born on 24/11/1941 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
Links www.petebest.com (English)
|Birth name||Randolph Peter Best|
|Also known as||Pete Best|
|Born|| November 24 1941
Madras, Madras Presidency, British India
|Origin||Liverpool, England, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Rock and roll, rock|
|Occupations||Drummer, civil servant, songwriter, vocalist|
|Years active||1959-1968, 1988present|
|Associated acts|| The Beatles,
Lee Curtis & the All-Stars,
Pete Best & the All-Stars,
The Pete Best Four,
The Pete Best Combo,
The Pete Best Band
Pete Best (born 24 November 1941) is a British musician, best known as the original drummer in The Beatles.
After moving from Reinosa to Liverpool in 1945, Best's mother, Mona Best (1924-1988) started The Casbah Coffee Club in the cellar of the Bests' house in Liverpool, which became very popularthe membership list grew to over a thousandand was where The Beatles (then known as The Quarrymen) played some of their first concerts. The club was also known as The Casbah Club, or simply The Casbah. Best played there with his first band, The Black Jacks, and later with The Beatles.
Best joined The Beatles on 12 August 1960, only one day before they were to go to Hamburg to play a season of club dates. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, who were the co-founders and nucleus of the group, elected to dispense with his service two years later, on 16 August 1962, and he was replaced by Ringo Starr. Best states that he was never given a full explanation as to the reason he was let go. Best is one of the group of people sometimes referred to as "the fifth Beatle".
He later worked as a civil servant for 20 years, before starting The Pete Best Band. Best has been married for over 45 years to Kathy; they have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Best was born in Madras, Madras Presidency, British India. Best's father, John Best, came from a family of sports promoters in Liverpool, who once owned and ran the Liverpool Stadium. Mona Best was born in Delhi, India, and was the daughter of a British army officer. Mona was training to become a doctor in the service of the Red Cross when she met John Best. After their marriage, both Best and his younger brother, Rory Best (b.1944) were born in India. In 1945, the Best family sailed for four weeks to Liverpool on the Georgic, which was the last troop ship to leave India, and carried single and married soldiers who had previously been a part of General Sir William Slim's forces in south-east Asia. The ship docked in Liverpool on 25 December 1945.
The Beatles and Hamburg
In 1960, Allan Williams arranged a season of bookings for The Beatles in Hamburg, starting on 12 August 1960, but said that he was not impressed with them as a musical group, and hoped that he could find a better act to follow them.
Having no permanent drummer, Paul McCartney looked around for someone to fill the Hamburg position. Best had been seen playing with The Quarry Men in The Casbah, and it was noted that he had become a steady drummer, meaning that he played the bass drum on all four beats in the bar, which pushed the rhythm. Best was known in Liverpool as being "mean, moody, and magnificent" by female fans, which convinced McCartney he would be good for the group. After The Black Jacks broke up, McCartney asked Best to go to Hamburg with the group, but lied by saying they would earn £15 per week each. As Best had passed his school examsunlike Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, who had failed most of themhe had the chance to go to a teacher-training college, but decided that playing in Hamburg would be a better career move. Best had an audition in the Jacaranda clubowned by Williamsand travelled to Hamburg the next day with The Beatles. Williams later admitted that the audition with Best was not needed, as The Beatles had not found any other drummer willing to travel to Hamburg, but did not tell Best in case he were to ask for more money.
The Beatles first played at the Indra club in Hamburg, but slept in the Bambi Kino (cinema) in small, dirty rooms, which were noisy, cold, and directly behind the screen. Upon first seeing the Indra, Best remembered it as being a depressing place that was filled with a few tourists, and having heavy, old, red curtains that made it seem shabby compared to the larger Kaiserkeller. As Best had been the only one to take O-Level German at school, he could communicate with Bruno Koschmiderthe club's ownerand the clientele better than the rest of the group. After the closure of the Indra because of complaints about the noise, The Beatles played in the Kaiserkeller. In October 1960, they left Koschmider's club to work at the Top Ten Club, which was run by Peter Eckhorn, as he offered the group more money, and a slightly better place to sleep, though by doing so they broke their contract with Koschmider. When Best and McCartney went back to the Bambi Kino to get their belongings they found it in almost total darkness. As a snub to Koschmider, Best found a condom in his luggage, attached it to a nail on the concrete wall of the room, and set fire to it. There was no real damage done, but Koschmider reported them both for attempted arson. Best and McCartney spent three hours in a local prison and were deported, as was George Harrison, for working under the legal age limit, on 30 November 1960.
