Sunday 1 October 2017

Finding the Fourth Beatle by Dave Bedford - Get your copy!

We are excited to share this news of a new book out now by our "man in Liddypool", Dave Bedford.  If you have read his previous books, you will know why we are thrilled about this new release.

Read the press release by David himself which explains the book and contains instructions on how to get a copy.  Happy reading.

Since the summer of 1962, Beatles fans have debated the topic of why The Beatles sacked Pete Best, and replaced him with Ringo. Since I first started writing about The Beatles, initially for the London Beatles Fan Club, and became part of the new British Beatles Fan Club as “Our Man in Liddypool”, this topic has fascinated me. In both of my books, “Liddypool” and “The Fab one hundred and Four”, I have examined this from every angle I could.

Following on from looking at all of the musicians who contributed to the evolution of The Beatles, my latest book is “Finding the Fourth Beatle”, with my friend Garry Popper, looking at every drummer who played with the group, from The Quarrymen in 1956, right up until 1970, and I have found 18 drummers! 

But more than that, I have succeeded in my quest to find out what really happened in August 1962. The most important revelation is: Pete Best was not sacked/dismissed by Brian or The Beatles!
I know that sounds incredible, and goes against what he have always understood, but it is true, and can be supported by evidence from an eyewitness who was closely involved in the saga. The whole book is written in a new and exciting style, where we have tested eyewitnesses and every account, with each claim supported by evidence. It will rewrite Beatles history as we know it on several topics.

Finding The Fourth Beatle - Book/ Album
The is the story of The Beatles from 1956-1970 told through the 18 drummers, including Colin Hanton, Pete Best and Jimmie Nicol, and some you will not have heard of before: The Beatles’ crises; changes of musical direction, getting a record deal, and finding the drummer who would put the beat into The Beatles: Ringo Starr, the Fourth Beatle. It is:
  • The story of all the 18 drummers
  • Those who could have joined The Beatles, but didn’t
  • Expert analysis of the Beatles drummers by drummers
  • Why Brian Epstein didn't sign the Beatles first contract
  • Why The Beatles failed the Decca audition
  • Proof of whether The Beatles were under contract or not at Parlophone in June 62?
  • Who was asked to replace Pete Best before Ringo, and how and when Ringo was asked
  • Why Ringo became the Fourth Beatle and inspired a generation of drummers
  • Double CD of over 40 tracks by the drummers, plus the Decca audition, Parlophone audition and much more
The book is being issued as a limited, numbered and signed edition of only 1000 and are already going fast, even before we launched the pledgefund site! See the latest issue of the BBFC mag for more info on the story. 

Dave Bedford
“Our Man in Liddypool”


  1. While I admire what David is doing and his quest to leave no stone unturned, does he really think that he is going to add anything Lewishon hasn't covered in Tune in Vol 1 (expanded version)?
    The Best story bores me to tears now. There is no mystery if one accepts the evidence of their ears and the testimony of those who were there. And in any case S Leigh took the scatter gun approach and ended up saying nothing in 'Drummed Out'.
    Pete was hired out of expediency; he never really fitted in; his mother was domineering; his drumming was rudimentary even by early 60s standards; his skill was questioned during the Polydor recordings; it was questioned again during the Decca audition; his drumming on the Love Me Do session was so poor (just LISTEN to it) that Martin decided to book a session drummer. 50 years of feeling sorry for Pete should not alter the facts. And two things should also be remembered. When he was sacked no one could have foreseen the level of success and fame the Beatles achieved (how many other musicians were sacked in June 1962 that no one has ever spent 2 seconds discussing); and the Beatles made it with Ringo. So why should they have ever doubted their decision.
    Finally, when John was asked, years later, he simply stated he wasn't up to the gig.
    The 18 drummers intrigues me because I can only come up with 12 names...

  2. I'm also guessing the 'Pete wasn't sacked' claim is due to Lewishon's revelation (to me anyway) that the Beatles as a company was ended and a new company was created (without Pete) in order to avoid a potential lawsuit. If so, Lewishon has covered this in sufficient detail. If not, why has Pete spent 50 years claiming he was never told why he was sacked?

