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.
This is the post excerpt.
“They have been gone for such a long time” sure but their music is timeless. I first found the Beatles in the 1970’s growing up and as a young kid, I bought that terrible repackaged album that Capital released called Rock and Roll music…some great music but a truly terrible silver cover that made the Beatles look like they came from the fifties. I first bought the Hey Jude Again album in 2nd-grade in 1975. I was transformed. When I heard those songs I started to buy more of their albums and I could not believe the quantity and the quality of the songs….the great songs kept coming like a well that never runs dry. I missed them of course when they were active but I could not believe one group could have so many great songs. I felt…and still feel that I was born too late and missed out on something great. I could not imagine listening to Sgt Peppers on the radio in 1967 when it was all new. I did find other groups…On my 3rd grade notebook, I would write the names of bands like others did… that I was just finding out about…The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds. A little late but better late than never.
Now getting back to the title of this post…In the 1980s being a Beatle fan was not a popular thing…not that I cared…but…since the 1990s the Beatles are current again and remain current in 2018. My son is 18 and him and his friends all like them. They also like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Stones. Beatles albums still sell consistently. Here is a youtube video of different people from Rap Artists to Ozzy Osborne talking about the Beatles…
Here is an interesting one with Lemmy from Motorhead talking about the Beatles.
Most have read about their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964.. I recently was with a friend who bought two Kustom bass cabinets from an older country drummer. The Beatles got brought up in conversation and he told me about that night when he sat on the couch and watched them. He said the next day the world was a different place. Not just hairstyles but attitudes. I asked him to compare the mania to something since then….his answer was Michael Jackson in the 1980s times 1000 or maybe more…Now that is a statement. Is it coming from someone famous? No, but he was there. I have talked to others who say the same that was there.
An answer from Mick Jagger about being compared with the Beatles…
The Beatles were so big that it’s hard for people not alive at the time to realize just how big they were. There isn’t a real comparison with anyone now. I suppose Michael Jackson at one point, but it still doesn’t seem quite the same. They were so big that to be competitive with them was impossible. I’m talking about in record sales and tours and all this. They were huge.
Of course, I’m a fan and have read a lot about them so I am biased (I recommend Tune In) and a great website…their story is almost as great as their music. I’ve had fun arguments with friends about Beatles vs Elvis… Beatles vs Stones etc. It’s all in good fun though…although I have always been right…