This Day In Rock. The Beatles
Born Randolph Peter, 24th November 1941, Madras, India (his biological father died during WWII), his Delhi-born mother Mona re-married in 1944 to Johnny Best and moved from Bombay to Liverpool. With his mother instigating the Casbah Coffee Club in the cellar of their Merseyside home, The BEATLES (LENNON, McCARTNEY and HARRISON as The Quarrymen, at first) came to rehearse and perform in 1960. That same year, Alan Williams would book the band residencies in Hamburg, Germany; he was known as the “mean, moody and magnificent” by adoring female fans. There have been a raft of subsequent films that have swayed between what happened and the conjecture behind the stories, but one thing was clear, BEST had to move on.
Ostrascised from his beloved BEATLES, Pete would duly join Lee Curtis And The All-Stars from June ’62, while from September 1963 he founded the PETE BEST FOUR, released one platter, `I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door’ for Decca Records (who’d ironically turned The BEATLES down in ’62). Later in 1964, until 1966, The Pete Best Combo was doing the rounds, and although there were American indie 45s available (as Peter Best), Beatlemania had helped sweep the name of Best under the carpet.
Married and fully supported (now nigh-on a half-century) by his wife Kathy in 1963, Best took “normal” jobs before he landed work as a civil servant at Garston Jobcentre in Liverpool to support his young family. Often understandably perturbed and dismayed at his treatment by his former BEATLES buddies, Pete was egged back from retirement in ’88 by his younger brother Roeg Best (also a drummer); the Pete Best Band would continue on the circuit as well as delivering the odd, low-key and somewhat under-par “covers” album.
Obtaining a windfall royalty payment for his part in BEATLES’ collection `Anthology 1’ (1995), the legend of the drummer has taken on a life of its own in recent years; the city of Liverpool even going as far as naming streets (Pete Best Drive and Casbah Close) in his honour. In 2008, with a new PETE BEST band consisting of stalwart brother Roag, Phil Melia, Paul Parry and Tony Flynn, his first album of original songs HAYMANS GREEN was delivered to surprisingly decent reviews. Finally, a corner had been turned