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4.1 out of 5 stars14
4.1 out of 5 stars
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To most Beatles fans Jimmie Nicol is merely a footnote in the history of the band - a drummer asked to fill in during the start of their first world tour when Ringo was taken ill. He played with them for thirteen days, the concerts taking him from Denmark and the Netherlands, to Hong Kong and Australia and from relative obscurity to the madness of Beatlemania. George Harrison was quite scathing in the Anthology about going on tour without Ringo, but with the tour literally days away and tickets sold, presumably Brian Epstein felt that cancelling was not an option. In this really fascinating account of Jimmie Nicol's life, the author not only tells the story of his career as a musician, but of how those thirteen days affected everything that followed.

The beginning of Jimmie's career saw him on many of the Larry Parne's package tours, including the 1960 tour with Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. He was a session musician and played with Georgie Fame, among others. When the Beatles needed a drummer the author explains how their paths had already crossed and he was a natural choice to fill in. Sadly, the fleeting moments of superstardom seemed to bring him more problems than success. It was nice to read that both George and Paul tried to make contact (indeed, in Paul's case offer help) even if it was rebuffed. However, this book gives as full an account of the drummers whole career as he could have wished and even turns into a detective story as Jim Berkenstadt tries to discover his whereabouts. For fans this is an intriguing and fascinating read about the man who wished he could stay a Beatle.
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on 13 November 2013
An absolutly fascinating account of the life and works of the man who temporarily replaced an ill Ringo Starr in 1964, for 3 weeks. The amount of research that the author has put is amazing, I thought that I would skim the book until I got to the Beatles section, but no! What a fantastic read, I have been totally absorbed in this book for the last few days. The section on the Beatle tour is obviously the highlight, presenting lots of new facts and behind the scenes stuff. (What happens on tour, stays on tour............). But what happened to jimmie after is equally as fascinating. I thoroughly recommend this book to any Beatle fan.
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Jimmie Nichol got less than his 15 minutes of fame. In fact, if a day was equal to a minute, he got 13. That said, he has paid the price for the rest of his life.

The book is very well researched and fascinating as it is the only source of information on the drummer who filled in for Ringo Starr during a sudden period of illness in 1964 on the eve of The Beatles' first world tour. Certainly, he has been skimmed over during documentaries including The Beatles Anthology [DVD] [1995] and all but forgotten, it would seem.

I really enjoyed finally learning something about a man who is something of an enigma...partially through lack of information on him and partially through his own efforts to evade fame in the years following his brief Beatles encounter. There were no fillers or redundant inclusions in this book; every page was full of really important and interesting information.
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on 2 June 2013
Jimmie Nicol a Beatle for just two weeks and now a complete book about everything we need to know about this man of mystery. Jim Berkenstadts book starts at his place of birth, which is not acknowledged by a blue or musical plaque through to his last known address in England and his hideaway somewhere in Holland. It covers his time as a cabin boy with Colin Hicks, and then as a Spotnick and his endless tours and session work. Jimmie could no doubt earn good money on celebrity tours with his Beatle connections, they were very famous when he joined, maybe he was there for just a short time but he was there, cannot imagine a group so famous going on a sell out tour with 25% of the personnel missing. So if Jimmie wants to stay away that's his decision, we will have Jims book to reveal many not known facts and until Jimmie returns it is all we have apart from some DVDs and CDs of his time in the Beatles.
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on 2 September 2013
This is a very intriguing story. A man who came in at a pivitol time in the Beatles touring career. He arrives in to the the Dutch tour, then on to Australia while Ringo is in hospital, he is obviously enjoying the experience from the photos, then Ringo returns......then Jimmy is a Nobody ....again!

His life afterwards is very checkered, a book that should have been written a long time ago!
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on 24 May 2013
I read everything I can that touches on the Beatles, so I was very interested in this book and in fact have often wondered to myself what ever happened to Jimmie Nicol. The book is a very interesting read and I found it very informative not only about Jimmie Nicol and his life, but there is also a lot of very interesting information about the music scene and characters from the fifties through to the late sixties. I hadn't realised the extent of Jimmies career prior to his week of fame with the Beatles and of course like most people I guess, knew even less about his post Beatles period, This book fills in all the facts with remarkable detail and seems very well researched, in the last few chapters we find out what happened to Jimmie Nicol, but, and this is no fault of the author, it is a great pity that the man himself did not feel he could make a contribution. If you are a music fan rooted in the sixties, buy this book, you will not regret it.
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on 13 June 2015
Fascinating read. I remember the furore surrounding Jimmy Nicol's instant fame. Never heard of him since though. This book reminds me of how easy it is to be airbrushed from history. Glad to read that he did quite a bit with his life in the intervening 50 years.
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on 5 June 2013
purchased for my brother. He liked the book very much. Good content, good read would recommend to others if asked
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on 12 December 2013
I've started and stopped this book barely three chapters in-I guess that's not a good sign.I wanted to get into it but just couldn't.Maybe its something you really need to be in the mood for.
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on 11 May 2015
Everything was perfect.... :-)
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