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Beatles Fair Lands Original Beatles Drummer Pete Best

Before there was a Starr, there was a Best, and he performs at Queen Bee's on March 30

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    George Harrison, Pete Best, Paul McCartney and John Lennon (left to right).

    You might only know the Beatles as John, Paul, George and Ringo, but before there was a Starr, there was a Best. Often called the fifth Beatle, Pete Best was a member of the Fab Four just when Beatlemania was becoming a thing between 1960 and 1962. 

    Once the band -- with the help of manager Brian Epstein -- decided to replace Best with Starr, Beatles fans were outraged, chanting, "Pete forever, Ringo never!" And in their defense, Best is definitely still the best-looking out of the mop-top crew. 

    So, what's he up to now? On March 30-31, he and his brother Roag Best will be performing, answering questions and signing autographs at Queen Bee's (3925 Ohio Street) for the San Diego Beatles Fair. 

    I caught up with Pete over email this week to see how he felt about still being considered a Beatle post-Ringo.

    "I have my style and Ringo has his. My style was christened the 'Atom Beat.' I can't remember Ringo's style getting a name. Maybe it did and I don't know," he said.

    "1. John 2. Paul 3. George 4. Stuart [Sutcliffe, original Beatles bassist] 5. Pete. Yes, that's what I was and part of who I am. I enjoy being me," he added.

    At the Beatles Fair, Pete will be backed by local band the Falling Doves, which is usually fronted by Chris Leyva, who is responsible for turning this English dream into a Californian reality. 

    "I'm flying out on this occasion specifically for the San Diego Beatles Fair," Pete said.

    "Chris Leyva of the Falling Doves contacted my brother Roag to discuss some business. I believe Roag guested on drums for them in Liverpool. They became friends. From there, we all hooked up in LA and discussed the San Diego Beatles Fair. Chris asked if I'd like to do it. And guess what? I'm doing it," he added.

    The fair, which happens each year around this time, will also feature tribute bands Ringer Star, the Baja Bugs (with Hector Penalosa of the Zeros) and a performance of John, Paul and George's solo-era songs from the band True Stories. What else can you expect?

    "[Fans] can expect to have a great time. See a fun show. Share some warmth and love. Knowing what to expect, if I wasn't on the show, I'd go to it myself," Pete said.

    The San Diego Beatles Fair will run March 30-April 1. Get tickets here.

    Rutger Rosenborg was almost a Stanford poet-neuroscientist before he formed Ed Ghost Tucker. Whoops. He now fronts the Lulls and makes music on his own when he's not writing. Follow his updates on Instagram and Twitter (@RArosenborg), add him on Facebook or contact him directly.