Early Beatles drummer dies; earned £5 for helping record hits

awWe’ve just learned session drummer Andy White passed away in New Jersey after suffering a stroke. Hailing from Scotland, White played drums on the US releases of 1962’s ‘Love Me Do,’ ‘PS I Love You’ and possibly other tracks.

His family noted his “amazing humility and humbleness about his many achievements,” per NME.

In 2009, White told New Jersey paper The Progress that he was paid a one-off fee of £5 for three hours work with The Beatles and received no further royalties from the recordings. “You could tell it was something different and very special,” White told the Daily Record in 2012 of his work with The Beatles. “But I didn’t know just how special it would become.”

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The Beatles had a rocky start with drummers. Their original drummer from 1960 to 1962, Pete Best, got forced out of the band. There are a number of alleged reasons why. Best was considered by many female fans to be the band’s best-looking member. He also had a “limited vocabulary” on the drums. Ringo Starr joined the band in August 1962. Per lore, Andy White recorded ‘Love Me Do’ since because producers weren’t happy with Best or Starr’s drumming. Check out our post: Weed, TB and illiteracy: 5 things you never knew about Ringo Starr.

White had a bumper sticker on his car that read “5THBEATLE.” Read more on Andy White at NME.

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