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Paul McCartney’s Letter to Mystery Drummer Offered Beatles Gig Up for Auction

The Beatles
Chris Ware, Getty Images

The Beatles‘ Pete Best could have missed his chance to be the band’s first drummer!

A handwritten letter Paul McCartney wrote on August 12, 1960, offered an unidentified drummer an audition just a few days before the Beatles departed for their legendary two-month stint in Hamburg, Germany, reports CBS News.

McCartney reportedly wrote the letter in response to an advertisement — “Drummer_Young_Free” — he spotted in the Liverpool Echo newspaper. The letter from McCartney told the recipient that if he was to join the Beatles, he would be required to travel to Hamburg almost immediately.

“Expenses paid 18 pounds per week (approx) for two months,” McCartney wrote. “If interested ring Jacaranda club.”

Bruce Spizer, author of several books about the Fab Four, said that the band was on an urgent deadline to find a drummer and ended up choosing Best because he had a drum kit and was the son of a woman who ran a nightclub where the group had played.

Ringo Starr was certainly not the drummer to whom McCartney wrote, said a Christie’s spokeswoman. Starr was a successful drummer with the Liverpool band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes before he joined the Beatles.

McCartney and his new wife Nancy Shevell are on their honeymoon so Christie’s auctioneers have not contacted him about the letter.

A spokesperson for Christie’s said the auction house expects the letter will bring bids in excess of $11,000 when it is auctioned on Nov. 15.

The letter was found by an undisclosed collector who regularly checks yard sales for items.


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