In August 1960 The Beatles secured a residency in Hamburg, Germany and recruited Pete Best as their drummer. Prior to this they had had several drummers or even played without one.

In January 1962 Brian Epstein became their manager. Later that year he got them a recording contract, but after their first recording session in June 1962 their producer George Martin complained to Epstein about Best's poor drumming. This lead to session drummer Andy White playing on versions of their first single "Love me do", although White never appeared live with the group. By August Best had been replaced by Ringo Starr, who the group knew already.

Starr became their permanent drummer, but in June 1964 at the height of their fame Starr collapsed with tonsillitis and was hospitalised, just before they started a tour. Epstein and Martin agreed to use a stand-in drummer rather than cancel part of the tour.

Martin selected Jimmie Nicol, as he had used him on recording sessions and Nicol had also drummed on a budget album of Beatles cover versions so knew their music.

Nicol joined the group straight away and played a total of 8 shows in Denmark, Holland and Australia, until Starr rejoined the group in Australia on 14 June.

Epstein presented him with a cheque for £500 and a gold wrist watch inscribed: "From the Beatles and Brian Epstein to Jimmy – with appreciation and gratitude."

Nicol faded back into obscurity and resisted all offers to talk about his time with the Beatles.

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