Best's book, “The Best Years of the Beatles,” relates extensive tales of the group's life in Hamburg. Asked for the highlight of his time there, he said, “It was recording over there for Polydor for Bert Kaempfert with Tony. It opened so many doors for us it was incredible. That was the frontrunner of everything we did.”
The lowlight, he said, was learning some tragic news. “For me, anyway, it was getting off the plane when we went to open the Star-Club in April, '62, and being met by Astrid and turning 'round and being told he'd died of a brain hemorrage. That was something. We were full of the joys of spring as much as opening a brand new club. Horst Fascher was going to be the manager of the club. He'd asked us to come over and open it specially and we agreed. We were always looking forward to this, a reunion with Stu and Astrid, and opening a great new club that was going to become world famous. And then were met with that.”
He said he and Stu got along very well. “Stu was a lovely guy, a brilliant artist. And I've always stood in his corner. It annoys me when people, and I put this down to media who don't know the full story, Stu's been, similar to me, I guess, typecast as an underrated or poor musician. And Stu wasn't a bad bass player. A lot of people have supported me on this, Klaus Voormann especially. You know, rock 'n' roll was simple in those days. And what Stu played was very simple bass, but what he played on the bass was great for the drummer to lock into.
“And at the end of the day, the bass guitar and the drums are the engine room of the band. And I locked into what I could play with Stu. It was a brilliant foundation for the rest of the band.”
Best also says Sutcliffe's stance on stage not facing the audience was not as it seemed.
“A lot of people have taken his stance on stage because he turned slightly with his shoulder to the audience and it made him look as though he was playing with his back to the audience and looking at what he was playing. That was his style. OK, if anyone had a style to be copied, look at that because it made people's heads turn.
“Stu was a good bass player, a brilliant artist. Because of that and because he was such a darling little guy to get on with, inoffensive, and happy-go-lucky, wonderful personality whether it be onstage or offstage, he was just a lovely guy. And that's the best thing I can say about him.”
And he renewed his feelings that the door is always open for a meeting with Paul McCartney.
“From my point of view, there's been no fear of it. It's something that may happen, it may not. As far as I'm concerned, the door's always open. I'd like it to happen. I think it'd be great. Two old guys, because we're not getting any younger now. We're both in our '70s. It'd be nice to meet up again and not talk about what happened to lead up to me being kicked out of the Beatles. My God almighty, as far as I'm concerned, that's distant and finished.
“I think if we were going to meet up again, it'd be much a case we've both got children, grandchildren. It's very much 'How's life treating you?' I'd like to just sit down over a pint and have a good laugh or a joke. Talk about family things. That's what it's all about.”
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