I recently had the honor of reviewing a book called The Beatle Who Vanished by Jim Berkenstadt. It was an amazing book about Jimmie Nicol, the drummer who replaced Ringo Starr for The Beatles first world tour. You see Ringo was really sick and he just couldn’t go, doctor’s orders had to get those pesky tonsils out. And Jimmie, well Jimmie was awesome, he was the guy for the job. But this post isn’t about how Jimmie became a Beatle. This post is about making a friend feel better.
Well that’s what Jimmie needed (and so did Ringo for that matter), but for the sake of this story we’re going with Jimmie. You see, Jimmie went from being a well-known local drummer and studio musician to being the focus of the worship of millions of crazy fans just as Beatlemania was taking off. Here’s this un-assuming dude, thinking “Wow! This is awesome! I get to play with The Beatles, my career will take off after this, what an amazing opportunity!”
What he wasn’t counting on was maniacal fans, mobs trampling each other just to get to him, crowds that screamed so loud he couldn’t hear himself play and most difficult of all, being a prisoner inside a hotel room.
Paul McCartney and the rest of The Beatles were getting used to this fanaticism, but Paul recognized Jimmie was having trouble. He often asked Jimmie “Is it getting better yet?” and Jimmie would answer “It’s getting better all the time.”
It’s Getting Better All The Time – The Beatles
Well Jimmie, there was a lot of pressure on you when you came back to London; all eyes were on you, what would you do next?
Stand Tall – The Dirty Heads
The stress of touring is past you now, you can move on. Get past any of that supposed bad blood with Brian Epstein and be the musician you want to be. (artistic license taken here, honestly he never really did move on but this is the musical pep talk I would have given him if I could)
I Can See Clearly – Johnny Nash
Well Jimmie you left London, and you were doing alright, but you came back and now you’re gonna make something of yourself.
Uptight (Everything is Alright) – Stevie Wonder
I’m pretty sure Howard Jones was thinking of you when he wrote this song Jimmie. He must have known that it was a lot harder for you to come home “the fifth Beatle” than you thought it would be. But he knew you wouldn’t give up your dream of making music.
Things Can Only Get Better – Howard Jones
This week’s mixtape was full of songs about feeling better, what would you do? You’re friend is feeling down in the dumps, lost a job, a girl, a car, a dog, how are you going to make your friend better the old-fashioned way? Make your friend a 5 song mixtape and help start the healing.
Go here to read my review on The Beatle Who Vanished over at Earth Hertz Records, and if you want to follow a fantastic author and music detective follow Jim Berkenstadt on his Facebook Rock and Roll Detective.
Here’s an amazing rare video of Jimmie, after reading the book the back story really explains why there is such a weird vibe coming off of him in this interview. His fantasy of being asked to stay on as a Beatle had ended only hours earlier, he was moving on and while everyone was thrilled for him, he felt like he was getting kicked to the curb.
On that note!
These are the rules. Five songs (do your best to stick to it, I really do listen to every mix and I don’t want you to wait). Stick to the theme (as best you can). Try and check out at least two of the other players or more! (everyone wants to share their tunes with you).
Create a mix, not a “hey look at all the cool songs I know” we’re not snobs, if you were our best bud and you were gonna make us a tape, what would it be? And share this party so more people will play next week!
Do me a favor, if you’re a veteran, try to visit at least one person you’ve never visited before.
And now, The List of all Lists
February 4 – A mix to Get Motivated. Whether it’s to workout, write or just get out of bed. Mix it up!
February 11 – Love to Love you baby. (Or friend or kid or dog or cat, whatever)
February 18 – We’re back to your choice, play us what you want, we’ll listen!
February 25 – Guilty Pleasures-the songs and or groups that you hate to admit that you love… (Thank you Sarah from The Sadder but Wiser Girl)
March 4 – If My Life Had A Soundtrack…
If you’re still here, thanks! I would love it if you checked out my music site, Raised on the Radio where a bunch of regular people get to share their passion for music. Got something you want to share? Contact me to guest post!