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The Pete Best Interview

 

Back in January 1996 Pete Best made a flying visit to Dublin.

 

Pete BestPete Best is undoubtedly the most famous Beatle outside of the Fab Four. He recently made an unannounced flying visit to Ireland for a television interview. BEATLES IRELAND got word of it and some of our members were determined to go to every extreme to meet their hero. This is what happened.

 

On a cold Saturday night in January, while most people were watching television in front of a burning log fire, Derek, Pete and I were making our way out to Montrose in a car loaded down with every piece of Pete Best memorabilia possible.

 

Screams from teenage girls greeted us on our arrival at R.T.E. Derek and Pete were flattered to say the least, but they failed to notice that Dieter Brummer (Home and Away's Shane) was arriving at the same time.

 

Gaining access wasn't a problem because our Pete has become such a familiar face throughout the R.T.E. corridors, but some convincing was required as to the authenticity of our visit.

 

We were escorted into the satellite room, given complimentary drinks and watched the 'Kenny live' show from there.

 

After the interview, Pete and his youngest brother Roag were introduced to us and the five of us sat down and just chatted for, what seemed like hours.

 

It's surprising to hear that he has only been to Ireland twice since 1968, but nonetheless he's delighted to be back. During his upcoming World Tour he hopes to play here, but as he explained himself "When Roag and I first saw the complete tour schedule, we said there are no dates for Ireland on here. Our promoter explained to us that he has no contacts here in Ireland, so if your club can get us some contacts we'd be delighted to play here".

 

Does he have any Irish Roots?

 

"Yes" they reply simultaneously. "Our Grandparents are Irish, but we're not sure from which county. I think it's Limerick" Pete replied. Unfortunately he was only over for the interview and was heading back to the U.K. the next day to his family.

 

So it must be difficult touring and also trying to live a normal family life?

 

"Well I wouldn't be on the road only my wife and family supported me. What we find is, that it's the single fellas in the band that are having trouble getting the time off from their girlfriends to come out on tour with us" says Pete and Roag.

 

Pete has a very good memory because he remembers signing a card for the twins of our Pete when they met a few years ago. Infact he recalled that every time he meets Pete Brennan it has a maternal effect.

 

The first time they met, our Pete was getting married. The second time was when Pete's wife Louisa was expecting twins and now as they meet again, Louisa is expecting once more. (And he says he'll be back again!!!!!)

 

He also explained to us that when the Beatles met Elvis back in the sixties in America, the King gave each of the Beatles a present that resembled a horse and cart. He also gave one to Neil Aspinall and Neil in turn gave his to Pete as a gift, and he still has it.

 

At this stage we asked Pete, could he perhaps say a few words on video to the members of Beatles Ireland. "As much as I'd love to, I can't. I'm under contract to R.T.E., as for photographs take as many as you like".

 

He still receives all our cards and letters. "Once they are sent to Hayman's Green we will get them. Our offices are based there now" he said.

 

So why has he been selling off some of his memorabilia from the Casbah?

 

The only stuff is Amplifiers. I'm giving it to real fans as it is getting old. I would never sell any of my personal belongings from my Hamburg days. That'd be like losing my right arm".

 

Our President is quick to remind him not to forget Beatles Ireland if he's giving away anything in the future. And so to the Anthology album, and his presence on nine of the songs. "I haven't seen any money yet" he said. "It'll take a year or so to come through but it will make it more comfortable to pay the bills".

 

I couldn't let the opportunity pass without asking him about the possibility of meeting up with the remaining Beatles. "If you had asked me that question seven or eight years ago, I would have said no way, but now it's becoming more likely. I know the Press would love us to meet. They'd have this impression of us coming out from opposite corners in a big shoot out with all guns blazing".

 

And would he like to meet the other guys again?

 

"Yes I would. As far as I'm concerned, what's' happened is now water under the bridge".

 

And with that it's time to go, but not before he accepts our invitation to become an honorary member of BEATLES IRELAND.

 

He poses for several photographs and signs everything from record sleeves to books, and even a drum stick.

 

Then he's gone, but something tells me from the Irish welcome we gave him he'll be back to play here in Ireland this year.

 

As far as Beatle members go, Pete's simply the BEST.

 

BEATLES IRELAND would like to thank Pete and Roag Best for their time and co-operation in talking to us, and for making it a night that will stay with me for a long time.

Michael Lynch

 

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