  3. Thanks for your comments James which I am happy to answer. I have uncovered several pieces of evidence that other authors including Mark Lewisohn hasn't, and the revelation of not being sacked is not just a variation on what was done with the company it is much bigger than that. There are several instances where I will prove, with evidence, that some of the conclusions from many books including TuneIn do not have right. This isn't a regurgitation of other stories, but the culmination of 17 years of research. Pete had no idea what was being done to him. If he had it could have been very different. However, I didn't want this to be all about one author's opinion against another, so I have has several drummers analyse Pete's drumming because most of us weren't there to have seen him. Several of the points you have made are challenged in the book, and the conclusions are fascinating, if we are to get Beatles history right. However, this is not a book to just praise Pete Best and dismiss Ringo! No way. What we are doing is making a clear case that only Ringo could have done what he did for The Beatles and how he was the Pioneer of a new way of playing that changed pop music forever. We are celebrating Ringo and concentrating on why he was so perfect for The Beatles. The book is the journey to find Ringo, the Fourth Beatle. So the final conclusion is: Pete Best was not sacked. He was not a crap drummer. But Ringo was the right drummer to take the Beatles to the next level. Every claim is made with evidence and I have found a lot of new evidence that is unique to this book. Dave Bedford

  4. Thanks for taking the time to reply, David. And you have piqued my interest...
    However, the problem is that I listen to Love Me Do recorded in Pete's one visit to Abbey Road and I understand the dilemma that Martin and the Beatles faced, and no amount of 'expert' opinion will shake that. As for the opinion of other drummers - that's exactly what Spencer Leigh did.
    Now here's the thing. I am a bit of a drummer myself, and a big fan of jazz and fusion. My favourite drummers include Jon Hiseman, Billy Cobham, Mike Clark and Lenny White, so I don't fall over backwards to praise Ringo. I think that technically he left a lot to be desired, but he was creative; and he did play well within a band, and the truth is that good drummers were rare in the whole of the UK in 1962, let alone Liverpool. Ringo was also a big hit in America and part of the general appeal of the band, and so it is difficult to see how Pete could have made the same impact. In the early 80s, when I first began to read up more thoroughly, I did try to imagine the Beatles with 4 guys about the same height, all grammar school boys, and good looking, but that was probably why Ringo had such an impact - the point of contrast.
    But here's the thing: you state Ringo was the one for the Beatles, so why does the debate continue? I think Pete was very limited, and I invite others to listen to his recordings (e.g. Polydor where they took away his toms and bass drum). So why would the opinion of other drummers change my mind?
    I can't help feeling that the real reason the Pete story keeps rumbling is that it is the one obvious 'what if' debate within the Beatles story where it would seem that one guy had the best luck in the world and someone unfairly lost out. But from the inside of the Beatles in June 1962, they made a policy decision that was absolutely right at the time (as bands have done from the birth of popular music).

  5. Glad you're enjoying the discussion which is great. If all we had for Pete's drumming was Love Me Do there would be no discussion so there had to be more. You can understand them not using him to record based on that though I am pretty sure they would have used a session drummer anyway as that was industry practice, even if he'd done well. There is too much evidence around Liverpool that Pete was a great drummer at that time for what they were doing, which was mainly rock n roll covers. The story about his bass drum and toms being taken away is myth by the way. His drumming on My Bonnie is very good. However, a recording band is very different to a touring band playing clubs. Although Ringo was not technically proficient in some eyes, he had a unique sound and, as you rightly say, a creative spark that few others have. I think the interest is because of the timing of it. With Pete they gained Brian as manager and a record deal and then they got rid of him. It is a What if? The biggest issue is probably the way they did it, which I can reveal in full for the first time, which was not good. Because the Beatles have tried to rewrite this piece of history so many times they have created the mystery. Groups change members all the time. If they'd been honest back then, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    For me, Pete was great at doing what the Beatles were doing at the time. But they became a new group with Ringo, a pop group writing and performing their own songs. Very different to the rock n roll band Pete was part of. They are both good drummers in their own way, and we shouldn't be in a Pete v Ringo debate really because they were so different but almost in two separate groups. As you probably know, being brilliant at a particular instrument doesn't make you the best team player in a group. Whatever it was Ringo had, and we have done a lot of work on this, he was right for the Beatles at that time.

  6. Hi Jim sorry my reply doesn't seem to have posted to you.

    I like to see everything in context and for what the Beatles were doing at the time -1960 to 1962 - Pete was ideal, mainly doing covers and pumping out the rock n roll. The story of Pete's bass and toms being taken away is an urban myth which I do explain in the book as Kaempfert was I to light entertainment so he rarely if ever used drums for more than percussion. What Pete did manage with just a snare and cymbal was pretty decent so I don't have an issue there.

