Ringo Starr had harsh words for Beatles’ first drummer Pete Best

Long before The Beatles became the legendary Fab Four, they had a totally different drummer. Originally, a local Liverpool lad named Pete Best acted as the drummer for the band who started out as The Quarrymen before changing their name.

But in 1962, just after they got signed by Brian Epstein, they decided they wanted to change things up. Enter: Ringo Starr. The musician – who turns 83-years-old today, on July 7, 2023 – was another local drummer who had quite the reputation for being an incredible performer. And before long, Best was booted from the band to allow for Starr to complete the line-up that has now become iconic.

Years later, Starr opened up on why he really thought John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison really dropped Best from the line-up. Starr explained: “Pete Best? – it’s no offence, but I never felt he was a great drummer.”

30 years later, he spoke out against Best once again. After being asked if he felt bad for replacing Best, Starr said: “No. Why should I? I was a better player than him. That’s how I got the job!”

There was chaos when Best’s departure was announced, though. The young man was extremely good looking, and had built up quite a fanbase in Liverpool – made up of mostly young women. “There were riots!” Starr recalled. “Pete had a big following, but I had been known for years in Liverpool, so I had quite a following, too. So there was this whole shouting match: ‘Ringo never, Peter forever,’ and: ‘Pete never, Ringo forever.’ There was this whole battle going on, and I’m just trying to drum away.”

Starr also said claimed Best’s exit was a result of his own actions, as well. The drummer’s biography – Ringo: With a Little Help – was written by Michael Seth Starr (no relation), who pointed out that Best had a very different character to Lennon, Harrison and McCartney.

He wrote: “His personality slowly drove a wedge between Pete and his fellow Beatles. Best was moody and distant, didn’t seem to share the same sense of humour as his Beatle brethren and, more often than not, kept to himself after a show rather than banter with the guys.”

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