Pete Best was born in India on 24 November 1941, moving to Liverpool in 1945.
During 1960 a band called the Silver Beatles (later abreviated to The Beatles) played without a permanent drummer. Finally, when their manager Allan Williams secured a tour of Hamburg, it was decided that the drummer situation had to be solved. The solution was Pete Best. The band knew Pete from a club they had often played and now frequented, The Casbah - where Pete's own group (The Blackjacks) were resident.
Paul McCartney phoned Pete Best in August 1960 asking him if he was interested in joining the band. Pete discussed the situation with his fellow Blackjacks who happily agreed that Pete should take up his place with The Beatles. Pete formally auditioned, became a Beatle on 12th August 1960 and left for Germany with John, Paul, George and Stuart.
During their first tour of Germany in 1960 the band played the Indra Club and the Kaiserkellar. It was on this tour that The Beatles met Astrid Kircher and Klaus Voorman. Beatle photographer Astrid later married Stuart and Klaus designed the cover of 'Revolver' and went on to play bass with John.
The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records on New Year's Day, 1962. Mike Smith turned them down in favour of London group, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, because he feared that the band was not sufficiently commercial enough for a recording deal.
Throughout 1962 the band's following grew considerably in Liverpool and Hamburg and the they returned for another tour of Hamburg to the number one venue 'Star Club' - a fitting venue for a band recently voted Liverpool's #1 group in a Merseybeat poll. It was in Hamburg that label manager Brian Epstein broke the news to the band that they had finally secured a recording contract with EMI.
It was on their first recording date in June 1962 that they met producer George Martin at Abbey Road Studios. Soon Martin expressed displeasure with the technique of their drummer, Pete Best, and suggested he be replaced. Ringo Starr came to mind and was invited to join, officially replacing Best in August 1962.
This fortuitous event stirred up controversy in the Liverpool music scene - some accused the other Beatles of being jealous of Best's good looks, replacing him with the less-attractive Starr. Regardless of the true reasons behind the decision, personal or artistic, on August 15, 1962 Pete Best was dismissed from the group he had played with for over 2 years.
In the few dates between Best's departure and Ringo's joining, John Hutchinson, regarded as Liverpool's best drummer at that time, played with the band.
While Ringo's first "official" appearance as The Beatles' drummer was on August 18 at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight, Birkenhead. It was not the first time that John, Paul, George and Ringo had appeared together. This actually occurred on February 5, 1962. When Pete Best was unwell and unable to appear with the group, John, Paul and George's first choice as a replacement was Ringo Starr, whom they had known for two years.
Following Pete's dismissal from The Beatles on August 16th 1962, he was immediately approached by Rory Storm & The Hurricanes. They wanted him to take Ringo's place, who had ironically replaced Pete in the Beatles. Pete declined.
Epstein contacted Pete asking him to consider joining another of his groups, The Merseybeats. Brian wanted to mould the band into another Beatles. Again, Pete declined.
A month after Pete's infamous exit from the Beatles he finally settled into his new role with Lee Curtis and The All Stars. With Pete as the backbone of the group, the band toured the UK and Germany, with an ever-growing fan base who were to witness a head-to-head competition between Pete's new band and their rivals, The Beatles.
In 1963 the band was awarded second place in the Merseybeat Poll, being beaten into second place by a narrow margin from the winners - The Beatles! The highlight of the year was when Lee Curtis secured a recording contract with Decca.
Pete and the All Stars eventually decided to split from Lee and develop their own distinctive sound, again successfully completing a successful tour of the UK and Germany.
The manager responsible for turning down the Beatles at Decca, Mike Smith, decided that Pete and The All Stars was just the band that they had been looking for.
Now under contract from Decca, the band's name was changed to The Pete Best Four. They released a number of singles and appeared on TV in the UK's number one music programme Ready Steady Go.
The Pete Best Combo completed a European tour prior to visiting the USA. Once in America the group recorded in New York for Bob Gallo and later, The Cameo Label. Following their recordings, the band embarked on a tour of the US and Canada.
In 1968, after playing professionally for a decade, Pete decided that family life was more important than playing and put down his sticks for the last time. Two of Pete's band, Tony Waddington and Wayne Bickerton, continued their careers in the music business with The Rubettes. After becoming millionaire songwriters they opened Odyssey recording studios.
It would be 20 years before Pete was to pick up his sticks again...
Pete led a quiet but contented life subsequently as a civil servant and is heading for his golden wedding. He never abandoned music, however, and set up the Pete Best Band in 1988.
Fifty years on from his first performance with The Beatles, Pete is still playing to thousands of people, including an estimated 30,000 at a recent concert in Brazil.