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Finding The Fourth Beatle


Finding The Fourth Beatle

The is the story of The Beatles from 1956-1970 told through the 23 drummers, including Colin Hanton, Pete Best and Jimmie Nicol, and some you will not have heard of before. The Beatles’ crises; changes of musical direction, getting a record deal, and finding the drummer who would put the beat into The Beatles: Ringo Starr, the Fourth Beatle.

The story of all the 23 drummers

Those who could have joined The Beatles, but didn’t

Expert analysis of the drummers by drummers

Why Brian Epstein didn't sign the Beatles first contract

Why The Beatles failed the Decca audition

Were The Beatles under contract at Parlophone in June 62?

Who was asked to replace Pete Best before Ringo

Why Pete Best was not sacked/dismissed by Brian Epstein

Why Ringo became the Fourth Beatle and inspired a generation of drummers


I grew up in The Dingle by the bottom of Madryn Street, where Ringo was born. In 1969, at the age of four, I started my education at St. Silas School, which Ringo had attended years before. My dad came to Liverpool as vicar of St. Philemon’s Church, which was incorporated in the parish of St. Silas Church. St. Silas is the same church where Ringo sang in the choir and where his parents were married. My house was two doors away from the Men’s Club, regularly attended by John Lennon’s uncles.

I lived in The Dingle until I was twenty-four, having lived in Teilo Street after I was married. Our home was two streets away from Admiral Grove where Ringo lived from the age of five. Ringo once stated, “When you lived in The Dingle, you aspired to have a semi in the suburbs of Mossley Hill or Woolton”.

My wife Alix and I decided to move out to Mossley Hill when we were ready to start a family, to within half a mile of Penny Lane—yes, that Penny Lane. Our children—Philippa, Lauren and Ashleigh—have all attended Dovedale School where John Lennon, George Harrison and Ivan Vaughan received their early education.

The Beatles have been a part of my life for a long time. After picking up my first guitar at ten years old, a Beatles’ song book was added so I could learn my favourite tunes. They have always accompanied me on my own long and winding road. As many fans can testify, it is more than just liking their music; the awesome foursome has a profound influence on your life.

In the summer of 2000 my doctor told me to take time off work because I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, for which there is no cure. Suddenly I had time on my hands, though my health restricted my activities. I was forced to give up playing football and golf, and walking became more difficult.

I became obsessed with finding out the real history of The Beatles and Liverpool, an obsession which took over my life and is still with me today as I research and write about the biggest pop group in history.

Since “Liddypool” was first published in 2009, it has sold out two print runs. I subsequently followed it up with “The Fab One Hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles” and collaborated on “The Beatles Book” with Hunter Davies. My third book, “Looking for the Fourth Beatle” is being published in 2017, and I been working on a documentary film, “Looking for Lennon”, also due out in 2017.

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