Pete 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
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Related article on BeatlesLane.com: Whatever happened to former Beatle Pete Best?