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Old May 29, 2004, 01:45 AM   #1
HariScruff_00
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Default Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...n/story_page/0,5744,9688123%255E16947,00.html

I highly doubt i'm the only one who has wondered what ever happened to that Jimmy Nicol guy that toured with the Fabs in Australia in 1964.


Life moves to a slower beat for Beatles' forgotten drummer
By Jonathan Este in London
May 29, 2004
YOU could say the music stopped for Jimmy Nicol on June 15, 1964.

Just 24 hours earlier he had been on stage with the group destined to become the most successful act in the history of pop music trying to hear himself play the drums above the screams of thousands of teenage girls. Now, with pound stg. 500 and a gold watch in his pocket and a souvenir tour bag on his lap, he was heading home, alone.

For 10 heady days across Europe, Hong Kong and Australia, Nicol had been in the eye of the storm that was Beatlemania, riding in limousines with John, Paul and George, soaking up the adulation, the girls and the parties.

Nicol was the drummer called in at the last minute to replace Ringo Starr, who had come down with tonsilitis days before the Beatles were due to leave London on a tour of Denmark, Holland, Hong Kong and Australia.

If you dig around, you'll find some fragmentary evidence of Nicol's walk-on part in the group's Australian triumph: newsreel of the four arriving in Darwin in the rain on June 11; an interview with disc jockey Bob Rogers at Adelaide Town Hall, during which John says the group's reception in Australia dwarfed even the US.

But several days into the tour, Ringo was getting off a flight in Melbourne ready to rejoin his bandmates for the remainder of their gruelling itinerary: a fortnight of two shows a day in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch and Brisbane.

Nicol, meanwhile, headed home. "When I was on the plane back to London, I felt like a bastard child being sent back home from a family that didn't want me," he told an interviewer in 1987, the last time he spoke publicly about his brush with Beatlemania.

He recorded a single, Husky, which went nowhere much. He married and had a son, Howard, who was to win a prestigious award for his work as sound engineer on a BBC collection of Beatles recordings in the 1990s, spent some time in Sweden, Australia, Mexico, and drifted into obscurity. So where is Jimmy Nicol now?

The Weekend Australian this week tracked him down to a ground-floor flat on the fringe of a north London industrial estate, where he lives as a virtual recluse.

Nicol, estranged from his family for years, has virtually made himself disappear. These days he flatly refuses to talk on the subject of his fleeting fame. "I really don't want to talk about it - I can't remember anything," he said.

Take another look at the photograph of young Nicol, preparing to board the flight and you get a flavour of a comment he was to make more than 20 years later.

"The day before I was a Beatle, not one girl would look me over. The day after ... they were dying just to get a touch of me. Strange and scary all at once. It's hard to describe the feeling but I can tell you it can go to your head. I see why so many famous people kill themselves."

--
I feel sorry for the guy. His 15 minutes of fame was closer to 15 days so its too bad he let that little trip, as he put it, "go to his head". Sounds like his time after the Beatles is just one of a few problems he had in his life.
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Old May 29, 2004, 07:35 AM   #2
Jongo McHarrison
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

The article says that Jimmy Nicol hasn't spoken publicly about the Beatles since 1987, but I still have a copy of the magazine Sh-Boom from 1990 in which he's interviewed in regards to his time with the group.

Sh-Boom: You're about the only one who hasn't written a book.

Jimmy: Oh, after the money ran low, I thought of cashing in some way or the other. But the timing wasn't right. And I didn't want to step on the Beatles' toes. They had been damn good to me.

It doesn't sound like he possesses the bitterness that may or may not have been inherent in his referal to himself as "a bastard child" a few years earlier. The image of him as a recluse who has made himself disappear and flatly refuses to speak about his fleeting fame is one the writer of this article put forth; I don't see anything in the article that suggests that Jimmy thinks of himself in such a depressing way.

