The Beatles Don't Break Up in 1970 - A Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by YellowSubmarine93, May 27, 2019.

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  1. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2019
    Greetings my fellow alternate history fans!

    As you can probably tell by my username, I've been a fan of The Beatles for as long as I can remember. However, it is a little bit difficult to be the fan of a group that hasn't released anything remotely new in over 23 years. Their rather extensive catalog makes up for this somewhat, but I've always wondered what would have been if The Beatles stayed together and were still an active band today, much like the Rolling Stones in our timeline. I was therefore inspired to start up this timeline.

    Up to 1970 will play out much like OTL with some changes here and there. I'll also change some things to (hopefully) keep The Beatles together.

    Lastly, keep in mind that this is my first ever foray into alternate history, so any and all feedback is very much welcome.

    With that, let the journey begin...

    THE BEATLES ALBUM DISCOGRAPHY (Up to 1972)
    Der Top Ten Club präsentiert Die Beat Brothers (1961) [Rare, Local limited release]
    Please Please Me (1963)
    With The Beatles (1963)
    A Hard Day's Night (1964)
    Beatles For Sale (1964)
    Help! (1965)
    Rubber Soul (1965)
    Revolver (1966)
    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
    Magical Mystery Tour (1967) [US only release]
    A Doll's House (1968)
    The Beatles (White Album) (1968)
    Abbey Road (1969)
    Let It Be (1970)
    All Things Must Pass (1972)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  2. Threadmarks: 1940-1945

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    June 23, 1940 - Stu Sutcliffe born in Edinburgh, Scotland

    July 7, 1940 - Richard Starkey (aka Ringo Starr) born in Liverpool, England

    October 9, 1940 - John Lennon born in Liverpool, England

    November 24, 1941 - Pete Best born in Madras, India

    June 18, 1942 - Paul McCartney born in Liverpool, England

    February 25, 1943 - George Harrison born in Liverpool, England

    March 30, 1945 - Eric Clapton born in Surrey, England
     
  3. danmartin73 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    First of all, welcome to AlternateHistory.com. I'm always happy to meet some new people on this website. The concept of this TL in itself looks incredibly promising, it will also be very interesting to see how Clapton becomes involved with the band. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Beatles will be able to last to the present day, several butterflies will need to occur in order for the members of the group to be kept happy and wanting to spend time and play music together. Perhaps they could become EVEN MORE iconic than IOTL. Finally, if you have any suggestions, queries or would like some general assistance with the TL, I'm more than willing to lend a hand. :)
     
  4. Aloha THAT WAS HIS MISTAKE

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    Apr 7, 2018
    gonna have to break up at some point lol
     
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  5. Threadmarks: November 1956 - October 1957

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    November 1956 - John Lennon forms a skiffle group with classmate Pete Shotton while attending Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool. The initial lineup is as follows: John Lennon (vocals/guitar), Eric Griffiths (guitar), Bill Smith (tea-chest bass), Colin Hanton (drums), and Pete Shotton (washboard). The group is initially called The Black Jacks but eventually they change their name to The Quarrymen.

    May 24, 1957 - The Quarrymen play their first gig for an Empire Day celebration in Liverpool.

    July 6, 1957 - This is the date that most people regard as the true beginning of The Beatles. The Quarrymen play for a garden fete at St. Peter's Church in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton. The group had undergone a few lineup changes, and now consisted of: John Lennon (vocals/guitar), Eric Griffiths (guitar), Rod Davis (banjo), Len Garry (tea-chest bass), Colin Hanton (drums), and Pete Shotton (washboard). A friend of Paul McCartney's, Ivan Vaughan, an occasional member of The Quarrymen, introduces him to Lennon while the group is setting up for their performance that evening in the church basement. Paul auditions for the group by playing "Twenty Flight Rock" and "Be-Bop-A-Lula", among a few others, on the guitar. Paul also demonstrates how to properly tune a guitar, as the guitars used by Lennon and Griffiths both use banjo tuning. Lennon is impressed and considers adding McCartney to the group. That night, an audience member records parts of two songs The Quarrymen perform during the concert on his reel-to-reel tape recorder.

    July 20, 1957 - Paul McCartney is formally invited to join The Quarrymen.

    August 7, 1957 - The Quarrymen along with a few other skiffle groups perform at the Cavern Club. The club had opened on January 17th of that year as a jazz club. Skiffle is considered a form of jazz and thus is allowed to be played at the club. The Quarrymen's set mostly consists of rock numbers, much to the chagrin of club owner Alan Sytner. At one point, a note from Sytner is passed to Lennon which reads "Cut out the bloody rock 'n' roll". McCartney has not yet joined the group at this point.

    October 18, 1957 - Paul McCartney first performs with The Quarrymen at New Clubmoor Hall in Liverpool.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: February 1958 - March 1959

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    February 6, 1958 - George Harrison meets The Quarrymen after their performance at Wilson Hall, Liverpool. He auditions for the group by playing the instrumental "Raunchy" on the guitar. He is invited to join the group despite being younger than the other members of the group (14 years old on this date).

    July 9, 1958 - In what will be their first professional recording session, The Quarrymen record two songs, "That'll Be The Day" (Allison-Holly-Petty) and "In Spite Of All The Danger" (Harrison-McCartney) at Phillips Sound Recording Services in Liverpool. The lineup for the recording consists of: John Lennon (vocals/guitar), Paul McCartney (vocals/guitar), George Harrison (vocals/guitar), John Duff Lowe (piano), and Colin Hanton (drums). The session costs 17 pounds and 6 pence. Both songs are pressed onto a single 78 rpm record. Soon after this session, Lowe loses contact with the group upon leaving Liverpool Institute and Hanton quits, leaving Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison. For the first time, the group is without a drummer.

    July 15, 1958 - John Lennon's mother, Julia, is injured after being hit by a speeding car driven by an off-duty policeman. She eventually recovers from her injuries after a lengthy stay in the hospital. Note: This is the first major change in this timeline. In OTL Julia was run over and killed instantly. With this change, this emotional blow to John is temporary and not permanent as in OTL. As always, any and all feedback is welcome.

    March 25, 1959 - Richard Starkey is hired as the drummer for Al Caldwell and his Raving Texans after being noticed at a talent show. All the band members adopt western-sounding names, thus Richard becomes Ringo Starr. Shortly afterward the band changes its name to Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
     
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  7. danmartin73 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 16, 2016
    Nice to see that Julia will live ITTL. Her death impacted John greatly so it is really nice to see that she will live long enough to see John become famous and loved worldwide. Maybe she becomes sort of an aunt-figure to Paul, who lost his mother 2 years earlier. I was just wondering, do you plan to publish any TTL albums (track listings and covers)? If the Beatles continue post 1970 or change members, this would be interesting to see!
     
  8. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
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    The film Nowhere Boy was about John, his friendship with Paul, and his relationships with Mimi Smith and his mother Julia before her death; the original script was going to portray Mimi much more harsher, but Paul McCartney objected and caused them to change her portrayal...

    I can see Julia becoming an aunt-figure to Paul (Paul lost his own mother to an embolism caused by her breast cancer and, sadly, his wife, Linda, (1) died of the same disease 42 years later IOTL)

    (1) In another sad coincidence, Linda's own mother died when American Airlines Flight 1 crashed on takeoff from JFK in 1962; the crash was part of the plot in a Mad Men episode, Flight 1, in the second season...

    Good start, BTW...
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  9. Threadmarks: August 1959 - May 1960

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much. When I came across that event I felt that may have butterflied towards The Beatles' breakup in OTL, and of course my goal here is to keep them together after 1970, so I had Julia simply get injured. As for the albums, I'll definitely be posting the track listings for those. I'm not sure about covers though, as I'm not much of an artist myself. We'll see what happens I suppose.

    Anyhow, let's continue...

    August 29, 1959 - The Quarrymen play for the opening night of the Cashbah Coffee Club in Liverpool which happens to be owned by Pete Best's mother, Mona. The band's lineup consists of: John Lennon (guitar/vocals), Paul McCartney (guitar/vocals), George Harrison (guitar/vocals), and Ken Brown (guitar). Lennon's future wife, Cynthia Powell, helps decorate the club for the festivities. The Quarrymen will go on to play many more dates at the Casbah over the next three years. Note: I was not able to pinpoint when Ken Brown joined the group, but it was sometime before this date.

    October 10, 1959 - Ken Brown quits, once again leaving Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison. The band still doesn't have a drummer. When asked about this, the group explains that "the rhythm is in the guitars".

    November 15, 1959 - Johnny and the Moondogs (formerly The Quarrymen) reach the final audition stage of Carroll Levis' show TV Star Search at the Hippodrome in Manchester. Ringo's group, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, finishes in second place out of a total of 150 acts.

    March 1960 - Possibly inspired by a line from the Marlon Brando film "The Wild One", or by the name of Buddy Holly's backing band, The Crickets, Johnny and the Moondogs change their name to The Silver Beetles.

    Early May 1960 - Stu Sutcliffe, a friend of John Lennon's from art school, joins The Silver Beetles as their bass player. Tommy Moore, a drummer, also joins the group during this time, giving the group a drummer for the first time since the summer of 1958.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  10. Threadmarks: May 1960 - August 1960

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 1960 - The Silver Beetles are offered the chance to back up singer Johnny Gentle (real name John Askew) on his upcoming tour of Scotland after they unsuccessfully audition to back up Billy Fury on his tour.

    May 20-28, 1960 - Johnny Gentle's tour of Scotland, backed by The Silver Beetles. Three members of the group adopt aliases for the tour. McCartney becomes Paul Ramon, Harrison becomes Carl Harrison, and Sutcliffe becomes Stuart de Stael.

    May 30, 1960 - The Silver Beetles perform at the Jacaranda Coffee Bar for the first time. The establishment is owned by Allan Williams, who eventually becomes the group's first manager.

    June 13, 1960 - Tommy Moore quits after the group plays a gig at the Jacaranda, leaving the group without a drummer once again.

    August 12, 1960 - Pete Best is hired as the drummer for The Silver Beetles after auditioning at the Blue Angel, another establishment owned by Allan Williams.

    Mid-August 1960 - The Silver Beetles change their name one last time, this time to The Beatles.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: August 1960 - December 1960

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    August 17, 1960 - The Beatles arrive in Hamburg, Germany to begin a 48-day residency at the Indra Club, located off the infamous Reeperbahn in the red-light district. The band's lineup now consists of: John Lennon (vocals/guitar), Paul McCartney (vocals/guitar/piano), George Harrison (vocals/guitar), Stu Sutcliffe (vocals/bass), and Pete Best (drums). While in Germany, the group performs under the name of The Beat Brothers, since Beatles resembles a vulgar German slang term.

    October 4, 1960 - The Beatles are forced to leave the Indra due to noise complaints, mostly from the woman living above the club. They move to the Kaiserkeller which is owned by the same man who owns the Indra, Bruno Koschmider. They perform there for the next 58 days, along with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Ringo's group.

    October 15, 1960 - The group records a demo of at most three songs for Lu Walters of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Ringo plays drums at the session, which is held at a small recording studio at a railway station in Hamburg. This is the first time the classic Beatles lineup records music together.

    October 30, 1960 - The Beatles make a verbal agreement with rival club owner Peter Eckhorn to play at his Top Ten Club to replace the previous house band that is leaving. Infuriated by this, Koschmider terminates their contract with the Kaiserkeller a couple of days later. Despite this, the group continues playing at the Kaiserkeller for another month.

    November 20, 1960 - It is discovered by authorities that George Harrison is underage (17 years old) and lacks a work permit. The next day Harrison is deported back to England. The Beatles continue to perform without him.

    November 29, 1960 - Paul McCartney and Pete Best are arrested for attempted arson after accidentally starting a small fire in their living quarters next to a cinema. They are deported to England the following day.

    December 10, 1960 - John Lennon returns to England. Stu Sutcliffe stays behind in Hamburg with Astrid Kirchherr, a photographer whom he'd become infatuated with.
     
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  12. Threadmarks: January 1961 - June 1961 (First album released)

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    January 20, 1961 - Stu Sutcliffe returns to England, a whole two months after Harrison was deported.

    February 9, 1961 - The Beatles perform at the Cavern Club for the first time under that name. They quickly become a fixture at the club and will play there many times over the next two years.

    March 15, 1961 - Stu Sutcliffe travels back to Hamburg to live with Astrid Kirchherr. Sutcliffe and Kirchherr subsequently clear out administrative paperwork to allow The Beatles to return to Hamburg.

    April 1, 1961 - The Beatles (once again performing as The Beat Brothers) return to Hamburg and begin a 92-day residency at The Top Ten Club. This will be their longest stay in Hamburg. For a time they once again share the bill with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

    May 11, 1961 - In hopes of promoting the band and attracting more customers to the Top Ten Club, owner Peter Eckhorn arranges a couple of recording sessions with record producer Bert Kaempfert for The Beatles to record an album to be sold in and around Hamburg.

    May 17-18, 1961 - The Beatles record what will be their first album over two sessions at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Hamburg. Bert Kaempfert produces both sessions. Stu Sutcliffe is not present, so McCartney fills in on bass. Therefore the lineup is as follows: John Lennon (guitar/vocals), Paul McCartney (bass/vocals), George Harrison (guitar/vocals), and Pete Best (drums)

    June 1, 1961 - The Beatles' first album is released in record stores across Hamburg to little fanfare. The album is distributed by the local Fonogram label. Most of the songs on the album are rock 'n' roll covers which have been a staple of their live performances for the last couple of years. These include a couple of Chuck Berry songs. The album sells fairly well and a few copies make their way to Liverpool, where it catches the attention of a record store owner named Brian Epstein. Original copies of this album are very much sought after by collectors today.

    "Der Top Ten Club präsentiert Die Beat Brothers"
    (English: The Top Ten Club presents The Beat Brothers)
    Fonogram 032


    SIDE 1
    1. Ain't She Sweet (Yellen-Ager)
    2. Too Much Monkey Business (Berry)
    3. Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby (Singelton-Hall)
    4. What'd I Say (Charles)
    5. Be-Bop-A-Lula (Vincent-Graves-Davis)
    6. Summertime Blues (Cochran-Capehart)
    7. Baby Let's Play House (Gunter)

    SIDE 2
    1. Cry For A Shadow (Harrison-Lennon)
    2. Nobody's Child (Coben-Foree)
    3. Butterfly (Lowe-Mann)
    4. Johnny B. Goode (Berry)
    5. Lonely Boy (Anka)
    6. Shop Around (Robinson-Gordy)
    7. Save The Last Dance For Me (Lieber-Stoller)

    Note: In OTL, The Beatles recorded only two songs (Ain't She Sweet and Cry For A Shadow) at Friedrich-Ebert-Halle outside of being the backing band for Tony Sheridan. Also, that recording session happened on June 22 in OTL so I made it earlier ITTL. I thought it would be more interesting to have The Beatles record an entire album while in Hamburg. As always, any and all feedback is welcome.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  13. danmartin73 Well-Known Member

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    Great album! This is quite interesting as The Beatles ITTL seem to have begun like the Rolling Stones, doing covers before developing their songwriting further. I imagine the cover would be something similar to this. What do you think? From https://www.earcandymag.com/bizarrobeatles-0411.htm

    [​IMG]
     
  14. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    May 26, 2019
    Once again, thanks! Actually, in OTL the vast majority the The Beatles' live material in the early days were cover songs. While they did have a few original songs under their belt, as far as I can tell they didn't record them or perform them live until much later. I picked the album tracks to reflect this. And yes, the album cover I was imagining was something like that. Nothing too fancy, just very plain.
     
  15. Threadmarks: July 1961 - November 1961

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    Before I get back to the timeline, here is an album cover I just whipped up for The Beatles' first ITTL album:

    [​IMG]

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

    July 1961 - Stu Sutcliffe officially leaves The Beatles. He subsequently becomes engaged to Astrid Kirchherr.

    July 1, 1961 - The Beatles perform for the last time at the Top Ten Club. Due to the publicity generated by the album, attendance at the club has increased over the last month. Two days later, the group returns to England.

    July 14, 1961 - The Beatles return to the Cavern Club to play both the lunchtime and evening slots. They play there regularly over the following months. As a result, their popularity in Liverpool grows.

    July 20, 1961 - The Beatles appear on the front page of the Mersey Beat newspaper.

    October 28, 1961 - A customer at Brian Epstein's record store, NEMS Enterprises, inquires about the Beat Brothers album. Despite it being released almost five months ago and nearly out of print, Epstein says he will still try to find it. Some copies of the album had in fact made their way to Liverpool by people who'd traveled to Hamburg and recognized the group on the cover. More people ask about it over the coming days.

    November 9, 1961 - Curious to see what all the fuss is about (and finding out the actual name of the group), Epstein and his assistant, Alistair Taylor, see a lunchtime performance by The Beatles at the Cavern Club. Epstein likes what he hears and he offers to become their manager, which they accept. Epstein makes it his top priority to get The Beatles a contract with a British record label.
     
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  16. Threadmarks: December 1961 - January 1962 (Decca rejects The Beatles)

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    December 1, 1961 - The Beatles travel with Epstein to London to meet with Decca representatives and discuss a possible recording contract. No decision is made at the time.

    December 4, 1961 - Representatives from Polydor in Germany (which distributes the Fonogram label) meet with Epstein to discuss the possibility of issuing the Beat Brothers album in the Liverpool area.

    December 8, 1961 - Brian Epstein writes to an EMI representative in hopes of getting The Beatles a recording contract there. Ten days later, EMI writes back to say that the group has been rejected.

    December 13, 1961 - A representative from Decca, Mike Smith, watches a performance by The Beatles at the Cavern Club. Afterwards, he contacts Decca to schedule an audition for the group.

    January 1, 1962 - The Beatles audition for Decca Records in London. They record a total of 15 songs. Decca A&R man Dick Rowe is less than impressed, telling Epstein that "We don't like their sound, and groups of guitars are on the way out.", effectively rejecting the group. Decca instead signs a more local group, The Tremeloes.
     
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  17. Unknown Member

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    Yeah, Decca, you're gonna really regret that...
     
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  18. Threadmarks: January 1962 - April 1962

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    January 4, 1962 - The Beatles are voted the most popular group in Liverpool by a Mersey Beat newspaper poll.

    January 5, 1962 - Der Top Ten Club präsentiert Die Beat Brothers is reissued in the Liverpool area as The Beatles: Liverpool's New Sound Sensation on the local Merseyside label (distributed by Polydor UK). Other than the changes to the title and information on the back, the album is identical to the one issued in Hamburg six months earlier. Brian Epstein features it prominently at his record store. The album immediately becomes a best seller in the area. The initial press run sells out within a week. This version of the album is also extremely rare and is highly sought after by collectors to this day.

    January 24, 1962 - The Beatles sign a contract to officially make Brian Epstein their manager. He had been serving in that capacity for the last three months.

    February 5, 1962 - Ringo Starr fills in on drums during two Beatles performances due to Pete Best being ill that day.

    March 8, 1962 - The Beatles make their radio debut on the BBC's Teenager's Turn (Here We Go).

    April 10, 1962 - Stu Sutcliffe dies of a brain hemorrhage in Germany at 21 years of age.

    April 13, 1962 - The Beatles return to Hamburg to begin a 48-day residency at the Star Club.
     
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  19. Threadmarks: May 1962 - June 1962 (The Beatles sign with EMI)

    YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    May 9, 1962 - Brian Epstein meets with producer George Martin at the EMI Recording Studios (later known as Abbey Road) in London. Epstein sends a telegram to The Beatles, who are still performing in Hamburg, that same day telling them they've been accepted.

    May 24, 1962 - The Beatles record two more songs at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle to fulfill the contract they entered into with Bert Kaempfert when they recorded the Beat Brothers album. The songs are "Three Cool Cats" (Leiber-Stoller) and "Like Dreamers Do" (Lennon-McCartney), two songs they recorded for the Decca audition at the beginning of the year.

    June 2, 1962 - The Beatles return to Liverpool at the conclusion of their residency at the Star Club in Hamburg.

    June 4, 1962 - The Beatles officially sign a recording contract with EMI's Parlophone label, with George Martin as their producer. About seven months of hard work have finally paid off for Epstein.

    June 6, 1962 - The Beatles go to the Abbey Road studios for the first time to make a recording test for Parlophone. They record four songs: "Besame Mucho" (Velazquez), "Love Me Do" (Lennon-McCartney), "P.S. I Love You" (Lennon-McCartney), and "Ask Me Why" (Lennon McCartney). George Martin is less than impressed with Pete Best's drumming, and tells Epstein that he will use a session drummer (a common practice at the time) instead of Best on future recordings.
     
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  20. MatthewFirth Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Portsmouth, England
    So Pete's been fired?
     
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