Why did Pete Best leave The Beatles? Where is band’s original drummer now, what has Paul McCartney said

A series of rare photographs have been released which show performing at The Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1961.

The Fab Four as they were affectionately known became one of the most successful bands of all time and were pioneers for a

However, prior to their success the group had a slightly different line up and the pictures show the band’s original drummer Pete Best. Best is often referred to as the fifth Beatle, however he left the band just a year before they rose to fame.

why did pete best leave the beatles? where is band’s original drummer now, what has paul mccartney said

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    Here we take a look at the reasons behind Pete Best’s departure from The Beatles and the career path he has taken since leaving the group.

    Rare photograph of The Beatles, with Pete Best on drums, playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in July 1961 - over a year before the band released their debut single Love Me Do. Handout photo issued by Tracks Ltd / PA.

    Rare photograph of The Beatles, with Pete Best on drums, playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in July 1961 – over a year before the band released their debut single Love Me Do. Handout photo issued by Tracks Ltd / PA.


    Who was Pete Best?

    The Beatles’ first drummer Pete Best pictured in 2013 (Getty Images)

    The Beatles’ first drummer Pete Best pictured in 2013 (Getty Images)

    Pete Best was one of the original members of the Beatles and featured during many of their early performances at music venues around Liverpool including The Cavern Club.

    He was born Randolph Peter Scanland on 24 November 1941, in Madras, British India. His biological father died during World War II and his mother Mona married Johnny Best in 1944, the family would then move to Liverpool shortly after.

    Mona turned the basement of the Best family home into Casbah Coffee Club which later became the venue for an early incarnation of the Beatles, known as the Quarrymen. At the time the group such as Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison whilst also including Ken Brown.

    Brown left the band during the late 1950s after a rift with the other band members. This sparked the end of The Quarrymen and the introduction of a new band known as The Beatles.


    In need of a new drummer, The Beatles hired Pete Best after he did an audition to join the band in August 1960.

    Why did Pete Best leave The Beatles?

    Pete Best left The Beatles in 1962 (Getty Images)

    Pete Best left The Beatles in 1962 (Getty Images)

    By 1962, The Beatles were growing in popularity with a series of successful performances across music venues in Liverpool. The group had passed an audition for Parlophone Records and were beginning to work on plans to release their first album which would be titled Please Please Me.

    The producer George Martin had generally enjoyed the music that he heard, with the exception of the drumming of Best. Martin told the group that they could continue to use Best onstage, but he had plans to replace Best with a session drummer for the recordings.

    The band members McCartney, Lennon and Harrison called a meeting with their manager Brian Epstein and came to the decision that they were going to fire Best from the band.


    Since leaving the band, it has been claimed that Best was initially the most with the female audience and it is rumoured that the other band members were jealous of his looks.

    Best was replaced by Ringo Starr who became the final piece of The Beatles jigsaw when he joined the band in 1962.

    Where is Pete Best now?

    For many music fans, the Pete Best story ended after his dismissal from The Beatles in 1962. However, Best still enjoyed a music career after leaving the band.

    Best joined the band Lee Curtis and the All Stars in 1963 and the band would later split from Lee to become known as Pete Best and the All Stars. The manager responsible for turning down the Beatles, Mike Smith decided that Best’s new band was the one he was looking for and he made the decision to sign the band up with Decca. The band eventually changed their name to The Pete Best Four.

    Best retired from playing professionally in 1968 but returned to music in 1988 after a 20 year hiatus. Since returning to music, Best formed the Pete Best band which is still active today. The group delivers the authentic sound from The Beatles’ during their early years.


    What Paul McCartney has said about Pete Best leaving The Beatles

    has defended the band’s decision to replace Best with Ringo Starr and claimed that Starr’s arrival “lifted” the band up. McCartney said: “I don’t want to flip out the previous drummer and he was efficient and he did the job – but Ringo was magic.”

    McCartney did express regret at the way the Best sacking was handled and said: “I do feel sorry for him, because of what he could have gone on to do.”

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