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Author Topic: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?  (Read 13648 times)

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Dr.Winston

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #160 on: January 26, 2012, 05:33:39 PM »

When it comes to who was technically the better drummer, well it's obviously Ringo. Having said that, if I could see The Beatles at any stage during their career it would be one of the gigs when Pete was the drummer, that was an important and exciting time in the bands development and Pete was one of the guys making it happen, he should be respected for that. Also, a large part of their appeal during their club years was image, and Pete was a major part of that image while he was with them. The people who were there usually have nothing bad to say about the way he played so he was good enough for the clubs and ballrooms.

I've never been one for revisionism, if one single thing had happened differently we wouldn't have had The Beatles that we got.
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Bobber

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #161 on: January 26, 2012, 08:54:44 PM »

I agree, Dr Winston. Of course Pete was important in the development of the group during those two years, but obviously the other three had good reasons to get rid of him. I respect Pete for being one of the guys making it happen. But I don't believe he was the reason the Beatles lifted off.
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Dr.Winston

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #162 on: January 26, 2012, 10:17:16 PM »

I agree, Dr Winston. Of course Pete was important in the development of the group during those two years, but obviously the other three had good reasons to get rid of him. I respect Pete for being one of the guys making it happen. But I don't believe he was the reason the Beatles lifted off.
No, he wasn't the reason but he was part of the mix and I do think that many people these days view his tenure with the group a bit two dimensionally. What I mean is that they just focus on the obvious, that Ringo was a better drummer, and ultimately I also feel that is the main reason he was sacked. However, accounts and documents from the time (The posters, tickets and newspapers advertisements describing them as 'Dynamic''Fabulous' and 'sensational' as well as the Mersey Beat Top Poll) show that The Beatles were a great band right from their return from their first trip to Hamburg. I'm glad that he was their drummer during that period and I'm also glad that Ringo was their drummer later.
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BeatlesAtTheirBest

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #163 on: January 27, 2012, 01:55:23 PM »



For me, it's not about Pete vs.  Ringo any more than it's Rubber Soul vs. Sgt Pepper.  It's about The Beatles.  When were The Beatles?  1962-1970? 

I say The Beatles were exactly as The Beatles were.  1960-1970.  For me it's about making an honest assessment of what was going on at the time we are talking about.  If we are talking about The Beatles in 1960, that would be John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe & Pete Best.  I want to be able to talk about the drummer for The Beatles (1960) and the contributions he did/didn't make without having to talk about Pete vs. Ringo or Pete vs. John, Paul & George.  I would also like to be able to talk honestly about the bass player without fans being so quick to dismiss the artist/non bassist Stu Sutcliffe.  Pete was more than one "Love Me Do" session.  Stu was more than just a photo of him tuning up with his back to Larry Parnes. 

I like The Beatles!  John, Paul, George & Ringo.  Right now I am into The Beatles!  John, Paul, George, Stu & Pete, "a phenomenon unlike anything we will see again in our lifetime".  Like John Lennon said, as a live act, that's when The Beatles were at their best.




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Dark Penguin

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #164 on: June 30, 2013, 03:28:27 AM »

Pete Best sacked because of his mom? I doubt it, listen to Petes drumming on Love Me Do........I think they really needed Ringo.
Granted it had been six months earlier, but in my humble (and definitely amateur) opinion, nobody sounded that great at the Decca audition.   At the Parlophone audition I think Pete was having a bad day; to me he sounds a lot better on the first two  BBC broadcasts.  Years later, Michael McCartney opined that none of the four were that proficient in the summer of '62; to paraphrase him it could of been any of them who was deemed not good enough to record.  As it was I don't think "Love Me Do" was a terrific debut single. 

Personality-wise, Ringo obviously fit in a lot better with John, Paul, and George, being engaging and funny in person.  I still smile when I recall a recent interview, on being asked if he hoped for a knighthood like Paul got, he replied that he was holding out for a duchy. :D
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Dark Penguin

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #165 on: June 30, 2013, 04:15:10 AM »

As for sacking Pete, I think the change was, in the long term, for the better.  John, Paul & George sure seemed to think so.  Still, why do Beatle fans feel the need to diminish Pete and the years he put into helping the Beatles to become the phenomenon they became.  He deserves his proper due, simply having his existence acknowledged is not enough.

