Recounting Jimmie Nicol's 13 days as a Beatle

London session drummer filled in on drums for an ailing Ringo Starr during the Beatles' 1964 tours of the Netherlands and Australia. Thrust into the limelight for a fortnight, he immediately returned to obscurity, despite a stab at making a public name for himself as a one-time "Beatle."

Here Jim Berkenstadt, author of "The Beatle Who Vanished" talks a bit about Nicols' post-Beatles career.
“The first big downer for Jimmie was that his first two solo bands after the Beatles didn’t sell any records despite some radio and TV appearances,” Berkenstadt said. “The music was too much of a fusion of rock and jazz and I think people wanted to hear the British Invasion-style rock music of the day. He had spent all his money on these bands. He went bankrupt, his wife divorced him, he became estranged from his son and he was living in his mom’s basement. “The media built him up and then tore him down with glee.

 The last article was about how he was penniless,” Berkenstadt adds. “Paul McCartney read that story and he secretly called Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon and said, ‘Hey, maybe you could give Jimmie a little work on your next tour because he’s a very good drummer and it looks like from this article he really could use some help.’”

Although Peter and Gordon gave him some concert work, Nicol was soon unemployed and broke. When the Spotnicks, a Swedish instrumental group, offered him a gig in 1965, Nicol quickly grabbed it. “Jimmie didn’t tell a soul,” said Berkenstadt. “He walked out the door and vanished. The Spotnicks toured with him around the world and made him a full member of the band but then he got into heavy drugs. While the Spotnicks were playing an extended stay in Mexico, he vanished again.”