Pete Best is fired from The Beatles

Pete Best and Neil Aspinall repaired to the Grapes pub on Mathew Street to take in the shocking news.

’All I want to do is try to get my thoughts together,’ I told him. He was really upset and as disgusted as I was at this sudden, stupefying blow. He began to talk about quitting his job as road manager.

‘There’s no need for that,’ I told him. ‘Don’t be a fool – The Beatles are going places.’ …

Once I was home at Hayman’s Green, I broke down and wept. My mother already knew what had happened that morning in Brian’s office, as unknown to me Neil had slipped away at some stage to telephone her. She had been trying in vain to contact Epstein only to find that he was ‘Not available’.

When I was sufficiently recovered from the initial shock, I realised that I had promised to carry on as a Beatle until Ringo’s arrival and that we were due to play Chester that night. Now I knew I could never face it. I had been betrayed and sitting up there on stage with the three people who had done it would be like having salt rubbed into a very deep wound. If they didn’t want me, they would have to get along without me from this moment on and find another drummer..

Pete Best
Beatle! The Pete Best Story, by Pete Best and Patrick Doncaster

John Lennon later said of the dismissal, “We were cowards. We got Epstein to do the dirty work for us.”

News of Best’s sacking from The Beatles was greeted with surprise by many in Liverpool.

I remember seeing Ringo, we called him Ritchie then, outside a chemist’s and he said that he was going to join The Beatles. I said, ‘There was no way they will sack Pete Best, man, He’s a moody guy but all the girls would go waah!’ It was a shock when Ritchie got the job. The next time that I saw Pete he was managing the job centre in Green Lane. I signed on and gave him my dole card and he said, ‘Is this your name and address?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Sign here.’ I don’t think he wanted to acknowledge me.
Sugar Deen, Liverpool musician
The Cavern, Spencer Leigh

A fan of the group later headbutted George Harrison at the Cavern, giving him a black eye, and for weeks the band were subjected to chants of “Ringo never, Pete Best forever!”

The decision caused ructions within The Beatles’ camp too. Their assistant and road manager Neil Aspinall was reportedly furious, but was told by the group: “It’s got nothing to do with you – you’re only the driver”.

Last updated: 6 July 2022
The Beatles live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening) – Pete Best's final show
The Beatles live: Riverpark Ballroom, Chester
Also on this day...

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