It was 60 years ago today (June 6th, 1962) that the Beatles first recorded for EMI Records at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. The group, which included original drummer Pete Best, performed a handful of songs, two of which have survived the years — a take of “Besame Mucho,” and an early version of “Love Me Do.” For decades it was believed that the June 6th session was merely an audition for the label, but historian and author Mark Lewisohn, revealed in his world renown tome, The Beatles: All These Years, Volume One – Tune In, that the “Fab Four” were actually signed by George Martin to EMI records before they ever stepped foot in Abbey Road.
The June 6th, 1962 versions of “Love Me Do” and “Besame Mucho” were officially released on 1995's The Beatles Anthology 1. According to several reports, the inclusion of 10 songs on the multi-platinum Anthology 1, including those from the first EMI session, earned Best several million dollars in royalties.
We asked Pete Best if prior to being fired from the Beatles on August 16th, 1962 he had any idea there was a problem with him or his drumming: “No! There was no forewarning. Looking back in hindsight, there may have been a couple of hints, but nothing that sort of would make you stop and wonder. We'd played the Cavern, we'd got the contract with EMI. We'd been down to EMI on the 6th of June, we laid down the sort of dummy tracks for our first release which were 'Love Me Do' and 'P.S. I Love You.' And we were due to go back again on the 4th of September. Unbeknownst to me there was subterfuge going on behind the scenes. I don't know why.”