Jimmie Nicol Biography

Jimmie Nicol
Jimmie Nicol
  • Born Aug. 3, 1939

James George Nicol (born 3 August 1939), known professionally as Jimmie Nicol or Jimmy Nicol, is a British drummer and business entrepreneur. He is best known for temporarily replacing Ringo Starr in The Beatles for a series of concerts during the height of Beatlemania in 1964, elevating him from relative obscurity to worldwide fame and then back again in the space of a fortnight. Nicol had hoped that his association with The Beatles would greatly boost his career, but instead found that the spotlight moved away from him once Starr returned to the group. His subsequent lack of commercial success led him into bankruptcy in 1965. After then working with a number of different bands, including a successful stint with The Spotnicks, he left the music business in 1967 to pursue a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. Over the decades, Nicol has increasingly shied away from media attention, preferring not to discuss his connection to The Beatles nor seek financial gain from it. He has a son, Howard, who is a BAFTA award-winning sound engineer.\n', '

Jimmie Nicol\'s career break came in 1957 when he was talent spotted by Larry Parnes whilst drumming with various bands in London\'s The 2i\'s Coffee Bar, a time that saw Britain\'s skiffle-dominated music scene giving way to rock and roll which was being popularised by its Teddy Boy youth. Parnes then invited Nicol to join Colin Hicks & The Cabin Boys whom Parnes co-managed with John Kennedy (Colin Hicks is the younger brother of English entertainer Tommy Steele, whom Parnes also managed). After taking a temporary break from the group to be a member of the original pit band in the Lionel Bart musical Fings Ain\'t Wot They Used T\'Be at the Theatre Royal Stratford East Nicol rejoined Hicks\'s band for their appearance in the 1958 Italian film documentary Europa Di Notte, breaking them in Italy and subsequently allowing them to tour there extensively. During the early sixties, Nicol went on to play for a number of artists, including Vince Eager, Oscar Rabin, and Cyril Stapleton and was kept in regular work through Charlie Katz, a well-known session fixer during that period. Nicol has cited drummer Phil Seamen and saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley as being his main influences.\n', '

In 1964 Nicol helped to form The Shubdubs with former Merseybeats bassist Bob Garner, a jazz line-up similar in musical style to Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, a group with whom Nicol had sat-in with when they were the resident house band at London\'s now defunct Flamingo Jazz Club. Other members of The Shubdubs were Tony Allen (vocals), Johnny Harris (trumpet), Quincy Davis (tenor saxophone), and Roger Coulam (organ – went on to form Blue Mink). It was at this point that he received a telephone call from The Beatles\' producer, George Martin. Nicol recalled: "I was having a bit of a lie down after lunch when the phone rang."\n', '

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