Profile of Pete Best


From the Northwest Florida Daily News:

COLONIE, N.Y. (AP) – As the live beat of Beatles classics begins bouncing off the walls of the Elks Lodge, a man with a gray mustache stands before his drum set and speaks up in a Liverpool lilt.

“Let’s take you back,” he tells the crowd, “to the days when I used to play with a bunch of guys by the names of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison …”

Ringo Starr’s playing the Elks club?


Meet Pete Best, the drummer booted from the band just before Beatlemania exploded. John, Paul, George and new guy Ringo went on to become voices of a generation, musical and cultural history.

Best became a civil servant.

If there was bitterness, and Best says there was not, he doesn’t show it. In fact, the 64-year-old drummer immerses himself in his Beatles past. He regularly bangs out the same beats he played as a young man in the seamy clubs of Hamburg and the crammed confines of the Cavern in Liverpool. Only now he plays with his self-named band in clubs and parks and places like this lodge in suburban Albany, N.Y.

“I was strong enough to put it behind me,” Best says. “You wake up one morning and say `What’s that use of crying over spilled milk?'”

The Pete Best Band is a six-piece outfit that rips through chestnuts like “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Please Mr. Postman,” and “P.S. I Love You.” Sets center around music the Beatles cut their teeth on from 1960-62, when the band featured Best, whose mother owned a Liverpool club called the Casbah. Just like the old days, Best leaves the singing and harmonizing to his bandmates, content now to split drumming duties with his brother Roag.

12 Planets?


Phil Plait from the Bad Astronomy Blog dissects the recent IAU proposal to redefine the rules as to what constitutes a planet.

But given these rules, here’s the impact on our solar system:

1. There are 8 major planets in the solar system. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
2. There is a newly named kind of planet: “plutons”. Pluto is one, of course. So is Charon, it’s moon (the second big surprise I mentioned above), and UB313, an object slightly larger than Pluto that orbits even farther from the Sun.
3. Ceres, once called the largest asteroid, is also now a planet.

Now, at the moment this is just a proposed set of rules, and has not yet been ratified. If it does pass, then we have 12 planets in our solar system, and the number will certainly grow as more plutons are found.