Is this a case of ‘what could have been’? A letter from Paul McCartney inviting an unknown drummer to audition for The Beatles has turned up at a car boot sale in the band’s home town of Liverpool.
The handwritten note, dated 12 August 1960, tells the drumming hopeful that he will need to be "free soon for a trip to Hamburg (expenses paid £18 per week)" and asks the recipient to call and state when he will be available.
Under the guiding hand of their first manager Allan Williams, McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe were preparing to embark on their first overseas jaunt and that very evening of August 12 is believed to be when Pete Best was offered the job.
It was always thought Best was the first choice drummer but this letter may suggest that the band was still deliberating over who should fill the post. Best was fired in 1962 and replaced by Ringo Starr just as the band began to gain success.
The letter, which is expected to sell for between £7,000 and £9,000 when it goes to auction through Christie’s on 15 November, was discovered folded-up inside a book by an anonymous collector at the car boot sale in Bootle.
However, the question is who was this unknown drummer and how much must he be kicking himself now?