Early Paul McCartney Letter Offers Drummer Tryout

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Bruce Spizer was recently contacted by the London bureau of the Associated Press to comment on the recent finding of a letter written by Paul McCartney in which he offers a drummer an audition with the Beatles just as the group was getting ready to depart for Hamburg, Germany, in August 1960. Apparently the drummer did not respond to the letter and the group quickly secured Pete Best to join them for the Hamburg bookings. The AP story, which ran in The New York Times and numerous other newspapers and websites, quotes Bruce on the meaning of the letter and how it might have changed everything had the unknown drummer successfully auditioned for the Beatles.

Bruce Spizer, author of “Beatles For Sale” and other books about the band, said the Beatles were desperately looking for a drummer to take to Hamburg and eventually chose Best, in part because Best “had a drum kit” and because his mother ran a nightclub where the group had played.

“This shows that Pete wasn’t the only person they were interested in,” Spizer said. “They needed a drummer and Pete was convenient. It makes sense that they would have responded to some drummer in Liverpool looking for work. My speculation is that two months in Hamburg intimidated him, maybe he didn’t want to go and never replied. If he had responded, and if he was good, it might have changed everything.”

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