The 1990 interview I have also includes these other excerpts:

SB: You must have had some regrets that Ringo was coming back

JN: I was praying that he would get well, but at the same time I was hoping he would not want to come back. I was having a ball, truly.

SB: Why are other former Beatles like Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe remembered, but you're not?

JN: To put it simply, Stu was a sentimental Beatle because he died in the early days of the group. Best was a crybaby. He didn't want to cut his hair like the rest of the group and resented Brian telling him that he had to. He soon founf out that Brian carried more weight with the Beatles than he believed. The crap he said afterwards about the rest of the band being jealous of his good looks was just wishfull babbling. Paul McCartney was ten times the looker Pete Best was.

SB: How'd the Beatles themselves treat you?

JN: Fantastic. Even Ringo kidded me when they took me over to introduce me as his replacement. There were a lot of jokes over that scene. John was super nice, as were Paul and George, with George being about as nervous as I was about the tour. He was very young, you know.

JN: They paid me 2500 pounds per gig and a 2500 pound signing bonus. That floored me. When John spoke up in protest by saying "Good God Brian you'll make the chap crazy", I thought it was over. But no sooner had he said that than he said "Give him ten thousand!" Everyone laughed, and I felt a hell of a lot better.
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Old May 29, 2004, 08:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

It's a shame if things didn't work out for Jimmy.He hasn't tried to cash in on his small part in Beatle history unlike another former drummer I can think of.Hope things get better for him!
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Old May 29, 2004, 09:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

Maybe the reason Nicol hasn't tried to cash in on his time as Ringo's stand-in is, truth told, he hasn't got much of a story to tell - unlike a genuine former Beatle...
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Old May 29, 2004, 09:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

Maybe....but Pete Best must of been there more decades considering the amount of books he has put out
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Old May 29, 2004, 09:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

I truly hope the author of this piece is exaggerating Jimmy's miserable-ness and that he's not really that bitter. He played a vital role, even if it was for a short time and all us Beatles fans appreciate his filling in. I hope he lives a happy life.
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Old May 29, 2004, 09:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

[ QUOTE ]
Paolo Meccano Posted:
Maybe the reason Nicol hasn't tried to cash in on his time as Ringo's stand-in is, truth told, he hasn't got much of a story to tell - unlike a genuine former Beatle...

[/ QUOTE ]

That's it, he was never a real official member, he was a stand in for Ringo while he was ill. Unlike Pete who was an original member before being replaced, or Stu who was there at the beginning.
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Old May 29, 2004, 02:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

[ QUOTE ]
Paolo Meccano Posted:
Maybe the reason Nicol hasn't tried to cash in on his time as Ringo's stand-in is, truth told, he hasn't got much of a story to tell - unlike a genuine former Beatle...

[/ QUOTE ]

In fact he saw an awful lot of the sordid side of Beatle life, the sort of thing that the tabloids would still pay a good sum for today, but has chosen to keep quiet, beyond the odd hint at the sort of orgiastic scenes he was privy to. There are plenty of figures whose relationship to The Beatles was longer but still peripheral who haven't shown such discretion.

Actually, you can find out an awful lot about people by being closeted with them for a relatively short time: witness Michal Braun's revealing portrait in Love Me Do and the relative intimacy of the US Visit documentary.
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Old May 29, 2004, 09:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

Awesome find Jongo, Thank You!

Its nice to know that he doesn't hold any bitterness towards the Beatles. It doesn't seem like he would have any reason to if he got along with the guys but sometimes people blame random things when they're down. As i recall the only thing of note that any of the Beatles have said about it is George's comments that he was miffed that they didn't cancel the tour when Ringo was out. But his comments were always aimed at those in control of the tour, and not at Jimmy.

maybe, as was suggested, this newer article is exagerrated. after reading the '90 interview that Jongo provided and re-reading this article, it seems more obvious that this reporter didn't even talk to Jimmy. as all they got for an interview was "I really don't want to talk about it - I can't remember anything." ie Go Away.
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Old May 29, 2004, 09:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

[ QUOTE ]
Rellevart Posted:
I truly hope the author of this piece is exaggerating Jimmy's miserable-ness and that he's not really that bitter. He played a vital role, even if it was for a short time and all us Beatles fans appreciate his filling in. I hope he lives a happy life.

