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Interview with Pete Best, Original drummer for The Beatles



Perhaps if fate had taken a different path, the world would have known the Beatles as John, Paul, George and Pete. Pete Best was the drummer for the band in their formative years of the very early 60's, which included three trips to Germany. For reasons still not quite explained to him, he was replaced by Ringo Starr. A few days later, The Beatles recorded their first hit single, "Love Me Do." However, in retrospect, Best actually drummed for the band far longer than Starr, as measured in on stage man-hours. At 58 years old, Best still lives in Liverpool, England, and looks back fondly on his pre-Fab Four days.

GB - I've noticed a jazz-feel in your drumming. Did you have jazz-training or a jazz background?

PB - Basically what happened is that it is a lot of influences. Some of my earlier influences were Gene Krupa, who is Jazz orientated, Joey Morello, Buddy Rich, which goes with out saying. I suppose you introduce things in your work, different influences. You don't exactly copy but it's like everything else, it contributes to it and you develop your own style. There may be a Jazz feel in there ya.

GB - Have you had any contact with George or Paul since 1962?

PB - No, we played on the same bill three or four times back in 1963. I joined a band called Lee Curtis and the All Stars. Every time we would be coming off stage, they would be going on stage. There was really no communication. Basically we drifted apart. People failed to realize the fact with the introduction of Love me do, which went into the charts, that they went one way and I went the other. Then lots different tours and the Beatles phenomenon started all over the world. I was still in my own band pursuing my own career. I think over a period of time, people figure it's easy to pick up the phone but it's not as easy as it sounds.


GB - How long did it take you to come to terms with what the other guys in the band did to you, and do your harbor any resentment towards them?

PB - I think there was resentment initially, because the way it happened. There was no forewarning. This was a case of, your the manager Brian (Epstein) you get on with the business. John said many years later that "we were cowards, we didn't handle it right." As a result of that, I really wasn't allowed to find out why I was let go. Then there is financial embarrassment, as people start comparing you with the Beatles. Their millionaires and what are you doing this job for... There is a great learning curve as you develop your own lifestyle because of that. I'm very proud of what I've achieved, as I now got loving family and friends.

GB - Have your ever looked at Ringo Starr and thought, this guy is living what should have been my life?

PB - No, that's something that I don't do. If you do did that you would end up crazy. It's not a case of well it should have been or I could have done that.


GB - How did you feel after hearing John Lennon had been shot?

PB - Probably like the rest of the world. I was very close to him. He was on the comeback trail. A genius was there and world had only seen the tip of the iceberg. And then many years afterward you get this episode with George. What is happening, why are people attacking them as they have never harmed anyone. They led the world in music and fashion. Why are they doing something like this as it just dose not make any sense.

GB - How did you feel about having played on ten songs that were chosen for the Anthology one CD, which went on to sell millions?

PB - Financially, it's rewarding. It's given me a little bit of recognition, which for so many years was denied to me.

Interview done September, 2000, Fredericton, NB, Canada.

Another article on Pete from the Fredericton Show
Pete Best Fan Club
Best of the Beatles
Return to the Interviews Home Page

Email: fnr10@hotmail.com