Fifth Beatle liked Lennon Best
By BILL HARRIS - Toronto Sun
December 8, 2005
Pete Best, obviously, has mixed feelings toward the Beatles as an entity. But on an individual level, Best was as shaken as anyone when John Lennon was assassinated, on this very day back in 1980.
"First of all, on a personal level, he was a very good friend of mine," said Best, the drummer who was dumped by the Beatles and replaced by Ringo Starr mere months before the group achieved widespread international fame. "We were very close, John and I. Of all the members of the Beatles, I was closer to John by far than anyone. We were soul mates.
"And I think back to the courage of the man when he came out in several interviews through the years and said he should have come to my defence more, back when this (Pete's ouster) was going on. He said I was a good friend of his and that he should have spoken up more aggressively. That's the personal approach I remember with regard to John."
Best also fully grasps what the loss of John meant to the world at large. "In a wider sense, unfortunately, John met such a tragic and violent death that we never got to see him realize his ambitions," Best said.
"When he died he already had been very political, and he was making good music again. But the unfortunate and tragic circumstances of his death stopped all that. I definitely think he would have been involved in politics in some way, maybe even doing that full-time."
John has been dead for 25 years and it's hard for Best to believe it has been that long.
"Just think if he had lived for 25 more years," Best said. "Think of all the other people from the 1960s rock scene who are still doing it in some form. Paul (McCartney) is doing it, Ringo (Starr) is doing it, I have my band, there's the Rolling Stones ... there are tons of them.
"Personally, I would have been very curious to see what John would have been doing by now. Would he be doing something similar to what Paul is doing? Or would John be doing something completely different? ... We'll never know."