Best of the Beatles: The Sacking of Pete Best by Spencer Leigh is the revised edition of Leigh’s 1998 book – Drummed Out: The Sacking of Pete Best. Mr. Leigh is a well known BBC radio show host and the author and co-author of over 30 books about British pop music and culture.
I hadn’t read Spencer Leigh’s original book about Pete Best being fired from the Beatles, so this book was completely new to me. And even though there were no new theories as to why the Fab Four tossed Pete for Ringo that I hadn’t already heard, I still found this book enjoyable. Mr. Leigh did a great job of pulling quotes from his various BBC interviews over the decades, along with research from books and new interviews to bring all the theories together to shine light on the true reason for the firing.
Along with theories, this book also contains a Postscript with all the new information that was discovered after the writing of the first book. There you’ll find, what I consider, the only new revelation and it concerns Raymond Jones, the young man that was the first person to walk into NEMS and request a copy of the Beatles singing ‘My Bonnie‘ with Tony Sheridan. There is also a chapters for the discography of Pete playing with the Beatles and another for Ringo’s discography.
The only problem I found with this well-written, quick and easy to read book was that I didn’t feel that the author ever really came to one absolutely conclusion as to why Ringo replaced Pete as the drummer for what was to become the greatest rock band the world has ever known. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 3 out of 4 Beetles!