Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

The Pete Best Band 

Wednesday, October 3, at the Winchester, Lakewood.

Forget the JFK assassination; the firing of Pete Best is the conspiracy of the decade. Who within the Beatles' camp shit-canned the drummer, and for what reason? Sure, in the summer of 1962, manager Brian Epstein was the one who informed the poor bastard, but he was just the messenger.

Was it producer George Martin, because he thought Best's drumming weak? Was it John, Paul, and George, because Best refused to put down the Brylcreem and replace his pompadour with a mop-top? Or did the Fab Three ax Best because girls preferred his rocker looks?

That last theory has some legs: Best's mother, Mona, provided an incubator for the Beatles when she opened the Casbah Club in the family's Liverpool basement. Her son became the band's drummer in 1960, and according to Spencer Leigh's 1998 book Drummed Out!: The Sacking of Pete Best, the handsome Brit got more girls screaming and leaping at him than the others ever did.

Now think about this: Was it mere coincidence that the Beatles' next drummer, Ringo, was one of the homeliest on the Merseybeat scene?

To this day, Best claims he has no idea why he got canned. But one of rock's bad-luck stories turned golden in 1995, when Best received an undisclosed sum of money for the Beatles' Anthology 1, which included tracks featuring his drumming.

After the Beatles, Best kept on Merseybeatin' with the Pete Best Combo, but quit music in 1968. Exactly 20 years later, he broke his long-held silence with a memoir and put a band together that claims to capture the sound of the Casbah. Best has been touring ever since.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Show Preview

Latest in Livewire

More by Mark S. Wedel

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Kiry Shabazz @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Jan. 27
  • Soul Message Band Featuring Chris Foreman @ Bop Stop

    • Fri., Jan. 28
  • The Gershwins on Broadway @ Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University

    • Fri., Jan. 28

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation