by David Bedford and Garry Popper
The Beatles phenomenon is one amazing story that John Lennon tried to sum up by stating: “I met Paul and said, ‘Do you want to join me band?’ and then George joined, and then Ringo joined. We were just a band who made it very, very big.”
That is one of the biggest understatements ever, because it was so much more complicated than that, and the story involves 18 drummers.
Neil Aspinall once said that “the story of the Beatles always seemed to be about John, Paul, George and a drummer.”
When examined closely, that is exactly what happened, yet nobody has concentrated on the story of those drummers, and the crises in the evolution of The Beatles that always seemed to be around losing, or gaining, a drummer.
How many drummers can you count that played with the Fab Three between 1956 and 1970? We have found 18!
In a new book, and forthcoming documentary film, Finding the Fourth Beatle tells the story of The Beatles from 1956-1970 through the 18 drummers, including Colin Hanton, Pete Best and Jimmie Nicol, and some you will not have heard of before. The book and film explore 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.