Beatles By Day

Long time ago when we was fab

The Beatles fire Pete Best

On August 16th 1962, unhappy with Pete Best as The Beatles' drummer, the band and manager Brian Epstein decided to fire him. Best had been with the group for two years since going to Hamburg in 1960.

At the time Ringo Starr was playing with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. After receiving a phone call from John, Ringo gave his band three days notice that he was leaving to join The Beatles.

Best was completely unaware of what was transpiring. The band left it up to manager Brian Epstein to be the bearer of the bad news. 

 "Brian Epstein told me that Pete Best was going to be sacked. I could imagine it with someone who was constantly late or giving him problems, but Pete Best was not awkward and he didn't step out of line. I was most indignant and I said, 'Why are you doing this?' but I didn't get an answer." - Bob Wooler
The Beatles with Pete Best, 1962. 

The Beatles with Pete Best, 1962. 

Epstein summoned Best for a meeting at his NEMS record store. Best was driven there by Neil Aspinall, who was at that time in a relationship with Pete's mother Mona. 

 "Neil drove me into town and dropped me off in Whitechapel. I found Brian in a very uneasy mood when I joined him in his upstairs office. He came out with a lot of pleasantries and talked anything but business, which was unlike him. These were obviously delaying tactics and something important, I knew, was on his mind. Then he mustered enough courage to drop the bombshell.
'The boys want you out and Ringo in.'
I was stunned and found words difficult. Only one echoed through my mind. Why, why why?
'They don't think you're a good enough drummer, Pete,' Brian went on. 'And George Martin doesn't think you're a good enough drummer.'
So everything was all neatly packaged. A conspiracy had clearly been going on for some time behind my back, but not one of the other Beatles could find the courage to tell me. The stab in the back had been left to Brian, and it had been left until almost the last minute. Even Ringo had been a party to it, someone else I had considered to be a pal until this momentous day..." - Pete Best
George Harrison with his black eye, at EMI Studios, September 4th 1962.

George Harrison with his black eye, at EMI Studios, September 4th 1962.

The Aftermath

Epstein asked Best if he would play a few more shows before Ringo joined the group. Although Best initially agreed, later when the reality of the situation set in he didn't appear for any of the shows Epstein wanted him to play. And he never performed with The Beatles after that. 

News of Best's sacking was greeted with shock and anger; particularly from female fans; many found Best to be the most attractive out of all The Beatles. Chants would break out in the Cavern... Ringo never...! Pete Best forever... !

One disgruntled male fan headbutted George Harrison, giving him a black eye.