[/ QUOTE ]

He was in Holland with the guys, what more can a person want...

Oh, Legs and I are going to do the Canal tour the Beatles did in Amsterdam in 1964, a special Beatles memorial event on June 5. They are looking for galls to jump in the water, so if anyone likes to come for a swim
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Old May 30, 2004, 09:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

[ QUOTE ]
Legs Posted:
[ QUOTE ]
Paolo Meccano Posted:
Maybe the reason Nicol hasn't tried to cash in on his time as Ringo's stand-in is, truth told, he hasn't got much of a story to tell - unlike a genuine former Beatle...

[/ QUOTE ]

That's it, he was never a real official member, he was a stand in for Ringo while he was ill. Unlike Pete who was an original member before being replaced, or Stu who was there at the beginning.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's true. He was never really a vital part of Beatles history, but merely a lucky footnote.
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Old May 30, 2004, 05:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

FPSHOT,

That Canal Tour sounds wonderful! Last night I watched my Beatles in Holland dvd and LOVE it! Please tell us all about it when you and Legs return.

Sad about Jimmy Nicol - hope things turn around for him and he was lucky to be a part of the action in 1964 of all times.
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Old Jun 01, 2004, 08:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

that's sad to hear about him....i hope things get better for him
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Old Jun 01, 2004, 09:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

Jimmy's handling his 15 minutes of Beatle fame with a lot more class and dignity than another former drummer I might mention. I like the part where he calls Pete a "crybaby". heehee! And that Paul was ten times the looker than Pete was (which IMO, he was!), despite what Pete himself thinks. I do wish Jimmy well.
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Old Jun 01, 2004, 01:23 PM   #15
Jongo McHarrison
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

[ QUOTE ]
HariScruff_00 Posted:
maybe, as was suggested, this newer article is exagerrated. after reading the '90 interview that Jongo provided and re-reading this article, it seems more obvious that this reporter didn't even talk to Jimmy. as all they got for an interview was "I really don't want to talk about it - I can't remember anything." ie Go Away.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's pretty much what I think. I figure some reporter decided to do a story on Jimmy Nicol not realising that he's perfectly happy not relving the same 10 days over and over again (regardless of how happy or sad those 10 days were). Of course, this reporter didn't anticpate this and found himself in a spot where he had to turn Nicol's "I'm not interested in being interviewed" into a lengthy article. It seems as if the writer took the liberty of filling in the blanks and created a story off the one sentence he did get. I mean, how many times has John's 1970s letter to Paul regarding him and Linda been in the paper under the heading "John's nasty letter to Linda reveals hatred for Songwriting Pal"? It's an old story built on a moment of anger and reveals nothing new about John and Paul, but everytime the letter goes up for auction, I see this headline blaring out of the paper because some writer thinks Beatles + Anger = News. Jimmy Nicol doesn't want to talk? Must be bitter and Angry.
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Old Jun 15, 2004, 09:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

So, what ever happened to Colin Hanton the drummer for the Quarry Men?
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 05:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

If you can, get hold of a copy of Hunter Davies' excellent 'Quarrymen' book and find out...
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 06:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

Best of British to him... we loves our Jimmy. Now I feel bad... never really thought of what that might have been like for him...
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Old Jun 18, 2004, 11:06 AM   #19
Paolo Meccano
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

Further to the Colin Hanton query, here's a link - Colin Hanton
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Old Jun 18, 2004, 12:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: Jimmy Nicol: Life moves to a slower beat forgotten drummer

I'm sure Jimmy Nichol was told up front that it was a temporary assignment.
I hope in reality he harbors no resentment at what "could have been."
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