    I don't believe there was ever a Pete v Ringo debate, certainly not at the time except among fans. They didn't get rid of Pete to replace him with Ringo. They took the decision to get rid of Pete, then sought a replacement and asked 3 other drummers before Ringo.

    I do believe for the change in style from rock group to pop group saw a new band and different set of skills for which Ringo was better suited than Pete especially for the studio.

    For some reason, I stead of doing everything up front and honest with Pete back then, the Beatles all put out different versions of the story and have created the mystery. A band changed one of their line-up which does happen all the time. It could have been resolved back then but it wasn't handled well.

    I just like to get my history straight.

  7. Hi James my humble apologies but I didn't realise you had replied to my post. I will put that right now.

    Ok, other drummers opinions first of all. An opinion on its own is a conversation piece. What we have done is enlist the help of 9 drummers with different backgrounds, ages, experience etc and had them analyse the drumming of Pete and Ringo not just a general opinion. That means going through the Polydir recordings, Decca audition and EMI audition track by track with analysis. Ive not seen that done before so I hope that helps.
    We've done the same with Ringo and getting into what his style is and how he progressed as a drummer with the Beatles. Hardest thing to do is compare the two of them as that becomes a lot of speculation. What I have realised is that Pete was a great drummer for the Beatles at that time in their evolution but for where they were going, changing from rock n roll band to pop group who wrote their own songs, they felt they needed someone different and that ended up being Ringo. Remember that it wasn't ever get rid of Pete for Ringo. It was George Martin told Brian after the June audition that he wanted to use a session drummer so they thought they had to get rid of Pete. Once they decided that they started looking and ended up with Ringo but he proved over the years to be the right man for the job. Also remember that in August 1962 when they made the change they had no idea about fame, films and breaking America. We have to judge it all with 1962 eyes then analyse the choice they made.

    The story has rumbled on because they weren't honest in the first place and created this mystery but now we know as much as we ever will about what really happened and that he wasn't sacked. And that can be proved.

  8. Intriguing...but if he wasn't sacked, why did Pete sue Epstein / Beatles in 1964/5?
    What you described with the opinion is exactly what Spencer Leigh did, I'm afraid.
    I do agree with your point about the situation in 1962 (which is something people often forget to take into account), but that makes their decision to ditch Pete all the more reasonable.
    The story rumbles on because it is one chink the history of the Beatles; but I invite anyone to listen to the recordings with Pete, and in my opinion he was not a good beat group drummer.
    It has been nice chatting with you and I hope I meet up with you one of these days!

  9. Thanks James enjoy the chat. To be sacked you have to be employed. Pete was a self-employed partner in the Beatles. He employed Brian not the other way round. Pete's solicitor wrongly sued Brian so Brian's solicitor just sent it back saying Brian didn't employ him. I have all this from Brian's solicitor. There is no way Pete could have been sacked. John Paul and George should have dissolved the partnership and started again but that takes time and money and they didn't want to do that so they had to get Brian to trick Pete into thinking he had been sacked, which worked.

    As for Pete's drumming there are plenty of people I have spoken to who either played with Pete or have listened to his recordings including Decca where they rate him as a very good r n r drummer. If all you listen to is Love Me Do at EMI in June 62 there can be no defence. Have to listen to it all in context. As with most things musical, it is subjective which is fine.

    In the end, McCartney was accurate when he said it wasn't personal it was a business decision they felt they had to make. That to me is reasonable and I can't blame them. Their last chance of a contract? You'd do anything for it.

    This is a summary of quite a few pages from the book. When you read it all it should make total sense.

    Great chat!


  10. Pete actually sued Brian in 1962 for wrongful dismissal and Brian's lawyer sent it back saying my client doesn't employ your client. Which he didn't. To be sacked you have to be employed and Pete wasn't. Pete and the Beatles employed Brian not the other way round. It's been good chatting with you too.

  11. He did sue again later, though. Around 64 I seem to recall. Interesting point and maybe Mark Lewisohn ought to know to see if he eventually wants to amend the first volume. I expect he's got a few changes to make and I know he has discussed this in a podcast I listened to

  12. Will be interesting to see what changes he makes if any.