Pete Best

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Pete Best Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

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Last update: 28/4/18

Now appearing onstage at Liverpool’s Epstein theatre in “Lennon’s Banjo,” a play full of pathos and scouse humour which depicts the search for John’s first musical instrument, Pete Best remains sanguine about events in his life. He is, after all, a millionaire – worldwide sales in excess of 7 million of “The Beatles Anthology 1” would see to that, still touring with his band, and very much alive. The group’s original drummer was originally part of a five piece outfit that played arduous eight hour sets in Hamburg, and speculation has been rife for decades as to why he was dismissed just as the group was taking off.

Accusations of jealousy over his good looks don’t ring true – Lennon was never in any doubt about McCartney’s greater popularity with the girls even in their dance hall days – and musical aspirations would always take priority over petty squabbles. Nevertheless, the manner of his sacking was shameful, and entrusting the unenviable task of breaking the news to their manager Brian Epstein was cowardly and insensitive. In their defence, they were young and immature, and their behaviour therefore, somewhat excusable. Today, there are millions old enough to know better who would opt for terminating a long standing relationship by text, so let us not rush to judge.

What appears conclusive – to my ears at least – was that he simply wasn’t good enough. Enough key personnel clearly shared my view including producer George Martin, and that was that. He’d been their drummer for two years and the original offer to join their ranks and work in Germany had come about because he was available and owned a full kit. At times in life, necessity is the mother of invention.

The Beatles were a third rate local band in 1960 and the best drummer in Liverpool played with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Sir Richard Starkey would not enter the story until August 1962 and they were fortunate to get him. With the last piece in place, the jigsaw was complete.

Recommended reading

Beatle! - The Pete Best Story (Pete Best & Patrick Doncaster) 1985

The only Beatle autobiography in print – we can discount Harrison’s “I Me Mine,” (essentially a homage to his songwriting muse) and McCartney’s “Many Years From Now” (an interesting reflection on his bachelorhood in swinging London) – Best relates previously unknown anecdotes that form a fascinating look at – waht was thirty odd years ago – the least-documented period of Beatles history.

Revisiting the circumstances which led to his dismissal from the group, Best states, “A conspiracy had clearly been going on for some time behind my back, but none of the other Beatles could find the courage to tell me. The stab in the back had been left to Brian. . . Even Ringo had been a party to it, someone else I had considered to be a pal. . . I had been betrayed.”


Finding the fourth Beatle

The Beatles phenomenon is one amazing story that John Lennon tried to sum up by stating: “I met Paul and said, ‘Do you want to join me band?’ and then George joined, and then Ringo joined. We were just a band who made it very, very big.”

That is one of the biggest understatements ever, because it was so much more complicated than that, and the story involves 18 drummers.

Neil Aspinall once said that “the story of the Beatles always seemed to be about John, Paul, George and a drummer.”

When examined closely, that is exactly what happened, yet nobody has concentrated on the story of those drummers, and the crises in the evolution of The Beatles that always seemed to be around losing, or gaining, a drummer.

How many drummers can you count that played with the Fab Three between 1956 and 1970? We have found 18!

In a new book, and forthcoming documentary film, “Finding the Fourth Beatle” tells the story of The Beatles from 1956-1970 through the 18 drummers, including Colin Hanton, Pete Best and Jimmie Nicol, and some you will not have heard of before. The book and film explore the Beatles’ crises, changes of musical direction, getting a record deal, and finding the drummer who would put the beat into The Beatles: Ringo Starr, the Fourth Beatle.