Pete Best in the Cavern drumming for The BeatlesPete Best was the original drummer of The Beatles. He became a member of the band on August 12, 1960, just one day before they were to leave for Hamburg, Germany to play a series of shows there.

Two years later, on August 16, 1962, he was dismissed from the group but was never given a satisfactory explanation why. The only reason manager Brian Epstein gave was, “The lads don’t want you in the group anymore”. Although there were probably a few reasons why the lads were wanting to replace him, Pete’s fate was sealed when producer George Martin indicated that he wanted to use a session drummer instead of Best for their studio recordings. The other three Beatles asked Epstein to fire him and replace him with Ringo Starr, who had occasionally sat in with the band when Pete was unavailable.

— Here’s a few quotes from the Beatles about Best’s firing:

“We were always going to dump him when we found a decent drummer.” – John Lennon

“We were cowards when we sacked him.” – John Lennon

“I was quite responsible for stirring things up. I conspired to get Ringo in for good; I talked to Paul and John until they came round to the idea.” – George Harrison

“We weren’t very good at telling Pete (Best) he had to go.” – George Harrison

“I never felt sorry for Pete Best. I was not involved.” – Ringo Starr

“I felt I was a much better drummer than he was.” – Ringo Starr

“It was a strictly professional decision. If he wasn’t up to the mark… then there was no other choice.” – Paul McCartney

“I do feel sorry for him, because of what he could have been on to.”- Paul McCartney

Related post: Who was the original bass player of The Beatles?
Related article on BeatlesLane.com: Whatever happened to former Beatle Pete Best?

Get Your Beatles Buttons Here!Seltaeb was set up in 1963 by Nicky Byrne to look after the Beatles merchandising. The name Seltaeb was derived from spelling “Beatles” backwards.

Brian Epstein needed to find someone who could manage the overwhelming volume of merchandising requests on behalf of The Beatles. Epstein’s lawyer, David Jacobs, suggested Nicky Byrne. Byrne asked for, and received, a whopping 90% of the cut, which left only 10% for The Beatles, Brian Epstein and NEMS to split. Jacob’s told Epstein: “10% is better than nothing”.

Brian would later regret agreeing to such a lopsided deal. He was initially unaware of the potential merchandising market that existed, particularly in America, and subsequently lost The Beatles an estimated $100,000,000 in possible earnings. Epstein later renegotiated a more reasonable commission of 49% in August 1964.

Brian worried that if The Beatles discovered the truth about Seltaeb they wouldn’t renew their contracts with him – which were due to expire in the Autumn of 1967. He decided he could not tell them about the original bad deal that potentially lost them many millions of dollars, so he never told them. His troubles with Seltaeb would remain with him until his death on August 27, 1967.