The ""fifth original Beatle,"" the drummer who was replaced by Ringo Starr just before the group's first breakthroughs, recalls his ""nearly three momentous years"" as part of the band. Pete, 18 back in 1960, first encountered the guys (a.k.a. The Quarrymen, then the Silver Beatles) when they played in the basement-club run by Pete's mother. When they needed a drummer for their first gig in Hamburg, Pete joined up to make the group a tiresome: style-setter Stuart Sutcliffe was there as well as John, Paul, and 17-year-old George. And the now-familiar hijinks in Hamburg--noisy and sloppy performances, groupies and hookers, pranks and humiliations--are dankly detailed. But Best's recollections--of touring, partying, recording (in Germany), and meeting Brian Epstein (who made a gentle pass)--offer neither personality nor fresh material: even the story of How He Got Dumped by Epstein is fully told elsewhere. (Yes, ""a conspiracy had clearly been going on for some time behind my back, but not one of the other Beatles could find the courage to tell me."" And yes, like many others, ""my mother is convinced to this day that the real reason was jealousy. . ."") A minor, near-negligible addition to the Beatlemania shelf.