“Once a Scouse, always a Scouse!” (or the time I met Pete Best)

9 02 2009

Pete Best, Mike and me

Pete Best, Mike and me


The Pete Best Band

The Pete Best Band


I wish I had written down the date or kept a ticket stub because I cannot remember when I went to this concert. I can also find no record of it on the ‘net, but I certainly was there and I’ve got the pictures to prove it.

My best friend, Mike, rang me up one day and asked me if I wanted to see Pete Best in Windsor in a few weeks. “Sure! Why the hell not?” I’ve never been one for getting star struck and I wasn’t dying to hear The Pete Best Band, but this was a chance to maybe meet one of the Beatles. How could I possibly pass up such a chance?

I don’t remember too much about the show. The club was small, the crowd was very sparse. The Pete Best Band, at least at that time, was mostly kids in their 20s. They almost had a punk edge to them. The inspiration for their set list and sound seemed to come from the Backbeat movie soundtrack that had recently been released. The PBB played songs that the Beatles would’ve played in Hamburg and the Cavern Club and they played ’em fast!

I’m loathe to rag on Mr. Best — lord knows he’s been through enough over the years — but it was pretty apparent why the Beatles had dismissed him. He was a lousy drummer. The Pete Best Band actually had another kid playing another set of drums, surely to make up for Pete’s diminished skills.

After the show, Pete found his way out into the audience. What a gentleman. He took the time to talk to people and sign autographs and a very small queue formed in front of him. Before Mike and I reached him, a little drunk guy got to him and kept saying, “Once a Scouse, always a Scouse, eh Pete?” He peppered the word “Scouser” into his little chat with Mr. Best several more times and finally stumbled off into the night. Mike and I asked each other, “What the fuck’s a Scouser?”

Not much was said. We talked to Pete a few minutes, he took a picture with us and signed The Beatlesauthorized biography by Hunter Davies which I had stolen from the local library as a kid. He signed that famous picture of the Beatles leaning against/sitting on the train car in Hamburg. I was glad then that I had stolen the book back in my youth.

We left shortly after that. The little drunk fella was walking down the street as we drove by so we both yelled, “Once a Scouse, always a Scouse,” to which he threw up his arm and waved triumphantly.

Pete Best's autograph

Pete Best's autograph

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