Love, love me do
You know I love you
There are three popular recordings of Love Me Do currently in circulation, each using unique drummers. The first was recorded in the band’s very first EMI Studios session on 6th June 1962, and featured original drummer Pete Best. This was included on The Beatles Anthology 1.
By the 4th September sessions, Best, whose skills as a drummer were considered lacklustre by producer George Martin (listen to how he struggles for the change to the middle 8 in version one for an example of why), and whose image and behaviour had begun to irk the other bandmembers, had been replaced by Ringo Starr. Brian Epstein, who had the responsibility of sacking Best at the band’s request, said:
“[He was] too conventional to be a Beatle, and though he was friendly with John, he was not liked by George and Paul”
Starr drums on this second version, the one initially released by Parlophone.
The third version was recorded exactly a week later, with Starr relegated to tambourine and session drummer Andy White playing drums. This is the version heard on the Please Please Me LP. This decision caused some tension for Starr in the infancy of his Beatles career, who said:
I was playing the bass drum with a maraca in one hand and a tambourine in the other. I think it’s because of that that George Martin used Andy White, the ‘professional’, when we went down a week later to record Love Me Do. The guy was previously booked, anyway, because of Pete Best. George didn’t want to take any more chances and I was caught in the middle. I was devastated that George Martin had his doubts about me. I came down ready to roll and heard, ‘We’ve got a professional drummer.’ He has apologised several times since, has old George, but it was devastating. I hated the bugger for years; I still don’t let him off the hook!
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