Original Beatles drummer extends olive branch to Ringo Starr on 80th birthday

Original Beatles drummer Pete Best has extended an olive branch to Sir Ringo Starr, wishing him a happy 80th birthday.

Sir Ringo, who celebrates the milestone on Tuesday, replaced Best in the group in 1962, a takeover that was controversial at the time.

The 78-year-old said on Twitter: “Thought about it and thought why not. Happy Birthday Ringo. It’s a special one. Have a good day.”

Fans praised Best as a “class act” and said his comments proved “time obviously does heal wounds”.

Best was invited to join The Beatles in August 1960 on the eve of their first season of club dates in Hamburg, Germany.

Beatles break-up anniversary
Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr (Yui Mok/PA)

However, two years later Beatles manager Brian Epstein fired Best and replaced him with Sir Ringo.

After playing in a number of unsuccessful groups, Best left the music industry to work as a civil servant for 20 years, before starting the Pete Best Band.

In 1995, The Beatles released Anthology 1, which featured early tracks with Best as drummer, including songs from their auditions for the Decca and Parlophone labels, and Best received a substantial payout from the sales.

Yoko Ono was among those sending birthday wishes to Sir Ringo.

The widow of John Lennon said: “Happy, Happy Birthday Ringo! lots of peace and love, yoko.”

The famous Abbey Road Studios, where The Beatles recorded much of their music, also celebrated the milestone on its Twitter page.

Broadcaster Gyles Brandreth tweeted: “Happy birthday Ringo! In the 1980s I hosted a charity party to salute icons from the 1960s.

“Ringo’s the one on the left. And amazingly in 2020 he can still fit into that suit & his Sergeant Pepper uniform. He’s a Starr!”

Former Formula One world champion Damon Hill said: “Happy Birthday Ringo. And thanks for putting the Beat into the Beatles!”

Sir Ringo will host a charity broadcast in aid of Black Lives Matter on Tuesday night featuring himself, Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Sheryl Crow and Gary Clark Jr among others.