It's as if a sort of canonical gospel about the Beatles' early years developed, beginning with the first number one single.  Anything and anyone involved in the group's life before August 20, 1962 has tended to be diminished if not wholly excised from the official story.  In the Sam Leach interview he does say that Brian Epstein and the band had a way of cutting off anyone who'd been important in the band's career before his arrival.  One of the most important "truths" of this gospel is that the Beatles were nothing but a grungy bar band before Ringo came.  That wasn't true--by the spring of 1962 they were a professional band performing for good money almost every night.  I've even seen magazine articles that stated Brian put them into stage suits only after Ringo joined.  Suits being what professional musicians were expected to wear in in the early 1960s, the implication is that nobody, not even Brian Epstein, took the Beatles seriously before the change of drummers.

They were clearly up and coming by the end of 1961, or Brian wouldn't have noticed them. 

As for the issue of Mona Best, check out the books The Beatles In Hamburg, Paul: A Life, and Hidden Voices: Hidden Histories of Liverpool's Popular Music Scenes 1930s - 1970s.1 They do substantially corroborate the Mona Best theory, and she seems to have been the target of some resentment by the Beatles themselves, particularly John.  Brian resented her overbearing personality, and equally troubling in light of the conventional social mores of 1962 was the relationship between Mona Best and Neil Aspinall, only half her age, which had just weeks before resulted in the birth of Vincent "Roag" Best.  That's not to say that Mona Best was the only reason or the main reason for the sacking, but she does seem to have been another major motivation for it.

As author Peter Carlin put it in Paul: A Life, the Pete Best situation, in mid '62, had come to be oddly reminiscent of an Agatha Christie mystery in which any and all of a dozen suspects have some viable motive for murdering the victim.



1All three of these books are currently cited in the Wikipedia article on Pete Best.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 04:15:02 AM by Dark Penguin »
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ibanez_ax

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #166 on: June 30, 2013, 11:26:07 AM »

The new Mark Lewisohn Beatles biography coming out later is this year is supposed to go into some detail about the whole Pete Best saga.  I'm looking forward to reading it.
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Dark Penguin

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #167 on: July 01, 2013, 06:04:46 AM »

True but its fair to say that pete does enjoy a certain amount of fame and notoriety amongst Beatle fans for his contribution to The Beatles

And now he's gotten a nice chunk of change for it as well.  True, he didn't get nearly as much as the four who carried on but then he missed out on most of the bother, too.
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Dark Penguin

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #168 on: July 01, 2013, 06:26:29 AM »

After listening to the DECCA tapes, the difference in Best and Ringo were quite glaring, in my opinion..I always felt Ringo had the perfect beat...
But you would have thought the other three would have told Pete how they wanted the drums and maybe they did at times..I don't think any of them had a problem with him as they did with, say, Tommy Moore...
Ringo was certainly the right drummer for the Beatles we all came to know and love.  But I have a huge problem in trying to compare Ringo and Pete as drummers: in terms of what we are able to hear today, the music on the Decca tape e is utterly different from all the hits they made later.  In my opinion NOBODY in the group sounds outstanding on the Decca tape, although I think George does great on "Three Cool Cats".  "Like Dreamers Do"?  Here was a chance for them to do an original, and what did they come up with?  Macca trying to sound like Fabian, as near as I can figure it.  (Maybe Brian or the producer asked him to, I don't know.) 

Apart from the first couple of singles and some snippets here and there, we first hear Ringo on their last night in Hamburg, December 31 1962, and this perplexes me too, because here, again, the music sounds utterly different from the early singles of 1963 and '64. He's hitting the drums good and hard in a way you don't hear on many of the early EMI recordings.  Lennon and McCartney's writing style, I think, was moving away somewhat from the focus on hard rock, and I think also George Martin wanted a more commercial pop sound.  There might have been some rave-ups like "Twist And Shout" on each album but there'd also be ballads and medium tempo songs. 