Back in Liverpool, no-one contacted each other for two weeks, but Mona and Best made numerous phone calls to Hamburg to recover the group's equipment, which they eventually managed to do. The ex-Black Jacks guitarist Chas Newby was invited to play bass with them for four concerts, as Stu Sutcliffe had decided to stay on in Hamburg. Newby was shocked at the vast improvement of their playing and singing, and remembered Best's drumming to be very powerful, which pushed the group to play harder and louder. It was probably due to McCartney that Best developed a loud drumming style, as he would often tell Best in Hamburg to "Crank it up" (play as loud as possible). Newby played with the group at Litherland Town Hall and at The Casbah. When the group returned to Hamburg, Best was invited to sing a speciality number called "Peppermint Twist" while McCartney played the drums, but Best always felt uncomfortable being at the front of the stage.
Beatles-Platz in Hamburg includes a hybrid sculpture representing an amalgam of Best and Starr on drums, along with sculptures specifically representing Lennon, Sutcliffe, McCartney, and Harrison.
The reunited Beatles returned to Hamburg in April 1961. While playing at the Top Ten Club they were recruited by singer Tony Sheridan to act as his backing band on a series of recordings for the German Polydor Records label, produced by bandleader Bert Kaempfert. Kaempfert signed the group to a Polydor contract at the first session on 22 June 1961. On 31 October 1961, Polydor released the recording "My Bonnie" (Mein Herz ist bei dir nur) which appeared on the German charts under the name "Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers"a generic name used for whoever happened to be in Sheridan's backup band. The song was later released in the UK. There was a second recording session on 23 June and a third session in May 1962.
Record company auditions and Best's dismissal
Brian Epstein, who had been managing The Beatles for less than a month, arranged for the group to have an audition at Decca Records on New Year's Day, 1962. They played 15 songs, mostly covers, and as John Lennon later admitted, were "terrified and nervous". A month later, Decca turned The Beatles down.
Five months later, on 6 June 1962, The Beatles played a Parlophone audition at Abbey Road Studios for George Martin. Ron Richards and his engineer Norman Smith recorded four songs, which Martin (who was not present during the recording) listened to at the end of the session. The recording convinced Martin that the group was good enough to be signed to a contract (even though he had already signed a contract with Epstein) but with one exception; Martin and his engineers wanted to use an experienced session drummer in Best's place, as was common practice amongst producers. Many years later Martin still expressed regret about this decision and what followed: "I decided that the drums, which are really the backbone of a good rock group, didn't give the boys enough support. They needed a good solid beat and I said to Brian, 'Look, it doesn't matter what you do with the boys, but on record, nobody need know. I'm gonna use a hot drummer.' Brian said, 'Okay, fine.' I felt guilty because I felt maybe I was the catalyst that had changed his life, so I'm sorry about that, Pete." 
When the group heard that Martin and the engineers preferred a session drummer for their upcoming recording session, Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison asked Epstein to dismiss Best from the band. Before Epstein became The Beatles' manager, Best had arranged all the bookings in Liverpool, after they had parted company with Williams. Epstein agonised about the decision. As he wrote in his autobiography, A Cellarful of Noise, he "wasn't sure" about George Martin's assessment of Best's drumming and "was not anxious to change the membership of The Beatles at a time when they were developing as personalities...so...I asked The Beatles to leave the group as it was." Epstein also asked Bob Wooler for advice, to which Wooler replied that Best was too popular with the fans to be gotten rid of. Ultimately, Epstein decided that "if the group was to remain happy Pete Best must go" so he called Best to his office and dismissed him on 16 August 1962, which was two years and four days after Best had joined the group.
Best's friend Neil Aspinall was waiting for Best downstairs in Epstein's NEMS record shop after the meeting at which Best was dismissed, and was the first person to talk to him after he had heard from Epstein. The two had a drink in The Grapes pub, across from The Cavern Club, where The Beatles had often played. Starting in 1961, Aspinall had become good friends with Best and subsequently rented a room in the house where Best lived with his parents. Best asked Aspinall to become the band's roadie, resulting in Aspinall buying an old Commer van for 80 pounds. He had been employed as the band's road manager and personal assistant, and was furious and said that he would stop working for them as well but Best strongly advised him not to. Aspinall asked Lennon at the next concert why they had fired Best, to which he replied, "Its got nothing to do with you youre only the driver."
