The early Beatles- one of my favorite subjects!! This time period (1960-1963) was so raw, uninhibited and real. Forget the ‘Lovable Lads from Liverpool’ squeaky clean image, the boys prior to Epstein’s all-encompassing grasp on the band were hard and rigid. They were “Teddy-boys” all leather and grease, playing gigs in small venues around Liverpool usually for little to no pay.
The boys were picked up by Alan Williams, who was sending several acts to play contracted gigs in Hamburg. However, this early version of the Beatles at that time did not have a drummer. According to Beatles historical efforts they settled on Pete Best, because he had his own equipment , and was able to leave in a hurry for an extended stay in Hamburg. It was in these red light district clubs that the Beatles (then known as the Silver Beetles) earned $100 week each- an enormous sum of money in those days and honed in on their sound. This is also where they met the likes of Astrid Kirtcherr and Klaus Voorman. A pair that would influence the Beatles for years to come. See the Rise to Beatlemania for more on Astrid and Klaus.
First and foremost, this story begins in India long before the Maharishi and the boys fascination with transcendental meditation, for that is where Pete Best was born.
As cited in Wiki:
Best’s mother, Mona Best (born Alice Mona Shaw), was born in Delhi, India, and was the daughter of Thomas (an Irish major) and Mary Shaw. Randolph Peter Scanland (later surnamed Best), her first child, was born in Madras, Madras Presidency, British India, on 24 November 1941. Best’s biological father was marine engineer Donald Peter Scanland, who subsequently died during World War II. Best’s mother was training to become a doctor in the service of the Red Cross when she met Johnny Best, who came from a family of sports promoters in Liverpool who ran Liverpool Stadium. During World War II, Johnny Best was a commissioned officer serving as a Physical Training Instructor in India, and was the Army’s middleweight boxing champion. After their marriage on 7 March 1944 at St Thomas’s Cathedral, Bombay, Rory Best was born. In 1945, the Best family sailed for four weeks to Liverpool on the Georgic, the last troop ship to leave India, carrying single and married soldiers who had previously been a part of General Sir William Slim‘s forces in south-east Asia. The ship docked in Liverpool on 25 December 1945.
As most readers of the numbernine blog are well aware, I have somewhat of a conspiratorial mindset. Particularly when it comes to famous or aristocratic persons of interest. So then, it should come of little surprise to those dedicated readers (it’s a wonder you’re still here at all! Thank you!) that that simple opening “early life” paragraph from Wikipedia set off some major red flags for me. As much as I would like to share my thought process and computation of the above information, that is not the focus of this article. However, if you’ve been paying attention- then you probably already know why the Indian birthright and the connection to military and the entertainment industry could be significant. Perhaps it is not even worth mentioning at this point the allegations against General Sir William Slim- it’s becoming nearly a ‘common’ similarity in these cases, as unfortunate as that is.
Moving past that, Mona Best became a quasi nightclub owner in Liverpool thanks to a thoroughbred named ‘Never Say Die‘. In 1954 Mona Best pawned all of her jewelry and investments to place a single bet of Never Say Die in the Epsom Derby, which won 33-1. Mona used her winnings to buy a huge 1-Acre 15 bedroom home at 8 Hayman’s Green, West Derby, Liverpool, England which was turned into The Casbah Coffee Club some time later.
With a little help from the Casbah Coffee Club’s soon to be resident act- The Quarrymen, the boys took up paintbrushes and helped Mona to finish painting the walls with spiders, dragons, rainbows and stars for the opening performance on August 29th, 1959. There was also a silhouette of John Lennon painted by Cynthia Lennon on one of the Casbah walls.
Needless to say- Mona Best and her Casbah Coffee Club was a major factor in the early years of the Beatles formation. The Quarrymen (early formation of the Beatles) were the first band to play at the Casbah, and the Beatles were the last act to perform at the Casbah at is closure in 1962. And Pete Best, Mona’s oldest son was the drummer for the Beatles when things really started to take off for the group.
Pete Best was really more than just the drummer, he acted as the band’s manager (with a lot of help from mother Mona) in those early days. He booked the gigs and signed the contracts. By several accounts, Best was also the “good-looking Beatle” and had a large female fan base. Some accounts place the truly dedicated female fans camping out in front of Pete’s bedroom window. This could be an important factor when considering why Pete Best was fired from the group. There were talks of jealousy from the other boys, and even reports of snide remarks about Best “taking all the girls” and not leaving any for Paul and John! These snide remarks were reportedly made by none other than Jim McCartney- Paul’s father. When Best was sacked in 1962, there were demonstrations on the Merseyside by fans who demanded Pete’s return to the Beatles.
