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Beatles Pick Temporary Replacement for Ailing Ringo

June 3, 1964 - The Beatles today picked Londoner Jimmy Nicol to replace sick drummer Ringo Starr on their three-day tour starting today.

Hours after he was told he would fly with the Liverpool group to Denmark and Holland, 24-year-old Jimmy said: “I’m knocked out, man. It’s all hit me so suddenly.”

Jimmy, drummer with George Fame and his Blue Flames, was sitting in an armchair after lunch at his home when the phone rang.

It was George Martin, recording manager at the EMI Studios at St. John’s Wood.

Martin explained that Ringo had collapsed at a photographic studio and had been taken to the hospital suffering from laryngitis and tonsillitis.

Could Jimmy come over to the studios at once? Jimmy said he certainly could and caught a taxi.

For two hours, he sat at Ringo’s drums, belting out their hit numbers: “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Twist and Shout,” et cetera.

When he finally put his sticks down, John Lennon told him: “Right then, you’re in.”

Jimmy, who has played with the Oscar Rabin and Cyril Stapleton bands, will be getting several times his normal wage for the three-day tour.

And Ringo? Over a bedside telephone at University College Hospital, he told a reporter: “There are hot water bottles all over me and a lot of pretty nurses, but I’m still shivering.”

He said he hoped to be well enough to make the Australian tour starting on Sunday.

At his bedside with red roses was his girlfriend, 17-year-old Maureen Cox, who has left her Liverpool job with a hair stylist to become his secretary.


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