Jimmy Nicol rehearsing with The Beatles in the studio, June 3, 1964Jimmy Nicol temporarily replaced Ringo Starr after he collapsed and was hospitalized with tonsillitis on June 3, 1964. It was the eve of The Beatles’ 1964 Australasian tour. Rather than cancel part of the tour, manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin decided to use a stand-in drummer to take Ringo’s place. Martin suggested Nicol because he had recently drummed on a Tommy Quickly session. Also, Jimmy was familiar with the Beatles’ songs as he had drummed on an album of Beatle covers called “Beatlemania”. With a last-minute phone call from George Martin, Nicol rushed over to Abbey Road Studios, where he and The Beatles did a quick rehearsal of six songs from their tour repertoire. The next day he would be playing live with them in Copenhagen, Denmark.

On stage, Jimmy wore Ringo’s suit after some alterations. From June 4-13, 1964, Nicol played ten shows in six locations with The Beatles in Denmark, Holland, Hong Kong, and Australia. On June 14, Starr returned to the band in Melbourne, Australia. Nicol said he was “praying he [Starr] would get well at the same time I was hoping he would not want to come back.” For his efforts, Brian Epstein presented him with a check and a gold Eternamatic wrist watch inscribed: “From The Beatles and Brian Epstein to Jimmy – with appreciation and gratitude.”

In later years, it was rumored that Jimmy Nicol had died in 1988, but a 2005 report by the Daily Mail confirmed that he was actually still alive and living as a recluse in London.

Rory Storm and the Hurricanes with Ringo Starr on drumsRingo Starr was the drummer for Rory Storm and The Hurricanes before joining The Beatles in August 1962. Starr’s first concert with The Hurricanes was in March 1959. It was during his tenure with the band that he changed his name to Ringo. Up until then he had been known as Ritchie. With the Hurricanes, Ringo had a solo spot called “Starr-time” and he was the vocalist on songs such as “Boys” by The Shirelles.

In October 1960, while Rory Storm and The Hurricanes were performing in Hamburg, Ringo met The Beatles who were playing there also. Promoter Allan Williams had arranged a recording session for Lu Walters (of The Hurricanes) for October 18, 1960, at the Akoustik Studio. He had asked John, Paul, and George from The Beatles to play and sing harmonies on the session. Beatles drummer Pete Best wasn’t available, so Ringo was asked to fill in. This was the first time that the future famous line-up of The Beatles played and recorded together.

Back in the UK, Starr sat in for Best as The Beatles’ drummer on several occasions. The first time he played with them live on stage was February 5, 1962, when Best fell ill and The Beatles had two performances scheduled for that date. Ringo would permanently replace Pete when he was fired from The Beatles on August 16, 1962.

During their existence, The Hurricanes were one of the most popular music acts on the Liverpool and Hamburg club scenes, but their attempt at a recording career never took off.

Wonderwall Music CoverGeorge Harrison was the first Beatle to release a solo album with Wonderwall Music, the soundtrack to the film Wonderwall. The album was released on November 1, 1968, and was nearly all instrumental. The tracks were recorded in December 1967 in England, and in January 1968 in Bombay, India.

Among the several musicians appearing on the album were Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton using the pseudonyms Richie Snare and Eddie Clayton, respectively. Peter Tork of The Monkees played a banjo borrowed from Paul McCartney, though Tork was not credited.

All of the tracks were composed by Harrison, and it was the first album to be released on the newly formed Apple Records label. Later it would become the first Apple record to be deleted from their catalog, though it was remastered and reissued on compact disc in 1992.

In the UK, Wonderwall Music did not chart at all. In the U.S., it reached #49 in the early part of 1969.

Paul McCartney in Lagos drumming on Band on the RunThe drummer on Wings’ 1973 album ‘Band on the Run’ was none other than Paul McCartney. Paul and his wife Linda were bored with recording in the UK, and decided they wanted to try a studio in a different locale. From a list of EMI’s international recording studios, they chose Lagos in Nigeria as the place to record the ‘Band on the Run’ album. In addition to the McCartneys, guitarist/pianist/vocalist Denny Laine, lead guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell were scheduled for the trip. However, a few weeks before departing, McCullough quit Wings in Scotland and Seiwell quit the night before the departure. This left only the core members, Paul, Linda and Denny Laine, to go to Lagos and record the album as a trio. Without a drummer, McCartney took it upon himself to handle the drumming duties.

This was by no means the first time Paul had played drums on a recording. He played all of the drums on his 1970 ‘McCartney’ solo album as well as on a few Beatles songs including “The Ballad of John & Yoko”, “Back in the USSR”, and “Dear Prudence”.