Pete Best …Interview with The Original Beatles Drummer

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Pete Best was the drummer for The Beatles in their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg. Pete Best grew up with a strong musical influence within his mother. She encouraged the passion and desire to bring music into the lives of Pete and the kids in Liverpool, England by opening the Casbah, a music club, below his childhood home. Despite picking up a guitar as his first instrument, Pete quickly found his way to the drums and joined a local group, the Blackjacks.

Pete then joined up with three other young guys, John, Paul, and George, from Liverpool as they were setting out for their first tour in Hamburg, Germany.

A true story about the THE BEATLES with the great PETE BEST on the drums is …  On 1th January 1962, before they reached international stardom, the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, north London. In what is considered one of the biggest mistakes in music industry history, Decca decided to reject the band, selecting instead Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. Some of the songs recorded for the audition were officially released on the Beatles rarities compilation Anthology 1 in 1995.

Pete remained the drummer with the Beatles from 1960 to 1962 until Pete was replaced by Ringo Starr.

For us, there is a big question mark, since then… till today, about the band decision to fire their original drummer Peter Best… and replace him with another drummer  with the name…  Ringo Starr!

Pete later went on to work with Lee Curtis and the All-Stars as well as the Pete Best Combo before deciding to leave music and make raising a family a priority. These days, Pete has embraced his experience with the Beatles and has rejoined the music scene playing for adoring audiences around the world. The Pete Best Band delivers the raw, thumping intensity of the Beatles’ savage sound during the early sixties. The band is proud of their authentic sound and energy. Right from the first beat you’ll be immersed in nostalgia, listening to ‘the best first years’ of the Beatles!  

Pete is the man who put the beat into THE BEATLES so it is very important, to have an interview with Mr. Randolph Peter Best. So it was a great time for ATHENS CALLING G.R, in the early days of the year 2020 to have an interview with the Original Beatles Drummer Mr. Randolph Peter Best via email!  

ATHENS CALLING G.R: Hello Pete, we are quite happy, about this interview with you, because we believe that you are the man who put the beat into THE BEATLES Mr. Randolph Peter Best… Welcome to Athens Calling G.R! 

PETE BEST: Well thank you Athens Calling for that introduction. I’m very happy to be here.

ATHENS CALLING G.R: Reading your biography we see three years active periods from the years 1960 till present. ( 1960-62 , 1963-68 and the last 1988-present ) Please tell us, your best and you’re worst moment , of your three periods?    

PETE BEST: My best and worst moments in three different active decades. Very interesting and not a question I have been asked before. So, lets take one period at a time.

1960-1962

Best Moment. There are two many to mention. This was a very exciting period as myself and fellow Beatles literally went from strength to strength. But, I’ll pull one out of the hat. Recording ‘My Bonnie’ with Tony Sheridan was very cool. None of us had ever been on a record before.

Worst moment. Being fired from The Beatles for no apparent reason. That was difficult time for me.

1963-1968

Best Moment. Being signed to Decca Records with my own group The Pete Best Four was an exciting time. We were going to get a shot at the UK charts. It felt good.

Worst moment. Having just got a No 1 record in New York and preparing to do a tour of the USA and being told the members of my group had to go home as there were too many British musicians in the USA. It was some musicians union nonsense. My group had to leave, but I could stay if I wanted to perform and tour using American musicians. I couldn’t do that to the lads in the group who had worked so hard for me. So we all went home together and missed the opportunity.

1988 to present.

Best moment. Returning to the stage in 1988 with The Pete Best Band and performing for the first time in a very long time with my mother in the audience seeing her eldest son and her youngest son Roag playing on stage together.

Worst moment. I can’t really say I have had a worst moment during this time. I’ve toured all over the world to a very appreciative audience. Nothing bad about that.

ATHENS CALLING G.R: And your first teacher in your music carrier, who was?

PETE BEST: My first musical teacher. Well I didn’t have a teacher as such. I mean I didn’t have someone sitting there showing me how to play, but I did learn a lot from the drummer Gene Krupa. He is still one of my drum heroes.

ATHENS CALLING G.R: Tell us your opinion about the title ‘ THE FIFTH BEATLE’ ,that many commentators in the press and entertainment industry have applied to us.

PETE BEST: 5th Beatle. Well it’s not so much something the press have applied to me as such, but an actual fact. John Was first. Paul was second. George was third. Stuart was fourth. I was fifth. Ringo was sixth. So you see I am actually the fifth Beatle

ATHENS CALLING G.R: I want ask you now about your relationships today, with Paul and Ringo.

PETE BEST: Relationship today with Paul and Ringo. I have to be honest there is no relationship today with Paul and Ringo. I don’t see them and I don’t hear from them. However, both are good friends with my brother Roag.

ATHENS CALLING G.R: The Pete Best band, is the name of your band, tell us about your band  

PETE BEST: The Pete Best Band. This is the name of the group I have performed, recorded and toured with since 1988. Great musicians who had all recorded and toured before they joined me. The current line up has been together 15 years. It’s a very strong group. When touring we concentrate on the material I played as a Beatle during 1960-1962. People love it and get a very different respective compared to what Paul and Ringo do. We of course have recorded and our last album ‘Haymans Green’ which was all original material was nominated for 5 grammys. Unfortunately we didn’t get a Grammy, but still great to have been nominated. The album get a lot of critical acclaim which was nice of course.  

ATHENS CALLING G.R: And the world music scene … Too many bands … too many names, also we have many reunions from the past. Please give us the name of your favorite musicians- Groups or CDs.  

PETE BEST: Favorite musicians or bands. My tastes are very varied. From the past I would have to say Gene Vincent and Elvis and more current U2 and Bruno Mars. I have a number of records and CDs from these artists.

ATHENS CALLING G.R: And now Let’s play now a game. Put please any words you like filling in the blank of the initial letters of your name… P E T E   B E S T

PETE BEST: Private –Exciting- Truthful- Enduring -Brave –Easy- Strong -Tasteful.

ATHENS CALLING G.R: Let’s ‘’travel’’  to Greece now ! Would you like to tell us, if you know a Greek songwriter or a singer or a song? 

 PETE BEST: Greek songwriter, singer or song. Well I could rush to the internet and look, but that wouldn’t be very truthful. I have to be honest I don’t, sorry.

ATHENS CALLING G.R: My last question is about YOU! Many people in the world  believe that you are … a legend! … tell us your opinion about it!

PETE BEST: A legend. I’d like to think I’m quite a humble guy so it’s difficult for me to comment on this. I will say if people refer to me as a legend I’m honoured.

ATHENS CALLING G.R: Thank you PETE for the interview and Best regards to you and to your family… Many thanks all the best for 2020! 

PETE BEST: Thank you. Thank you Athens calling. Lots of your questions were very different which made this interview very refreshing. All the best to you and your readers!… Pete Best.

Interview Editor’s note: We will also thank…to  Roag Best (brother and manager of Pete) for his help, to conduct this interview!

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