The rise to stardom can sometimes result in a severe crash landing. A sad truth that became reality for one ex-member of The Beatles - his name is Jimmie Nicol.
Chances are, you might not be too familiar with this British musician, but for a brief glimpse of his life - thirteen days to be exact - the temporary stand-in-drummer received world fame and recognition - until it was all over in a heartbeat and he vanished forever.
What had happened?
The night before the opening concert of the band’s first world tour in 1964, Ringo Starr collapsed at a photo shoot and was hospitalized with tonsillitis. Since venues were booked and tickets were sold, the show had to go on. Although John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison were against bringing on a replacement, the band’s manager eventually hiredthe 24-year-old London drummer after a six-song audition. He was given the Beatle haircut, Ringo Starr’s suit and put on the next flight to Denmark.
Jimmie Nicol was now officially a Beatle.
Performing at eight concerts and participating in press conferences, he truly lived the life of a rock star. But in less than two weeks it was all over and Jimmie found himself on a flight back to England. Leaving with a wristwatch and check of £22,500, which was actually quite a fortune back then, he had to face the harsh reality of coming back home and miserably failed.
Jimmie's life went into a downward spiral. He declared bankruptcy, his wife divorced him and was living back with his mother.
In fact, the author and music historian Jim Berkenstadt interestingly describes the ex-member's dilemma in his book "The Beatle Who Vanished“: "I came to appreciate what enormous pressure he went through to help keep the Beatles first world tour afloat. It wasn't hard to understand the difficulty one must have dealing with having 'touched the sun' with the Beatles and having to fall back to earth as an everyman."
Jimmie actually described the struggles of transition back to reality in a previous interview: "Standing in for Ringo was the worst thing that ever happened to me. Until then I was quite happy earning £30 or £40 a week. After the headlines died, I began dying too."
While his current is rather unknown, British media revealed in 2005 that he was living a reclusive existence in London.Get started