A Brief Word with Pete Best

One day in 1987 (I cannot pin down the day)… My friend Paul and I heard on the radio that Pete Best was going to show up at a used record shop…The Great Escape near Vanderbilt… for a book signing. I was a bigger fan than Paul. I was nervous when I walked in because there was the guy I’ve read about in all of those books in person. The man that really got left at the altar. After reading as much as I did about the Beatles…I was twenty and they were more like characters out of a book… not real people.

We were flat broke and could not buy the book but I was told by the staff that was ok…he would still sign. What did I do? I walked over to a magazine rack with free newsletters and it just so happened that there was a newsletter (Cavern City Tours) about the Beatles. I didn’t think a thing about it but there on the front was John, Paul, George and……..Ringo. I was too busy thinking about what I was going to say to him. I didn’t want to say what the other people were saying…don’t you hate the Beatles now? That was terrible of them! On and on…

I thought of something quick and I went to the table…laid the newsletter in front of him with Ringo’s smiling face and Pete was gracious enough to sign it with no dirty looks or a comment and I asked him…Have you talked to Astrid Kirchherr lately? He said yes, in fact, he just talked to her in the last month. I also asked him if he talked with Klaus Voorman and he told me no he didn’t keep up with him…Why I asked those questions I don’t know. I just wanted to think of something different than what he was being asked.

He took the time and talked with me for a couple of minutes which was really nice. I can’t remember anything that was said after the questions…probably just pleasantries. Just knowing this guy was in Hamburg in the early 60s at the beginning of the Beatles as we know them was incredible.

After I walked away…did I think wow this poor guy went through hell? Nope…All I could think was I met a Beatle! I still feel bad about that.


Since The Beatles Anthology Pete is not a poor guy at all…money wise… He got millions off of that release because they used some of the tracks he played drums on. I read where Paul McCartney himself called Pete and told him wrongs needed to be righted and some money would be there for Pete and that he could take it or leave it…Of course, Pete took it and that was the right thing to do.

The Beatles made the right choice in Ringo but I’m glad they included Pete on that release so he could share in some of the glory and money… Listening to the tracks Pete played drums on there is no question that Ringo fit the Beatles best…no pun intended.

John, Paul, and George have said they regretted how it was handled… but not the outcome.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

4 thoughts on “A Brief Word with Pete Best”

  1. When I read the first paragraph i was wondering- how is this going to turn out your meeting Pete. I think it turned out very well and your questions were probably ones that he didn’t normally get asked. I agree totally Ringo was the right choice not only musically but as far as the personalities went. I can’t imagine The Beatles without Ringo. Every band needs a Ringo. In all the books I have read- it seems like they all at times had their little rivalries within the group- times they may not have gotten along great but Ringo was the one they all got on well with. ,,, and as far as Pete- I think although it had to hurt for a while- in the end he has millions of reasons to be happy. They probably could have handled it better than they did but they were kids at the time. Some i believe incorrectly call Ringo the luckiest man in the world to have been part of The Beatles- maybe the luckiest guy in the world was Pete Best. I was glad to hear the encounter went well. When you mentioned the newsletter and Ringo being on it I was wondering how it would turn out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just feel stupid now for doing that. How could I be like that when I was 20? He was like a fictional person until I saw him… Yes he was lucky because his drumming would have been exposed. I don’t say that mean but from what I heard on the recordings and from what others said…he could only play straight rock and roll. Ringo is very underrated…sometimes it’s what he doesn’t try to do that makes it. Keith Moon or someone like him would not have worked in the Beatles…you are right…socially Pete didn’t fit… I have to say though he was a nice guy to me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am sure Pete didn’t lose any sleep over that encounter. Agree with you on Ringo… He was a perfect fit for The Beatles- as far as personality and as a drummer- As great as Keith Moon his style wouldn’t have fit The Beatles- Ringo’s did and I have often wondered- do they make it without Ringo? I am not sure they do. Chemistry is so important in what happened…and great great songwriting..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t know why but I had forgotten about the story. I found the autograph and my son was impressed. Chemistry meant a lot in that band because of the chaos they went through. The songwriting and the harmonies set them apart.

        Liked by 1 person

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