Please Mum, Don't
Why was Pete Best sacked as drummer of The Beatles on the cusp of the band’s greatness? The assumption and indeed the mythology has always been that he just wasn’t good enough. Thanks to an excellent PBS documentary, Made On Merseyside, we learn the truth.
For a start, Pete Best can really play. But the manager Brian Epstein found Best’s mother interfering and annoying and used one bad studio rehearsal as an excuse to get him out. Mona Best went on TV to complain. Pete sits next to her, squirming with embarrassment.
Matt Moulding at The Hut Group knows just how he felt.
His mum emailed Oliver Shah at The Sunday Times this week to complain that journalists should be more appreciative of her son’s “outstanding” achievements.
“You must lead very dreary lives in your dead-end jobs”, she tells Shah. Fair enough. It’s long been a tabloid tactic to try and get to the mother of someone controversially in the news. The chances of them saying something hilarious are high.
When Gareth Southgate’s lame penalty sent England out of Euro96 his mother’s reaction spoke for the nation. She asked: “Why didn’t you just belt it, son?”
I have my own experience here. About 15 years ago my mother was so cross at something I had written in the Evening Standard that she sent a letter to editor Geordie Greig, under her remarried name, listing everything that was wrong with my article.
The editor brought it over with some glee, and noted that this letter was unusually well written and had quite a lot of detail about my many failings. I read with trepidation. “It’s my Mum, boss”. Everyone apart from me thought this was absolutely hilarious.
Tomorrow: Interfering fathers.
There are reasons to be cheerful about the UK economy and stock market, says this from Tilney Smith & Williamson.
It says: “Much of the concerns about long-lasting damage to the UK economy from covid appears to be misplaced. Employment and GDP are now higher than the pre-pandemic February 2020 level. Moreover, GDP recovered all the lost output over the past two years far quicker than the five years it took after the previous recession during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.”
The gloomy stuff is easy to do; this is better.