Pete Best Syndrome: 10 Dudes Who Left Big Bands To Wallow In Obscurity

Mr. Pete Best: A man, but also cultural short-hand for when you get totally kicked in the crotch by fate. For those of you who don’t know, Pete served as the original drummer for a little band called the Beatles, playing scores of small gigs across England in the early pre-fame ’60s. It’s hard to believe, but at the time he was seen as (arguably) the most popular member of the band! At least with the ladies…

  • The Rolling Stones

  • ACDC

  • Green Day

  • Nirvana Soundgarden

  • Metallica

  • The Police

  • Beastie Boys

  • No Doubt

  • The Beach Boys

  • The Go-Gos

He even lived with the soon-to-be-Fab Four (well, Three) for months in cramped and filthy quarters when the band had a residence in Hamburg, Germany. Yes, he definitely paid his dues, but just as the Beatles were given a record deal and rested on the verge of Earth-changing super stardom, he was unceremoniously given the boot. The exact reasons for this are debated to this day. They claimed his drumming wasn’t quite good enough enough and didn’t gel, he claimed that they were jealous that the girls liked him best. Regardless, the drummer’s stool was turned over to Ringo, and the rest is….you know.

So it’s safe to say that Best has pretty much the worst luck. But he’s definitely not the only person who’s been kicked out (or worse, quit) a band just before they hit the big time. Head on up to the gallery above for 10 more unfortunate folks. Sure, we know that money and fame aren’t everything, and they probably went on to have happy, productive and fulfilling lives, but….it still sucks.

[Photo: Getty Images/Decca Records/Fox]

VH1 Music Editor + Seltzer Enthusiast