Prior to Best's dismissal, during one of the extended business trips of Best's father, the 19-year-old Aspinall became romantically involved with Best's mother, Mona Best, who was 17 years his senior. During this period, Aspinall fathered a child by Mona: Vincent "Roag" Best. Roag Best was born in late July 1962, just three weeks prior to Best's dismissal. On 16 August 1962, Best was dismissed. Despite his professed initial support for Best, after his friend's dismissal from The Beatles, Aspinall elected to stay in the employ of the group, and he ended his relationship with Mona (and their three-week-old baby, Roag).
Lennon, McCartney and Harrison are all on record as stating that their first and sole choice to replace Best was Ringo Starr and they informed Epstein of this fact. Bill Harry has claimed that the vacant drummer position in The Beatles was initially offered by manager Brian Epstein to Johnny Hutchinson of The Big Three, whom he also managed. Hutchinson turned down the job, saying "Pete Best is a very good friend of mine. I couldn't do the dirty on him". Hutchinson did agree to fill in three bookings until second choice Ringo Starr could join. Starr took Best's place in the band. Harry's claim has never been substantiated by The Beatles.
Starr had previously played with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, the alternate band in the Kaiserkeller, and had stepped in to drum with The Beatles in Hamburg and Liverpool when Best was ill or unable to play. Best's dismissal was reported on the front-page of the Mersey Beat magazine, upsetting many Beatles' fans. The Beatles encountered some jeering and heckling in the street and on stage for weeks afterwards, with some fans shouting, "Pete forever, Ringo [Starr] never!" One agitated fan headbutted Harrison in The Cavern, giving him a black eye.
Reasons for dismissal
Alleged personality conflicts
Best was never told why he was dismissed from The Beatles, as the only reason Epstein stated to him was, "The lads don't want you in the group anymore". Epstein subsequently claimed in his autobiography that Lennon, McCartney and Harrison thought Best "too conventional to be a Beatle, and though he was friendly with John, he was not liked by George and Paul." It has been documented (notably in Cynthia Lennon's book John) that while Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison usually spent their offstage time together in Hamburg and Liverpool, writing songs or socialising, Best generally went off alone. This left Best on the outside, as he was not privy to many of the group's experiences, references, and in-jokes.
On their first trip to Hamburg, The Beatles realised that the stage suits they wore could not stand up to the hours of sweating and jumping about on stage every night, so they all bought leather jackets, jeans and cowboy boots, which were much tougher. Best preferred to play in short sleeves, and so did not match the sartorial style of the group, even though he was later photographed wearing a leather jacket and jeans. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Sutcliffe were introduced to drugs in Hamburg. As they had to play for hours every night, they often took Preludin to keep themselves awake, which were given to them by German customers or by Astrid Kirchherr, whose mother bought them. Lennon would often take four or five, but Best always refused to join in.
Kirchherr asked The Beatles if they would mind letting her take photographs of them in a photo session, which impressed them, as other groups only had snapshots that were taken by friends. The next morning Kirchherr took photographs in a municipal park called "der Dom" which was close to the Reeperbahn, and in the afternoon she took them allminus Best who decided not to goto her mother's house in Altona. Best was described by Dot RhoneMcCartney's girlfriend at the time, who later visited Hamburgas being very quiet, and never taking part in conversations with the group.
Best's popularity with fans was a source of friction, as many female fans considered Best to be the band's best-looking member. It has been said that Epstein became exasperated with Best's refusal to adopt the mop-top-style Beatle haircut as part of their unified look, although Best later claimed that he was never asked to change his hairstyle. In a 1995 BBC Radio Merseyside interview, Kirchherr explained: "My boyfriend, Klaus Voorman, had this hairstyle, and Stuart [Sutcliffe] liked it very, very much. He was the first one who really got the nerve to get the Brylcreem out of his hair, and asking me to cut his hair for him. Pete Best has really curly hair, and it wouldn't work."
