Fine For Best Set Ever

Pete Best and his band played a 75-minute set outside an Athens, Ga., eatery July 30th, resulting in a court date for the owner because of a noise complaint.

Best – the pre-Ringo drummer for The Beatles and owner of The Casbah, the Liverpool coffeehouse where the band first played – has been touring the country with the The Pete Best Band, which includes his brother Roag.

Loco’s Deli & Pub is a longtime nightclub in Athens, but limits itself to about three concerts a year, owner Jamie Loftin told Pollstar. Best’s set ran from 9 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on an outdoor stage, but police showed up with a citation before the set ended.

Loftin asked the sound engineer to turn down the volume, and Best finished his list of cover tunes, including “Twist and Shout” and “Johnny B. Goode.”

Loftin has been cited for noise before, so he is headed to municipal court to see if he must pay more than the usual $144 fine. A nightclub spokesman has said that most of the complaints come from the same neighbor.

“We are in a neighborhood, and I definitely don’t want to come across in any story as being overly upset,” Loftin said. “They were loud and our location is placed in a neighborhood and I understand. That’s one reason why we try to be as respectful to our neighbors as possible, so we had a short set. … He wanted to play at 11 o’clock at night, trying to get more people out.”

The owner said he normally keeps gigs to a minimum but he wanted to hear one of the original Beatles.

“I’ve had a lot of phone calls today and a lot of great support,” he said.

Best’s tour includes stops at the Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Va., the Laugh Factory in New York City, and The Beatlefest in Chicago.

– Joe Reinartz