Pete Best and The Casbah
The Beatles went through many temporary drummers in the early days before traveling to Hamburg.
Pete Best had been playing as the Beatles' drummer since 1960. They had met Pete through his family-owned coffee bar/nightclub in the basement of the Best home called The Casbah.
Pete's mother, Mona, opened the club with the help of her two sons, Pete and Rory, on Aug. 29, 1959.
John, Paul and George had played at the Casbah a few times before asking Pete to join the band.
Note: The Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool reopened in 2002. For more information, visit
Pete Best's official website
For further info on the Beatles and the Casbah, read the book by Pete Best and brothers, Rory and Roag, called "The Beatles: The True Beginnings"
John, Paul, George and Pete
When the Beatles got their gig in Hamburg in 1960, they didn't have a drummer. That's when they asked Pete to join them.
After the Beatles returned from Hamburg in 1960, Pete and Mona began booking gigs for the Beatles in Liverpool.
Eventually, pressure from Mona and Cavern DJ, Bob Wooler, persuaded Ray McFall, owner of the Cavern Club, to book the Beatles.
It was at the now infamous Cavern, a smoky, sweaty, underground club, that the Beatles made a name for themselves in Liverpool.
Pete was thought to be the most popular Beatle by the fans, and the most handsome. He was believed to have added a great deal of popularity to the Beatles' locally in Liverpool.
However, it seemed that Pete didn't fit in with the other three members on a personal level. For starters, he never adopted the "bowl" haircut, and he never smiled onstage.
John, Paul, George and Brian excluded him from the news that the Beatles were rejected by Decca Records, only to blurt it out by mistake weeks later.
They also didn't bother to tell him when they got a recording contract with Parlophone/EMI later in 1962.
Pete was fired from the band on Aug. 16, 1962.
Why was Pete Best fired?
The real reason has never been revealed, but the main excuse that Brian Epstein offered Pete was that The Beatles and George Martin did not believe he was a good enough drummer.
It's true that George Martin wanted to hire a session drummer for their first recording session because he believed Pete's drumming was more appropriate for live concerts versus a recording studio.
But George Martin says he never told The Beatles to fire Pete.
It turns out The Beatles had been contemplating for some time to kick Pete out of the group.
And once George Martin expressed the need to use a session drummer, they seized the opportunity to sack Pete.
Initially, the Liverpool fans were outraged at this decision.
Mona Best, Pete's mother, claimed that the other three were jealous of Pete's popularity and that's why they fired him. She was also hurt since she had helped them acquire concert gigs and helped manage them for almost two years.
While it seems that there was a personality clash between Pete Best and the other three Beatles, Paul McCartney has stated that The Beatles were more impressed with Ringo Starr's drumming.
To be kicked out of the group on the eve of their success was devastating for Pete, but he went on to play in his own band throughout the years albeit to mediocre success.
In 1995, when the Beatles Anthology 1 was released, Pete finally got compensated for his years as a Beatle. Many of the early recordings featured Pete on drums and he was paid accordingly.
For more info on Pete Best, read his autobiography:
"Beatle!: The Pete Best Story" by Pete Best and Patrick Doncaster and visit Pete Best's official website
Enter Ringo Starr. Ringo was the drummer for another popular Liverpool group, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
His real name was Richard Starkey, but he acquired the stage name, Ringo, for all the rings he wore on his fingers, and Starr, for his drum solo called "Starr Time."
Ringo first played with the Beatles when he sat in for Pete a few times in Hamburg, Germany.
In terms of personality, Ringo was a much better match for the Beatles. He was laid back, happy-go-lucky, and had a great sense of humor.
On top of that, he was a good drummer. Ringo's destiny was solidifed in August 1962 when he was asked to join the Beatles.
He quickly got rid of his beard and adopted the Beatles moptop haircut.
Local Liverpudlians used to label him, "The luckiest man in the world."
Return from Pete Best page to Beatles Please Please Me