Radio Merseyside presenter, Spencer Leigh, wrote a book chronicling Best's firing, suggesting that the other members, McCartney in particular, were jealous. During the Teenagers' Turn showcase in Manchester, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison walked on stage to applause, but when Best walked on, the girls screamed. Best was surrounded at the stage door afterwards by attentive females while the other members were ignored after signing a few autographs. McCartney's father, Jim McCartney, was present at the time and admonished Best by saying: "Why did you have to attract all the attention? Why didn't you call the other lads back? I think that was very selfish of you". Mona Best's take on her son's sacking, as told to British television in 1963 with Pete by her side: "From the point of clash of personalties, well, probably that may be it because Peter did have a terrific fan club, you know, compared to the others." [Interviewer: "Too good looking perhaps, eh?"] "I'll leave that for other people to say but from my point of view we haven't come here to sort of throw sticks and stones at the boys because there is no really hard feeling. There was at first, but it's just the way that it was done that has annoyed us. If it had been done a bit more straightforward it would have been more to the mark." Martin was shocked that Epstein had sacked Best: "He seemed to be the most saleable commodity as far as looks went. It was a surprise when I learned that they had dropped Pete. The drums were important to me for a record, but they didnt matter much otherwise. Fans dont pay particular attention to the quality of the drumming". Martin used session musician Andy White on the third session for "Love Me Do" on 11 September, and not Starr, who was Best's replacement.
Best as a drummer
Musically Best has been judged to have had a limited rhythmic vocabulary that was seen as holding the other three band members back from their collective musical growth. George Martin, as noted above, deemed Best's drumming to be inadequate for a record. As stated in Bob Spitz's 2005 biography, "All Pete could do was play 'Fours'..." a style of drumming that uses kick drum notes on every quarter note to hold down the beat. Spitz's book also contains engineer Ron Richards' account of his failed attempts to teach Best somewhat more complicated beats for different songs. Critic and Beatles historian Richie Unterberger described Best's drumming at the Decca session as "thinly textured and rather unimaginative" and said that Best "pushes the beat a little too fast for comfort". Unterberger thought Ringo Starr to be "more talented." Beatles critic Alan W. Pollack compared the Best, Starr, and Andy White versions of "Love Me Do" and concluded that Best was "an incredibly unsteady and tasteless drummer" on his version. Beatles historian Ian MacDonald, recounting the Decca audition, said that "Best's limitations as a drummer are nakedly apparent." MacDonald notes of the 6 June EMI audition that "...this audition version [of "Love Me Do"] shows one of the reasons why Pete Best was sacked: in moving to the ride cymbal for the first middle eight, he slows down and the group falters."
However, Beatles' historian Tony Knowles states, "... on the recording of "Love Me Do" from the "Beatle Anthology," (which is considered by many uninformed as a typical example of Best's drumming) was the result of EMI engineer Norman Smith (a drummer himself) asking Pete to (for variety sack) change up the beat in the chorus with a rhythm that Smith showed him, on the spot, in the studio. If you listen to the recording Pete struggles to reproduce the new beat the first time through but is much closer to having it down the second time through. In my opinion, Best's firing was more of a result of personality conflict and not fitting in with the other three Beatles than was his drum playing. John Lennon was okay with Stewart Sutciffe being in the group even though his bass playing was average at best. If you study the non-EMI early Beatle recordings it is obvious that George Harrison, as a guitar player, was probably the weakest link instrumentally in the band (although he improved greatly over the years). I believe that if the other three had really wanted Pete in the group and had approached him about his playing and encouraged him to put in extra effort to improve, that Pete Best would been a more than adequate drummer (he has later recording sessions with the Pete Best Band to prove it.) But in the end, in my opinion, Best only has himself to blame he didn't establish the type of personal relationship with the other Beatles to endear them to him and make them want to keep him."
All the other Beatles went on record about the dismissal of Best. Paul McCartney said that "It was a strictly professional decision. If he wasn't up to the mark... then there was no other choice". He also pronounced Best to be "a bit limited." Lennon called the accusations of jealousy a "myth", and claimed that Best was only recruited for the band because The Beatles needed a drummer to go to Hamburg, and said, "We were always going to dump him when we found a decent drummer." Harrison said that "Pete kept being sick and not showing up for gigs" and claimed that "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." For his part, Ringo said that "I felt I was a much better drummer than he was."
