Wednesday, August 3, 2011

John, Paul, George and ... Jimmy?

It looks like a "doctored" photograph, but that's really
Jimmy Nicol taking the place of Ringo. Too weird.
When Ringo Starr fell ill with tonsilitis and was hospitalized in early June of 1964, the Beatles had a problem.  They could cancel the start of their tour, which was to begin in Scandanavia. Or they could hire a replacement drummer.

George Harrison voted to bag the tour, reportedly saying "if Ringo's not going, then neither am I. You can find two replacements." But Beatlemania was running rampant, and manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin decided it was better to have an unhappy Beatle than a disgruntled fan base.

So Nicol, a session drummer who would later form the Shubdubs, filled in and played nine gigs before Ringo rejoined the group. 

Nicol -- who turns 72 today -- wound up making a lasting imprint on the Beatles' music, though not as a drummer. When members of the band would ask Nicol how he was doing, he always answered "it's getting better."  Which is a line Paul McCartney remembered when he began writing "Getting Better," a song that John Lennon collaborated on (adding "it can't get no worse") for Sgt. Pepper.

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