The Beatles discuss meeting Elvis
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In September 1962 The Beatles dismissed their original drummer, Pete Best, after he was deemed “not good enough” to be in the band. In the same year, Ringo Starr was brought in to replace the original performer. In his new documentary series on Disney Plus, McCartney 3, 2, 1, Paul McCartney backed up the band’s decision to swap the members around.
During the docuseries, McCartney said Starr’s arrival “lifted” the band up.
In an interview, he doubled down on this opinion. He said: “Well, it’s true. He did.”
McCartney then compared Starr to Best, forgoing his name in the process.
The singer said: “I don’t want to flip out the previous drummer – he was good and he was efficient and he did the job – but Ringo was magic.” (Via Rolling Stone)
McCartney went on: “So it’s lovely to remember that first moment when [Starr] sat in. We’re not quite sure what’s going to come from this guy behind us. But he kicked in and it was just goosebumps, tingles.
“It was like: ‘OK, this is it. This is the group.’ And so it was.”
Starr remained in the band until they split in 1970.
Throughout that time he drummed on all 13 of the band’s albums – except one song.
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McCartney played drums on the iconic song Back in the USSR, which was part of the band’s ninth record The White Album.
He stepped in to play the instrument after Starr briefly quit the band following a short spat between members.
Starr later described the situation in The Beatles: Anthology: “I left because I felt two things: I felt I wasn’t playing great, and I also felt that the other three were really happy and I was an outsider.
“I went to see John, who had been living in my apartment in Montagu Square with Yoko since he moved out of Kenwood. I said: ‘I’m, leaving the group because I’m not playing well and I feel unloved and out of it, and you three are really close.’ And John said, ‘I thought it was you three!'”
Starr continued: “So then I went over to Paul’s and knocked on his door. I said the same thing: ‘I’m leaving the band. I feel you three guys are really close and I’m out of it.’ And Paul said: ‘I thought it was you three!’ I didn’t even bother going to George then.
“I said: ‘I’m going on holiday.’ I took the kids and we went to Sardinia.”
Meanwhile, after being kicked out of the band by the group’s manager, Brian Epstein, Pete Best went back home to Liverpool.
Years later, the drummer spoke candidly about his dismissal from the band.
Best said: “I’ve nothing to forgive [McCartney] about.
“They made a decision as young men which was safeguarding their future. Okay, it could have been handled better. I was the fall guy for it, I suffered, but I’m not holding them to task over it.
“If I’d have been in the same situation and I was another member of the band, maybe I’d have been one of the bad guys.”
McCartney 3, 2, 1 is available on Disney Plus now.
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