Lennon, McCartney and Harrison all later stated that they regretted the manner in which they sacked Best. Lennon admitted that "We were cowards when we sacked him." McCartney has stated that "I do feel sorry for him, because of what he could have been on to." Harrison said "We weren't very good at telling Pete he had to go" and "Historically it may look like we did something nasty to Pete and it may have been that we could have handled it better." Ringo, on the other hand, feels he has no apology to make: "I never felt sorry for Pete Best. I was not involved." The Beatles authority Mark Lewisohn has concluded that "Despite his alleged shortcomings, it was still shabby treatment for Pete... the most underhand, unfortunate and unforgivable chapter in The Beatles' rise to monumental power."
After The Beatles
Soon after Best was dismissed, Epstein tried to console him by offering to build another group around him, but Best turned him down. Feeling let-down and depressed, he sat at home for two weeksnot wanting to face anybody or answer the inevitable questions about why he had been sacked. Best joined Lee Curtis & the All Stars, which then broke off from Curtis and became Pete Best & the All Stars. They signed to Decca Records, and released the single "I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door", which was not a hit. Best later relocated to the United States along with songwriters Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington. As The Pete Best Four, and later as The Pete Best Combo (increasing their number to five) they toured the United States with a combination of 1950s songs and original tunes, recording for small labels, but had little success. They ultimately released an album on Savage Records, titled Best Of The Beatles; a play on Best's name, leading to disappointment for record buyers who expected a Beatles' compilation. The group disbanded shortly afterwards. Bickerton and Waddington were to find greater success as songwriters in the 1970s, writing a series of hits for the American female group, The Flirtations and Rubettes.
Best decided to leave show business, and by the time of Hunter Davies' 1968 authorised Beatles' biography, he was not willing to talk about his Beatles' association. Years later Best stated in his autobiography, "The Beatles themselves certainly never held out a helping hand and only contributed to the destruction with their readily-printed gossip that I had never really been a Beatle, that I didn't smile, that I was unsociable and definitely not a good mixer. There was not a single friendly word from any one of them." During the height of Beatlemania he attempted to commit suicide, but was talked out of it by his mother, Mona, and his brother, Rory. In 1963, he married Kathy, who worked behind the biscuit counter at a Woolworth's store. Best's marriage to Kathy has lasted for more than 45 years, and they have two daughters (Beba and Bonita) and four grandchildren. Best did shift work loading bread into the back of delivery vans, earning £8 a week. His education qualifications subsequently helped him become a civil servant working at Garston Jobcentre in Liverpool where he rose from employment officer to training manager for the northwest of England and, ironically, remembered "a steady stream of real-life Yosser Hughes types imploring him to give them jobs. The most he could do, he recalls, was to offer to retrain them in other fields 'which was an emotional issue for people who had done one kind of work all their lives'. In time, Best began giving interviews to the media, wrote about his time with The Beatles, and served as a technical advisor for the television film Birth of The Beatles. Best found a modicum of independent fame, and has admitted to being a fan of his former band's music, and owning their records. In 1995, the surviving Beatles released Anthology 1, which featured a number of tracks with Best as drummer, including songs from the Beatles' Decca and Parlophone auditions and the Pete Best edition of "Love Me Do". Best received a substantial windfallbetween £1 million and £4 millionfrom the sales, although he was not interviewed for the book or the documentaries. The collage of torn photographs on the Anthology 1 album cover includes an early group photo that features Best, but Best's head is covered by Ringo's head from the Please Please Me cover photo. (The missing section of that photograph appears on the cover of the album Haymans Green). A small photograph of Best can be seen on the left side of the Anthology cover. Best appeared in an advertisement for Carlsberg lager, which was broadcast during the first commercial break of the first episode of the Anthology TV series on ITV in November 1995. The tag line was "Probably the Pete Best lager in the world", a variation of Carlsberg's well known slogan.
The Pete Best Band
In 1988, after twenty years of turning down all requests to play drums in public, Best finally relented, appearing at a Beatles convention in Liverpool. He and his brother, Roag, performed for the audience and afterward, his wife and mother told him, "You don't know it, but you're going to go back into show business." Pete Best now regularly tours the world with The Pete Best Band, sharing the drumming with his younger brother Roag. On 6 July 2007, Best was inducted into the All You Need Is Liverpool Music Hall of Fame as the debut Charter Member. Best was presented with a framed certificate before his band performed. Their new album Haymans Green, made from entirely original material, was released on 16 September 2008 in the USA, 24 October 2008 worldwide (excluding the UK), and 27 October 2008 in the UK.
