Consider it the most successful rock 'n' roll career that almost was. Finding themselves without a permanent drummer in 1960, the pre-fame Beatles hired local Liverpool skinsman Pete Best -- but his time in the band would be short lived. After recording a demo for George Martin in 1962, the producer recommended that a session drummer be used in place of Best for future for recordings. The Beatles instead decided to outright fire Best -- depriving him of untold riches and rock immortality -- and Ringo Starr was hired as his replacement.
Best attempted to commit suicide at the peak of Beatlemania, but gradually grew to accept his footnote role in the biggest band of all time. Finally receiving a multi-million dollar royalty check after the 1995 release of the Beatles' 'Anthology' definitely helped the cause.