“Some of the fans – a couple of them – were shouting ‘Pete is best!’ and ‘Ringo never, Pete Best forever!’, but it was a small group and we ignored it. However, after about half an hour it was gretting a bit tiring so I shouted to the audience. When we stepped out of the band room into the dark tunnel, some guy nodded me one, giving me a black eye.” – George Harrison, Anthology
Neil Aspinall, Beatles roadie, chauffeur and fixer rented a room in the Best household and had a romantic affair with Mona which produced a son- Roag Best in 1961. Aspinall denied paternity for years, but eventually admitted to being Roag’s biological father.
Did you catch that? Pete Best has a brother. A half brother named Roag who’s father is Beatles Roadie, friend, fixer, confidant, former head of Apple Corps., possibly Apollo C. Vermouth etc. etc. Neil Aspinall.
For those of you who may be new to this, or for those that just need a refresher- Neil Aspinall is a very interesting character in the “Beatles Mysteries”/ PID arena. He had been very close to the Beatles before, during and after their rise to fame. Began as the Beatles roadie and driver in their Liverpool days and eventually Chief Executive of Apple Corps up until his death in 2008. This guy was as close as close could get.
Somewhere around 2006(?) a very curious user going by the handle Apollo C. Vermouth began posting on “Paul is Dead” forums (like Nothing is Real and The King is Naked). This person seemed to be in the know, and left strange riddled musings for all the forum members to ooh and ahh over. For a list of Apollo C. Vermouth’s postings, Redwel Trabant has done a tremendous job preserving them here. I am not going to list Apollo’s posts here, but if you follow the link provided, you can get a good idea. One thing is for certain, whoever posted under the handle Apollo C Vermouth was certainly trying to persuade his readers that Paul McCartney was replaced, at least temporarily.
When Pete Best was “let go” from his duties with the Beatles, It is said that Neil Aspinall was very upset by the group’s and Brian Epstein’s decision. Pete and Neil were very close, not to mention the “family ties” they shared. Neil told Pete that he would quit roading for the Beatles because of this harsh decision. According to official histories, Pete told Neil to do no such thing, and there were no hard feelings between them. But did Neil hold a grudge? Knowing Epstein’s obsessive grasp on the public image of the group, he undoubtedly tried to put a lid on the fact that Neil had a child with Mona. That’s just not a “good clean image” now is it? He may have forbidden Neil of seeing his son Roag altogether. It is unclear how much time (if any) Neil spent with his estranged child. He denied paternity for years, only admitting the fact long after Epstein had died.
It has long been implied that Apple Corps (with Neil Aspinall at the helm) has promoted and even sold the idea of the “Paul is Dead” phenomena for Decades. Whether this is because it was good for marketing, or because someone *ahem* at Apple Corps wanted to get the “truth out there” is open to interpretation. Regardless, it has also been implied that Apollo C Vermouth (aka possibly Neil Aspinall) helped fund a peculiar project known as The Rotten Apple series which served as a sequel to The Winged Beetle movie seen on YouTube. These projects were created by the now infamous Iamaphoney, who was certainly getting funding from somewhere, somehow. YouTube is notorious for removing anything and everything Beatles due to copyright infringement (the powers that be are VERY possessive of their Beatles copy rights), but somehow, Iamaphoney’s videos stayed up and running for many years, and can still be found on YouTube today.
The Iamaphoney series rekindled the Paul is Dead rumor like never before, but it went a lot deeper than that. Suggestions of MKUltra- style mind control, satanism, cult followings, and an interest in the occult were all brought to the forefront of the YouTube conspiracy theory community. It certainly more than caught my eye, and in part ultimately inspired this blog site.
Neil Aspinall knew everything. He was there from the beginning until his death in 2008 at the age of 66. He had retired from Apple Corps. only a few months prior to that. He never wrote a biography, he never published a memoir, and he very rarely granted interviews (I think only two), and has always been famously tight-lipped.
Would it be so far of a stretch to assume that Neil Aspinall DID have things he wanted, but possibly couldn’t say about the Beatles, and used his last years of life to “go rouge (Roag)” somewhat anonymously to get his story out as Apollo C. Vermouth? Or to seek out a long held grudge? Knowing that Aspinall had such strong ties to the Best family- did he possibly somehow try to make up for time lost? Many in the Beatles Mysteries/PID camp will tell you that’s precisely what happened. I hope someday we will find out.
To Be continued… (hopefully)
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