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Beatles Rarity Of The Week – “Roll Over Beethoven” (live with Jimmie Nicol)

Posted by on May 3, 2010 at 7:00 am.

Welcome to this week’s Beatles Rarity Of The Week. Although George Harrison privately resented it, The Beatles began their summer 1964 tour of Europe, Hong Kong and Australia with Ringo Starr sitting out. This was due to his sudden illness during a photo session on June 3rd, where he was hospitalized with tonsillitis. Shubdubs drummer Jimmie Nicol was quickly called in to replace Ringo. Producer George Martin was the one with the idea to use Jimmie, since he knew of him from a session he produced for vocalist Tommy Quickly (also managed by Brian Epstein) where Jimmie was the drummer. The tour kicked off in Copenhagen, Denmark one day later on June 4, 1964, after which The Fab 3 and Jimmie headed for The Netherlands. Before their Amsterdam gig the following day, they made a special television appearance for VARA-TV that consisted of an interview and a short (6 song) performance at the Cafe-Restaurant Treslong in the nearby Dutch town of Hillegom. The Beatles insisted on lip-syncing at this performance, probably because Jimmie was still getting familiar with their material. The vocal microphones were left open, however, for introducing songs, etc. and both Paul and George took advantage of this and sang along, which gave some of the songs a sort of double-tracking feel. With a sharp ear, this becomes apparent on this sampling of the show: George taking the lead on “Roll Over Beethoven.” Ringo, of course, rejoined his bandmates later in the tour in Melbourne, Australia on June 14, although since he was advised not to sing for awhile, the shows were shortened to 10 songs until the end of the tour.

The Beatles - Roll Over Beethoven
The Beatles with substitute drummer Jimmie Nicol, June 1964

The Beatles with substitute drummer Jimmie Nicol, June 1964

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  • lennonista says:

    Seems like George Martin was always quick to replace Ringo. First Andy White and then Jimmy Nicol. Hmmm…

    • Happy Nat says:

      lol…poor Ringo. I really don’t think Sir George had it in for him though, or anything like that. It was likely Brian that would not hear of a tour delay. Still I think things would’ve been different if they had that to do over.

  • Orlin says:

    This is the studio version mimed to, with additional vocal doubled. This isn’t Jimmie Nicol on the drums. This is Ringo. Not a real ‘live’ performance.

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