Andy White, The ‘Fifth Beatle,’ Dies At 85
Andy White, the “fifth Beatle” of Beatles legend, died on Wednesday in New Jersey. He was 85.
‘Fifth Beatle’ Dies
Playing drums on just one Beatles single – the American version of “Love Me Do” – gave White the status of being the mythical “fifth Beatle.” White also played on the B-side to the single, “P.S. I Love You.”
Back in the 1960s, White had been a working session musician based in London. With experience playing for American artists such as Chuck Berry and Bill Haley, he was called upon by Ron Richards for a three-hour session job for EMI, the Beatles’ label at the time.
“That’s all I knew about it. I had heard of The Beatles by then because my first wife Lynne was from Liverpool and had mentioned the name, but I didn’t know much about them,” White told Britain’s Daily Record in 2012.
After working with the group, White soon realized the potential for the group. “You could tell it was something different and very special. But I didn’t know just how special it would become.”
Ringo Starr, who eventually became the official drummer for The Beatles, had been relegated to the tambourine for the American version of “Love Me Do.” However, he took back drumming duties for the British version of the song and continued on with the group alongside John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison until it disbanded.