The Origins of the Collection

A lifetime of stories: Neil Aspinall, Pete Best and the origin of the collection


The extensive and personal collection that can be found in the museum is the work of Roag Aspinall-Best, who has brought it together through his close family ties to the Beatles, while he has also been a collector in his own right for over thirty years.

Roag’s father was Neil Aspinall, road manager and confidante to the Beatles and later the head of Apple Corps, spearheading such Beatle ventures as Beatles 1, Let It Be Naked, The Anthology and the Cirque du Soleil production ‘Love’. Neil’s close relationship with the Beatles saw him follow them from school days and local gigs in Liverpool to worldwide fame, at one point standing in for an unwell George Harrison during Ed Sullivan Show rehearsals, and this unique connection is reflected in the personal and one of a kind items that can be found in the museum. The Beatles counted Neil as their close friend and he was trusted by them implicitly. Neil was surrounded by The Beatles and so, throughout his life, was Roag.

Roag’s brother is Pete Best, who was a member of The Beatles for two years from 1960-1962 and so was in for the ride from their formative days playing The Casbah Coffee Club through to Hamburg, the Cavern and ultimately Abbey Road Studios. Pete’s insights into the early years are without doubt of significant importance to the legend that is The Beatles, giving visitors a taste of the early days of the band that they will not find anywhere else.
Roag’s mother was Mona Best, businesswoman and founder of the Casbah Coffee Club, the first rock and roll club in Liverpool. Because of her work in championing rock and roll music in Liverpool during the late 50s, Mona has been dubbed the “Mother of Mersey beat”, helping to launch the craze that made Liverpool one of the rock and roll capitals of the world. She provided the fledgling band with a venue to practice, play and perform, and the Beatles felt so at home there that Paul McCartney affectionately refers to it as “our club”. She managed many of their early business affairs and is one of the most influential figures in helping The Beatles to get off the ground and become the legends that they did.
These connections come together to provide an insight into the personal lives of the Beatles and the true story of the band, taking you on an incredible journey through The Beatles’ early days in Liverpool and Hamburg, their rise to worldwide fame and their innovative studio years through unique personal items that have never been shown to the public before.