Sometimes it's not a good thing to get sick and miss work.
Ringo Starr appeared with The Beatles at Liverpool’s Cavern Club 55 years ago this month, when their regular drummer, Pete Best, was taken ill. The Beatles, especially Paul McCartney, liked Ringo’s playing and circled back to Ringo six months later to persuade him to replace Pete on drums.
As stated in previous posts, the events surrounding Pete’s firing—in August of 1962—are STILL riddled in mystery. After all, Pete was the most popular Beatle with the female fans and a critical piece of the Beatles’ “Wall of Sound."
But as theorized here, there seemed to be several forces at work. One was McCartney’s constant attempts to unseat Pete Best, either because of McCartney’s jealousy at Best’s popularity with the “birds” or because McCartney thought Pete's drumming was weak (an opinion not universally shared by Liverpool musicians at the time).
Another factor was the eagerness of Brian Epstein, the band's manager, to avert a potential scandal. Pete’s mother, Mona Best, had recently become pregnant by the Beatles’ road manager, Neil Aspinall. If Pete left the band, The Beatles could be spared the bad publicity.
Then there's the fact that Ringo's quirky humor fit the crazy chemistry of the band far better than Pete's more serious persona.
But what adds to the mystery is that Ringo wasn't The Beatles' first choice to replace Ringo. (Some have said he wasn't the second or third choice either.) So Ringo was not the reason they sacked Pete.
At any rate, in the summer of 62, McCartney successfully persuaded band mate George Harrison to join his plot against Pete while band leader John Lennon was distracted by his own girlfriend’s pregnancy. Lennon eventually went along with the idea and Brian Epstein was given the job of breaking the bad news to Pete. Sadly, the band never spoke directly to Pete about it—ever. A few weeks later The Beatles recorded their first hit, "Love Me Do," and the band, with Ringo on drums, was on its way.
You heard it here first: Don’t get sick and miss work.