The Jimmy Nicol Days (Godfather Records GR564/565)
Disc 1 (68:50): Abbey Road Rehearsal With Jimmy, Pathe News Reel (Arrival in Amsterdam). The Beatles in Nederland – 5 June, 1964: 2: She Loves You, 3: All My Loving, 4: Twist And Shout, 5: Roll Over Beethoven, 6: Long Tall Sally, 7: Can’t Buy Me Love. Veilinghal, Blokker, The Netherlands – 6 June, 1964 (early): 8: intro, 9: I Saw Her Standing There, 10: I Want To Hold Your Hand, 11: intro, 12: All My Loving 13: She Loves You, 14: intro, 15: Twist And Shout, 16: Long Tall Sally. Veilinghal, Blokker, The Netherlands – 6 June, 1964 (late): 17: intro, 18: I Saw Her Standing There, 19: I Want To Hold Your Hand, 20: intro, 21: All My Loving. Centennial Hall, Adelaide, Australia – 12 June, 1964: 22: intro, 23: I Saw Her Standing There, 24: I Want To Hold Your Hand, 25: All My Loving, 26: She Loves You, 27: Till There Was You, 28: Roll Over Beethoven, 29: Can’t Buy Me Love, 30: This Boy, 31: Twist And Shout, 32: Long Tall Sally, 33: outro
Disc 2 (79:24): Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia, 17 June, 1964 (early): 1: intro, 2: I Saw Her Standing There, 3: You Can’t Do That, 4: All My Loving, 5: She Loves You, 6: Till There Was You, 7: Roll Over Beethoven, 8: Can’t Buy Me Love, 9: This Boy, 10: Twist And Shout, 11: intro to long tall sally. Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia, 17 June, 1964 (late): 12: intro, 13: I Saw Her Standing There, 14: You Can’t Do That, 15: All My Loving, 16: She Loves You, 17: Till There Was You, 18: Roll Over Beethoven, 19: Can’t Buy Me Love, 20: This Boy, 21: Twist And Shout, 22: Long Tall Sally. Sydney Stadium, Sydney, Australia – 18-20 June, 1964: 23: intro, 24: I Saw Her Standing There, 25: You Can’t Do That. Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia, 17 June, 1964 (late – video mix): 26: I Saw Her Standing There, 27: You Can’t Do That, 28: All My Loving, 29: She Loves You, 03: Till There Was You, 31: Roll Over Beethoven, 32: Can’t Buy Me Love, 33: Twist And Shout, 34: Long Tall Sally, 35: outro. (“The Beatles Sing For Shell” mix. Some songs are incomplete.) Abbey Road Studios, St. Johns Wood, London, 12 Sept 1963: 36: Messages To Australia
The story of lottery winners often shown on television follow a familiar arc. Plucked from obscurity and due to unbelievable good luck, someone is given all that they ever dreamed. Not being able to handle it, they fall to pieces and return back to obscurity and misery. Jimmy Nicol’s story follows a similar line. Due to Ringo Starr’s tonsillitis in June 1964, The Beatles hired the drummer to fill in for several weeks until Ringo could join the band again.
Chosen because he knew the songs from recording Beatle covers for an album called Beatlemaniaas part of a band called The Koppykats. He joined the band on June 3rd and played eight shows until leaving the band in Australia on June 14th. He subsequently returned to obscurity and left the music business and has never tried to cash in by selling his story.
The Jimmy Nicol Days on Godfather is a good record of the time. The title is a bit misleading because the first show with Nicol on drums, on June 4th in the KB Hallen in Copenhagen isn’t included (although, given the poor sound of the tape, is a blessing). Furthermore, the Australian shows on disc two are when Ringo returns to the group. Godfather covers similar ground to earlier releases of this material including Vanishing In The Denmark (Misterclaudel mccd-035) and Adelaide Reaction (Purple Chick PC-163/164).
The first disc opens with a very short snippet of the band rehearsing in Abbey Road on June 3rd followed by the soundtrack to a newsreel documenting Beatlemania in Holland as The Beatles make their visit. The voice over likes to point out how they are viewing the entire teenage population of the country as they tour the city.
The first music on the disc is the musical portion of the program The Beatles in Nederland. Recorded on June 5th at Cafe-Restaurant Treslong, Hillegom, they are joined by backing dancers to Paul’s amusement. The audience are understandably enthusiastic throughout the short performance. There is an emphasis upon the faster, more energetic numbers and one of the highlights is one of George’s best vocal performances ever on “Roll Over Beethoven.” McCartney calls “Long Tall Sally” new for them, and it ends with their latest single “Can’t Buy Me Love.” With the great sound quality it’s a jewel of a recording and worth having.
Following are the tapes from the two shows in Blokker on June 6th. A fair audience recording is used for the show from the beginning to “She Loves You” which fades out at the end. A radio broadcast picks up with DJ’s comments, “Twist And Shout” and a fragment of “Long Tall Sally.” The late show in Blokker has only three songs, “I Saw Her Standing There,” twenty seconds of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and about a minute of “All My Loving.”
The rest of disc one contains the June 12th Adelaide show from a very good sounding professional source. This is the final show to contain Jimmy Nicol on drums. Ringo would rejoin the group afterwards sending Nicols back into obscurity.
The second disc has more tapes from Australia with Ringo on drums. Alan Field introduces The Beatles as “the biggest attraction in the whole world.” What follows is their normal set except, since he was recovering from tonsillitis, no songs sung by Ringo (which in 1964 were either “I Want To Be Your Man” or “Boys.”) After the opening two “I Saw Her Standing There” and “You Can’t Do That” a nervous sounding Paul says, “Thank you very much everybody. Thank you and good evening. We’d like to carry on now with a song…’All My Loving.'”
Lennon speaks about one of their signature tunes at this early state of Beatlemania saying, “Thank you folks. The next song we’d like to do is another one is another one of our records, probably the one you know best. And it’s called ‘She Loves You.'” Paul keeps getting interrupted while trying to introduce “Till There Was You” which, he explains, “we first heard in a show called The Music Man.” “Can’t Buy Me Love” is their latest single (“A Hard Day’s Night” would be released about a month after this tour).
The Jimmy Nicol Daysis a good compilation of an interesting week in the life of Beatlemania. None of these documents are new, but they do sound as good as possible on this release compared to the older releases.