- "I'm Gonna Knock on Your Door" b/w "Why Did I Fall in Love with You" (Decca F 11929, Released: 1964)
- "(I'll Try) Anyway" b/w "I Wanna Be There" (Original Beatles Drummer 800, Released: 1964)
- "Kansas City" b/w "Boys" (Cameo 391, Released: 1965)
- "I Can't Do Without You Now" b/w "Keys to My Heart" (Mr. Maestro Records 711, Released: 1965)
Another "Peter Best" single, "Carousel Of Love"/"Want You" (Capitol 2092) is not by Best, but an Australian performer with the same name.
- Best of the Beatles (Savage BM 71, Released: 1966)
- Includes: I Need Your Lovin'; Just Wait and See; Casting My Spell; Keys to My Heart; Why Did You Leave Me Baby?; Like My Sister Kate; I Can't Do Without You Now; I'm Blue; Some Other Guy; She's Alright; Nobody But You; Last Night
- The Beatle That Time Forgot [Original Version] (Phoenix PB-22, Released: 1981)
- Includes: I'm Checking Out Now Baby; I'll Try Any Way; I Don't Know Why (I Just Do); How'd You Get to Know Her Name; She's Not the Only Girl in Town; If You Can't Get Her; More Than I Need My Self; I'll Have Everything Too; The Way I feel About You; Don't Play With Me (Little Girl); Rock and Roll Music; All Aboard
- Rebirth (Phoenix PB-44, Released: 1981)
- Includes: I Can't Do Without You Now; Off the Hook; She's Alright; I Need Your Lovin'; Why Did You Leave Me Baby; High School Shimmy; I Wanna Be There; Everybody; Pete's Theme; Keys to My Heart
- The Beatle That Time Forgot [Reissue] (Phoenix PHX 340, Released: 1982)
- Includes: I'll Try Anyway; I Don't Know Why I Do (I Just Do); She's Not the Only Girl in Town; More Than I Need My Self; I'll Have Everything Too; I'm Checking Out Now Baby; How'd You Get to Know Her Name; If You Can't Get Her; Rock and Roll Music
- Live at the Adelphi Liverpool 1988 - 1992 CD
- "Heaven" b/w "Fool In Love" - 1990 British Vinyl 45 + Picture Sleeve
- Back to the Beat - 1995 CD (live)
- Once a Beatle, Always a Beatle - 1996 CD
- The Pete Best Combo- Beyond The Beatles 1964-66- Gryphon label - 1996 CD
- Casbah Coffee Club 40th Anniversary Limited Edition - 1999 CD
- CCC 4 Track Sampler - 2000 CD single (3 bonus tracks)
- Best of The Beatles - 2005 DVD Tour Manager is Teri Rousseau (features 3 exclusive Pete Best Band studio recordings)
- Haymans Green - Released 16 September 2008 (USA), August 2008 (UK) (The Pete Best Band)
Full length films
- The Rocker, a 2008 film in which the opening scenes parallel the circumstances under which Best was dismissed from The Beatles.
- Best is credited with playing himself during the end credits.
Best of the Beatles DVD (USA) Pete Best of the Beatles (UK) Directed and filmed by Alan Humphreys
BEST!, a comedy play written by Liverpool playwright Fred Lawless, was staged at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre and the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1995 and 1996. The play, which was mainly fiction, showed a scenario where after Pete Best's sacking from The Beatles, he went on to be become a world famous rock superstar while The Beatles struggled as one hit wonders. The play was critically acclaimed in both the Liverpool Echo and also in Spencer Leigh's 1998 book Drummed Out : The Sacking of Pete Best 
- Roag and Pete Best (2003) p1
- Liverpool Stadium and Johnny Best lmu.livjm.ac.uk Retrieved 1 December 2007 Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- Pest Best biog iol.ie/~beatlesireland Retrieved 7 November 2007 Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- Mona Best biog iol.ie/~beatlesireland Retrieved 7 November 2007 Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- Roag and Pete Best "The Beatles: The True Beginnings" 2003 p17
- General Sir William Slim and the Georgic red-duster.co.uk Retrieved 26 November 2007
- Spitz (2005) p203
- Spitz (2005) p204
- The Beatles Anthology DVD 2003 (Episode 1 0:39:26) McCartney talking Bests reputation in Liverpool
- 10.0 10.1 Miles (1997) p57
- Lennon (2006) pp69-70
- Spitz (2005) p6
- The Beatles Anthology DVD 2003 (Episode 1 - 0:39:49) Harrison talking about the audition with Best
- My Beatle Days, by Pete Best triumphpc.com - Retrieved 26 November 2007
- Goldsmith (2004) p46
- Spitz 2005 p208
- Lennon (2006) p77
- Miles (1997) pp57-8
- Cynthia Lennon John 2006 p76
- Lennon (2006) p93
- Miles (1997) pp71-72
- Spitz 2005 p230
- The Beatles Anthology DVD 2003 (Episode 1 - 0:49:56) Notice telling Harrison to leave Hamburg.
