Friday, January 20, 2023

The Beatles’ manager did not believe that Ringo Starr had the Beatles’ looks or “personality”.

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When the Beatles hired Ringo Starr, fans of original drummer Pete Best rebelled, and manager Brian Epstein wondered if they were right. Best’s looks and demeanor on stage earned him many fans. Though John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison felt Best wasn’t a good fit for them, Epstein wondered if Starr would be any better. According to Starr himself, Epstein didn’t think he had the personality for the job.

Best joined the Beatles in 1960 and played with the group in Hamburg and Liverpool. In 1962, however, the band decided they wanted to go in a different direction.

“Unknown to me, they had reached out to Ringo,” Best told the Telegraph in 2018.

Neither of them wanted to fire Best – which Lennon later admitted was cowardly – so they asked Epstein to do it.

“He said, ‘Pete, I don’t know how to tell you this. The boys want you out’ — those were the words — ‘and it’s already arranged,'” Best recalled. “That was another key word. Arranged. Ringo joined the band on Saturday. It was a closed shop. I asked why and he said, ‘Because they think he’s a better drummer.’ The bomb was dropped.”

Best’s supporters weren’t happy with the Beatles’ decision to fire him. One fan even slapped Harrison in the face in protest.

Epstein was also unhappy with the band’s decision. Although he agreed to speak with Best, he wished for a different outcome.

“I knew how popular Pete was,” Epstein said per The Beatles: The Authorized Biography by Hunter Davies. “He was incredibly handsome and had a huge following. I got on well with him. In fact, he was the first I met. I figured the path was through Pete because he’s the easiest to get to know, the easiest. So I was very upset when the three of them came to me one night and said they didn’t want him.”

Starr realized he wasn’t getting a warm welcome from anyone but his three bandmates right now.

“The birds loved Pete. I was just a skinny, bearded neck,” he said. “Brian didn’t really want me either. He thought I didn’t have the personality. And why a bad looking cat when you can get a good looking one?”

Ultimately, Epstein realized that Starr was a good fit for the group. They became close and Starr was devastated by his death in 1967. He was reportedly “so disappointed” that he even wanted to contact Epstein’s spirit through a séance. He asked musician Cilla Black to help him.

“In the end, the Maharishi told Ringo not to hold on to Brian – love him but let him go because we were all powerful forces that could stop him on his natural path to Heaven,” Black wrote, according to the book Ringo: With a little help by Michael Seth Starr. “The message has helped us all.”

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