Pete Best : Modern DrummerPete Best, the original drummer for The Beatles, has returned to performing in recent years. He’s also just released his first-ever CD as a leader, Haymans Green, which will definitely remind you that he was once a Beatle. Best’s music and drumming is full of true Liverpudlian flavor from forty years ago. Also, the title of the album refers to the Liverpool street that was home to The Casbah Club, the famous nightspot where The Beatles began.

In The Pete Best Band, both live and on the group’s new record, Pete shares drum duties with his brother, Roag. “On the album, Roag and I did the same thing we do on stage,” Pete explains. “We don’t double up and play similar patterns. One of us plays percussion while the other plays time and all the fills. We love creating a great wall of sound. In the studio, on certain songs he’d play the main rhythm and I’d do the percussion, and on others he’d take the percussion and I’d do the rhythm. We shared the honors, so to speak.”

Best is an inspiration on travailing through disappointment and heartache. After joining The Beatles in 1960 and helping them achieve notoriety in England, he was famously fired two years later in manager Brian Epstein’s office. Since that fateful day, none of The Beatles have ever spoken to him. Pete was forced to watch from the sidelines as the group became the most successful musical sensation in history. And yet, speaking with him today, there’s not a note of bitterness in his voice. “I gave up wondering and worrying about that many, many years ago, because different things have taken over in my life that are more important than dwelling on what could have been. I think if I had dwelled on it, I would have ended up cynical and twisted, but I’m not. People still say, ‘If you meet up with Paul and Ringo, you’ll be able to find out what happened forty years ago.’ But that’s the last thing on my mind. Let’s talk about the good things and what’s happening now. What happened forty years ago isn’t going to change.”

Robyn Flans