- Miles (1997) pp72-73
- Lewisohn (1990) p24
- Spitz (2005) p231
- Photo of Chas Newby beatlesource.com - Retrieved 5 November 2007
- Spitz (2005) p5
- Spitz (2005) p214
- Spitz (2005) p234
- Best and "Peppermint Twist" eskimo.com - Retrieved 26 November 2007
- Lennon (2006) p97
- Spitz (2005) p250
- My Bonnie / The Saints 23 April 1962. Polydor NH 66833 (Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers)
- Unterberger, Richie. The unreleased Beatles: music & film. 2006, Hal Leonard Corp., ISBN 978-0-87930-892-6, p. 18
- 37.0 37.1 Unterberger, p. 19
- 38.0 38.1 Unterberger, p. 22
- Martin (1994) pp120-123
- The Beatles Anthology DVD 2003 (Episode 1 - 1:02:54) Martin talking about Bests drumming.
- 41.0 41.1 Miles (1997) p90
- 42.0 42.1 Spitz (2005) p318
- 43.0 43.1 Lennon (2006) p119
- Lennon (2006) p106
- 45.0 45.1 45.2 Spitz (2005) p330
- 46.0 46.1 46.2 Epstein, Brian, A Cellarful of Noise. Pyramid Books, 1964, p. 63
- Spitz (2005) p329
- 48.0 48.1 Spitz (2005) p331
- 49.0 49.1 Aspinall, The Beatles and money - Mersey Beat triumphpc.com - Retrieved 11 February 2007
- Williams, Richard. "Obituary - Neil Aspinall", The Guardian, 25 March 2008
- Lennon (2006) p44.
- Review of Drummed Out The sacking of Pete Best iol.ie/~beatlesireland - Retrieved 11 February 2007 Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- Bill Harry on Pete Best's Sacking
- Best and Bill Harry on Rory Storm triumphpc.com - Retrieved 5 November 2007
- The Beatles Anthology DVD 2003 (Episode 1 - 1:04:24) Harrison talking about Pete forever, Ringo never!.
- Lennon (2006) p120
- The Sacking Of Pete Best iol.ie/~beatlesireland - Retrieved 31 May 2007 Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- Spitz 2005 pp213-214
- The Beatles Anthology DVD 2003 (Episode 1 - 0:44:28) Starr and Harrison talking about Preludins in Hamburg
- Miles (1997) pp66-67
- Spitz (2005) p219
- The Beatles Anthology DVD 2003 (Episode 1 - 0:47:16) Harrison talking about their friends: Kircherr, Voormann and Volmer.
- Spitz (2005) p223
- Spitz (2005) p246
- 65.0 65.1 65.2 Spitz (2005) p322
- Kirchherr's interview on BBC Radio Merseyside's 500th "On The Beat" programme - Saturday 26 August 1995 members.aol.com - Retrieved 21 May 2007
- 67.0 67.1 Leigh Drummed Out!: The Sacking of Pete Best (1998)
- "Best of the Beatles DVD 2005 (1:48:48) Mona and Pete reflecting on Pete's dismissal, in vintage television clip
- Harry 2001 - The Beatles Encyclopedia
- Spitz (2005) p353
- Unterberger, p. 24
- Notes On "Love Me Do"
- MacDonald, p. 52
- MacDonald, p. 55-56
- 76.0 76.1 The Beatles, The Beatles Anthology. Chronicle Books, 2000, ISBN 978-0-8118-2684-6, pp. 70-72
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