in their early days, and was famously fired and replaced by Ringo Starr just before the band became world-famous. A Liverpool musician, Pete Best knew The Beatles because they played regularly at The Cavern, a club owned by his mother, Mona Best. He was asked to join John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stu Sutcliffe and George Harrison in the summer of 1961, when they were still starting out. Together they played in Liverpool, in Scotland and in Hamburg, Germany. Their popularity in Hamburg brought them a bigger audience back home, with Pete taking the role of the handsome-mysterious rock and roller, though he was not a particularly imaginative drummer. After hiring Brian Epstein as their manager in late 1961, The Beatles began to find professional success, but it was still a struggle. When Best couldn't make it to a couple of gigs, The Beatles got Ringo Starr to fill in, and, apparently, they liked him better. Even though Ringo had been with Rory Storm and The Hurricanes for four years, he left to join The Beatles. The band members got Epstein to give Pete Best the bad news in August of 1962 -- he was fired from the band. The Beatles went on to become the biggest pop band of their generation, and Pete Best went on to play with Lee Curtis and the All Stars, followed by Pete Best and the All Stars, followed by The Pete Best Combo. He gave up music in 1968, but had a brief return leading The Pete Best Band in 1988. In his few public interviews, Best has said he was kicked out because the other members were jealous of his popularity; in the history of rock 'n roll, Pete Best will always be known as the guy who just missed out.

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