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?

Jimmy Nicol rehearsing with The Beatles in the studio, June 3, 1964Jimmy Nicol temporarily replaced Ringo Starr after he collapsed and was hospitalized with tonsillitis on June 3, 1964. It was the eve of The Beatles’ 1964 Australasian tour. Rather than cancel part of the tour, manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin decided to use a stand-in drummer to take Ringo’s place. Martin suggested Nicol because he had recently drummed on a Tommy Quickly session. Also, Jimmy was familiar with the Beatles’ songs as he had drummed on an album of Beatle covers called “Beatlemania”. With a last-minute phone call from George Martin, Nicol rushed over to Abbey Road Studios, where he and The Beatles did a quick rehearsal of six songs from their tour repertoire. The next day he would be playing live with them in Copenhagen, Denmark.

On stage, Jimmy wore Ringo’s suit after some alterations. From June 4-13, 1964, Nicol played ten shows in six locations with The Beatles in Denmark, Holland, Hong Kong, and Australia. On June 14, Starr returned to the band in Melbourne, Australia. Nicol said he was “praying he [Starr] would get well at the same time I was hoping he would not want to come back.” For his efforts, Brian Epstein presented him with a check and a gold Eternamatic wrist watch inscribed: “From The Beatles and Brian Epstein to Jimmy – with appreciation and gratitude.”

In later years, it was rumored that Jimmy Nicol had died in 1988, but a 2005 report by the Daily Mail confirmed that he was actually still alive and living as a recluse in London.

Sie Liebt Dich - Die Beatles“Sie Liebt Dich” is the German version of “She Loves You”. The Beatles recorded it at the Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris on January 29, 1964. At this time they also recorded “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand”, a German version of “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.

The songs came about because the German division of EMI, Electrola Gesellschaft, thought that the only way to sell Beatles records in their country was if they were in German. The Beatles thought the idea was stupid, but George Martin convinced them to do it anyway. The tracks were a big hit in Germany, but as it turns out, today their English versions are much better known there.

The original two-track tape of “She Loves You” had been destroyed by EMI, so they had to re-record the instruments from scratch for “Sie Liebt Dich”. After 13 takes they had the backing track and then overdubbed their vocals in a single take.

Click the Play button to listen to “Sie Leibt Dich”:

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Ringo Starr from the Beatles White Album posterRingo Starr is the only Beatle to appear on the song “Good Night”. Ringo is the lead vocalist on the song, with The Mike Sammes Singers providing backup. The music consists of an orchestra arranged and conducted by producer George Martin. Martin’s arrangement was intentionally very lush, as John Lennon is said to have wanted the song to sound “real cheesy”. Lennon originally wrote the song as a lullaby for his young son Julian.

“Good Night” is the last song on their 1968 album ‘The Beatles’ (much better known as ‘The White Album’).