So yeah, in terms of personality and of where the music was going, they did need Ringo, but it's not easy to compare them with what we have to work with. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 06:36:04 AM by Dark Penguin »
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smithee

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #169 on: July 02, 2013, 05:04:10 PM »

I'm just throwing my two cents in, and I'm not at all trying to stir anything up, but it seems like BeatlesAtTheirBest is making two separate points;

1) That the Beatles treated Pete Best poorly when they fired him, and

2) That the Beatles were at their best when Pete was in the group.

To the first point, I would say I agree, and even Paul has said (I'm paraphrasing) that they chickened out and left the job of firing Pete to Brian.  I get the feeling, based on interviews, that Paul felt they could have been nicer about it and handled it better.  They could have sat down with Pete and explained everything to him, instead of just having their manager tell him he was out.  He seems a little embarrassed by it now.

As to the second point, yes, John said more than once that he thought the Beatles were truly great back in Hamburg, but I always had the feeling that what he liked about those days was that the were playing what he considered "real" rock and roll.  He always resented Brian cleaning them up and putting them in suits.  Notice that in the interview with John that BeatlesAtTheirBest quoted, John says they were great in Hamburg, then Brian polished off their rough edges.  He doesn't say, "We were great in Hamburg, and then Brian made us fire our best drummer."  It's one thing to say John thought the Beatles were at their best at a time when Pete was in the band, but it's another to say John thought the Beatles were at their best *because* Pete was in the band.

Leaving the issue of quality aside (let's just say for argument's sake that both Pete and Ringo were at least competent) I think the sad truth is that John, Paul and George simply didn't like Pete all that much.  I'm not saying they *disliked* him, just that he never really fit in with the group, didn't share their sense of humor, didn't hang out with them, etc.  So when George Martin suggested they get rid of Pete, the others didn't have a problem with it.  It's notable that when George Martin expressed similar concerns about Ringo, the other three didn't fire him too.  Instead they insisted that the Love Me Do track with Ringo be the one on the album.  By that point (again, leaving quality issues out of it) they liked him.  He'd become their friend, and would remain their friend even after the breakup.

If we step back and look simply at history, it seems that John, Paul and George preferred Ringo, for whatever reason.  Obviously, they fired Pete and replaced him with Ringo.  When they had the chance to fire Ringo (when George Martin didn't want him on Love Me Do) they kept him.  After the break up John and George continued to use Ringo on drums for a number of their solo albums.  No one ever went back and asked Pete to be on their solo albums.

As to whether or not the other three fired Pete because Pete was the most popular, I wouldn't be surprised if that was *one* of the many factors in their decision, along with talent and personality, possibly issues between Pete and Brian, or Pete's mom and Brian, George Martin's request, etc.  My guess is that all of these things added together made their decision.  But at least according to legend, didn't Ringo get more fan mail than any of the other three? Again, no one showed Ringo the door. And I like to think, perhaps naively, that John, Paul and George were smart enough to realize no band is going to get big if they keep firing their most popular member just because he's popular.

So for me it comes down to thinking that John, George and Paul may have thought Pete was an OK drummer, but they didn't have a strong enough personal bond with the guy to outweigh the negatives.  They just didn't like him enough to keep him on when they found someone they thought was better.
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Dark Penguin

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Re: Pete Best sacked because of his mom?
« Reply #170 on: July 07, 2013, 04:23:59 AM »

Ringo was very popular too.

On the other hand I get the impression that Rory Storme's group was a bit on the decline; maybe that was a motivating factor for Ringo, in that he'd been with them for several years when he agreed to join the Beatles. And that happened rather abruptly by some accounts, leaving the Hurricanes without a drummer for a spell.

Another story I've seen in a couple of places is that, his band suddenly bereft of a drummer, Rory Storme asked Pete Best to take Ringo's place.  The Best family says it's so, and I've seen this reported in one or two other places, but I'm not sure about it.  It was never reported in any of the bios I've seen, and it was too bad for Pete.  Although he declined the offer, assuming it is true, he would have come out a lot better had it become generally known.
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