Monday, August 03, 2009

From 350,000 To Zero: The 'Lost' Beatle - Jimmy Nicol

Amazing isn't it? When the Beatles played Australia for the only time in 1964 Ringo was out with an illness, so in stepped drummer Jimmy Nicol. Jimmy was with the band when they touched down in Sydney to a torrential downpour, not that it stopped an estimated 1,000 fans plus a handful of journos from coming out to see them as they did a lap of the airport in the teeming rain.

From there the band flew to Adelaide where an estimated 350,000 people wagged school, skipped work and generally took the day off just to see them - that was around 1/3 of the total population of South Australia at the time. It remains probably THE largest, crowd to turn out to see the band. George Harrison and Paul McCartney always commented on the size of the crowd, even thirty years after the event. Jimmy was there...amongst the adulation and was turned out to greet the masses of Lunchtime O'Boozes all of whom wanted a quick soundbite.

In Adelaide Jimmy played four concerts, one of which was filmed and is proof that he was a fairly decent drummer.

This was the scene the day after the band arrived in Melbourne. Ringo was back on board, Jimmy was given a gold watch, a cheque and a lift to the airport and dumped there with a ticket, forever destined to become another question in Beatles Trivial Pursuit.

From 350,000 people to one lone photo-journo who probably was there on a fluke. No wonder Jimmy became a recluse - for ten days he was part of what's generally remembered as being the biggest act on the planet to being...

1 comment:

Satima Flavell said...

I'll bet he dined out on the experience for years, though!