Meet Jimmy Nicol, the forgotten Beatle, stand-in drummer for Ringo

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jimmy Nicol, the stand-in drummer for Ringo Starr at the start of The Beatles’ 1964 world tour, sitting all alone at the departure lounge at Essendon Airport, waiting for his flight home to England.

Packed in his luggage is a copy of The Advertiser newspaper from two days earlier. Splashed across the front page is a picture of Jimmy, born in London, three Lads from Liverpool and DJ Bob Francis, standing on the Adelaide Town Hall balcony in front of an ecstatic mob of adoring fans. Even the three “official” Beatles were amazed by the fanatical reception they received in Adelaide at the start of their Australian tour that saw 300,000 on the streets — so just imagine how mind-blowing it was for the newest band member? Complaining he could no longer cope with the “mediocrity of life”, Nicol, walked out of his London flat three years after that remarkable winter’s day in Adelaide and effectively disappeared for the next four decades. Born James George Nicol in 1939, a month before the start of World War II, Jimmy, sometimes spelt Jimmie, is older than any of the six people to officially play in the Beatles. Married with a son Howie, who later became an award-winning sound recordist, Nicol had a solid reputation as a percussionist having played with Joe Brown, Billy Fury and Georgie Fame.

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Source: Perth Now, Austalia

Photo Credit: News Corp Australia

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