John, Paul, George … and Jimmie?!?
A new movie will soon invite you to meet "The Beatle Who Vanished," drummer Jimmie Nicol, who sat in for Ringo Starr for 13 days at the dawning of Beatlemania in 1964.
Based on the 2103 book by Jim Berkenstadt, the film will be produced by Roy Orbison's son Alex and the daughter of George Hamilton and Alana Stewart, Ashley Hamilton.
Nicol was propelled into the spotlight in June 1964, two months shy of his 25th birthday, when the London-based drummer was hired to replace Starr, who was recuperating from tonsillitis. Nicol got a moptop haircut, wore Starr's suits and joined the Beatles on stage for 10 concerts in Europe and Australia. He also participated in the usual press conferences.
Two weeks later, Starr returned—and Nicol faded into obscurity. He performed with Peter & Gordon, briefly replaced ailing drummer Dave Clark in the Dave Clark Five and declared bankruptcy in 1965.
Nicol, now 77 and living in London, also unwittingly inspired a song that would appear on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." During his short stint with the band, Paul McCartney and John Lennon would often ask Nicol how he felt about the jolt of fame.
His standard reply: "It's getting better."