Pete Best has finally come to terms with his life as the “lost Beatle,” says Pete Paphides in the London Times. As the Beatles’ drummer for two years when the band was first starting out, Best, now 66, stood on the cusp of musical immortality. But his band mates kicked him out in favor of Ringo Starr, in 1962. Best was devastated, and in 1965, with the Beatles at the height of their global fame, he tried to kill himself by inhaling gas fumes. “The memory of doing it is eclipsed by the dressing-down I got from my mother and brother after they smashed the door down,” he says. “They told me that my wife and baby daughter deserved better—and they were right.” Best tried to put his disappointment behind him, and found direction as a career counselor in Liverpool. But he gave up music—until, that is, John Lennon was killed in 1980. That shock helped Best make peace with his past, he says. He started playing drums again, and for the past 20 years, has been touring with his brother Roag in the Pete Best Band. He wishes the surviving Beatles well, but insists he has no desire to reunite with them, even if they were to ask. “I’d say thanks but no thanks. After all, I’d be doing to my band what I had done to me all those years ago.”
Best’s life as a footnote
December 12, 2008
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