Rare and Unreleased Jim Ladd (L.A. Disc Jockey) interview with Pete Best, previous drummer for the Beatles. Video taped in Los Angeles, April 1982 by VideoWest and runs approx. 90 minutes total. The actual interview lasts about 70 minutes and was shot at Jim Ladd's home. Additional video shots are from all around L.A. as a bonus. The interview is awesome and Jim asks some hard questions about the split between Pete and the Beatles and his replacement by Ringo.
The quality of the tape is great and each copy is from the original master.
|For more on Jim Ladd visit his personal web site.|
Pete Best Bio
Peter Randolph Best was born in Madras, India on November 24, 1941. His parents were Mona, who was a red-cross nurse, and John Best, an army physical training instructor. His brother, Rory, was born in 1944 and the following year the family sailed to England and settled in Liverpool. He passed the 11-Plus examination at Blackmoor Park primary school in West Derby and moved into the Collegiate Grammar School.
Mona Best converted their large house into a club called "The Casbah" where in August 1959 and group called "The Quarry Men" became the resident band there. Several weeks later, John, Paul, and George were arguing about whether or not guitarist Ken Brown should be paid for a gig he did not perform in due to an illness. As a result, Ken left the group and talked Pete into forming a group with him called "The Blackjacks" a name originally thought up by John. Mona bought Pete a drum kit from the music department at Blackler's store and the band began to build up a loyal following with a rock 'n' roll repertoire of numbers by Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
In the meantime, The Quarry Men had changed their name to "The Beatles" and the band had just lost it's drummer Tommy Moore. The band was to go to Hamburg in a matter of days and they needed a new drummer. Pete got a phone call from Paul McCartney asking him, "How'd you like to come to Hamburg with The Beatles?" Pete was only too pleased to accept and successfully auditioned for the group at Allan William's club.
In Hamburg The Beatles were subjected to long hours each night on stage and were told to "make a show" for the paying customers. The Beatles played at a small club called the Indra, then moved to the Kaiserkeller where they were second on the bill to Rory Storm & the Hurricanes. During this time, Pete had become firmly established as a member of the group, not only on stage, but joining the other in drinking bouts and in picking up girls. Pete seemed to be particularly popular with the girls who attended Kaiserkeller.
The group was about to continue their Hamburg season by appearing at a rival club to the Kaiserkeller, The Top Ten, when Pete and Paul were accused of trying to set fire to the Bambi Kino by the Kaiswerkeller owner, and both were deported. Peter Eckhorn, who ran The Top Ten Club, was able to send Pete's kit back to Liverpool in a crate. Stuart Sutcliffe had remained in Hamburg for a time, so Pete had to fill in as a temporary bass guitarist for their four gigs in Liverpool in December.
When they performed in Liverpool, both audiences and fellow musicians were able to see the difference Hamburg had caused. They all had improved beyond recognition. Pete was to say, "When we came back from Germany I was playing using my bass drum very loud and laying down a very solid beat. This was unheard of at the time in Liverpool as all the groups were playing the Shadows' style. Even Ringo in Rory Storm's group copied our beat and it wasn't long before most drummers in Liverpool were playing the same style. This way of drumming had a great deal to do with the big sound we were producing." This beat was referred to as "The Atom Beat".
For the next year, Pete and his mother Mona were acting mangers of the group. Pete was encouraged to be included in a singing spot in the act. "Peppermint Twist" was decided upon as the song for Pete and his popularity grew. Enough so that Pete was placed in front of the other three at a St. Valentine's Dance on February 14, 1961. Pete was mobbed by girls and was almost pulled off the stage into the audience.
It was Mona Best who originally made the first approach to The Cavern Club on behalf of The Beatles. She contacted Ray McFall and discussed the group with him. He said he'd think about it. It was Pete who then called Peter Eckhorn and fixed them up with their Top Ten, Hamburg session in April 1961. Also during that year, Mona contacted Granada Television in an attempt to secure them a spot on the program "People And Places".
Soon Brian Epstein would become The Beatles manager and he discussed many gigs and fees with Pete and the relationship between them seemed to be quite an amicable one. When the group auditioned for Decca they were turned down and there was no comment of any sort regarding Pete's ability as a drummer.
Pete learned about the Decca rejection weeks after the others knew, "I was hurt because I was the last to about it" said Pete. This was the one of the earliest warning signs about Pete becoming replaced. Another was one day while Pete and Paul were having lunch Pete mentioned that he wanted to buy a Ford Capri. Paul told him, "If you take my advice you won't buy it, that's all. You'd better be saving your money."
On August 16, 1962, Pete was called to Brian Epstein's to have a meeting. Pete presumed it would be the usual discussion about the forthcoming gigs. He was completely taken off guard when Brian told him, "The boys want you out of the group. They don't think you're a good enough drummer." While he was in the office the phone rang-it was Paul, asking if Pete had been given the news. Brian had told Pete that he'd been replaced by Ringo but asked if he could perform at the next gig at Chester prior to Ringo taking his place. When Pete's mother learned of the news, she immediately tried to contact Epstein by phone, without success.
Pete would later go on to a solo career with his new band Pete Best All Stars. The band went to Decca Records, the same company that rejected The Beatles, and signed Pete and his band. Their debut single "I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door", issued in June 1964, wasn't a success and Decca dropped the group.
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