Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
The Beatle Who Vanished Paperback – January 24, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Kirkus Reviews
“Berkenstadt’s impressively detailed book opens with a 24-year old Jimmie receiving the phone call that would change his life, inviting him to temporarily take Ringo Starr’s place on the Beatles’ first world tour during June 1964. Berkenstadt instantly draws the reader into his tale of this little-known drummer from the borough of Wandsworth, England, and then progresses through eight chapters, telling his back story. The author manages to generate a phenomenal amount of energy around the little-known drummer, using first rate historical details, rare photographs and memorabilia illustrations; the dynamic photos, especially, lend this bio legitimacy and appeal. Berkenstadt brings excellent investigative skills to this bio of a forgotten replacement Beatle.” KIRKUS Reviews
About the Author
Jim Berkenstadt is the Rock And Roll Detective®. A true Sherlock Holmes, Berkenstadt uncovers the lost history and mysteries hidden within decades of popular music. An international authority on The Beatles, he has co-authored three other books: Black Market Beatles; The Beatles Digest; Nevermind Nirvana; and he edited John, Paul & Me: Before The Beatles. Berkenstadt has consulted to The Beatles and the Estate of George Harrison on numerous projects.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Of particular interest to me was Nicol's obsession with the idea that he was as good as, if not better than Ringo and that he could have replaced Ringo! If not Ringo's replacement, Jimmy believed he deserved to be equally rich and famous. Unfortunately, he never seemed to accept his role in his inability to become the next big thing, instead believing that Brian Epstein (?!) was somehow working behind the scene to sabotage his career.
As every Beatles fan knows, the Beatles prided themselves on being a democracy...four equal partners or a "square with four equal corners" as I believe Paul McCartney put it. They were a family. Ironically, if any one of the Beatles could be called the "Easygoing Beatle" it was Ringo, and I'm quite sure that he was loved by the other Beatles especially for that quality. Jimmy Nicol's sense that he could replace Ringo in the Beatles because of his drumming skills was a true misread of his role on the tour and of how tight the Beatles had already become. Jimmy was always trying to change musical direction and lead the way. It seems very unlikely that John and Paul would have allowed Jimmy the ability to persuade their musical direction...they didn't really even give George enough of an opportunity to do that!
The shame of it all is that Berkenstadt describes Jimmy as very talented and driven and suggests that his music was pretty good. Despite his foibles, I found myself rooting for him to finally find success. Perhaps if he was a little more open-minded to being directed and influenced by others rather than insisting on being the leader...who knows? Maybe we would still be listening to Spotnik records alongside Beatle records?
All in all, "The Beatle Who Vanished" is an excellent , well-researched historical account of a fascinating yet neglected piece of the Beatles story. Beatles fans and music fans alike will greatly enjoy this book. Oh...what eventually became of Nicol? Well, I don't want to spoil it for you. You'll have to pick it up for yourself and see! A great read!
But this isn't just about Nicol's fleeting days of fame with The Beatles, though those days are described in great detail. This is the story of a restless soul who, throughout his life and professional career, very much marched to his own drumbeat. The Beatle Who Vanished traces Nicol's roots, from his childhood in Battersea to his early days as a drum repairer and his rise on the London coffee bar scene in the late 1950s and early 1960s (specifically at Soho's famous 2i's Coffee Bar). Berkenstadt paints a fascinating, in-depth picture of club life as well as life on tour in those fledgling days of Nicol's music career. The reader will learn how he became widely acknowledged as one of the most versatile, talented, respected and supremely powerful drummers of his day, playing everything from skiffle and ska to blues and big band. So vital was Nicol to every band he joined, that he often became its most prominent player, sometimes overshadowing the headlining member.
Without giving much away, it was his reputation in the studio which later led to "The Call" from producer George Martin on behalf of The Beatles. The band was a day away from starting their first world tour when Ringo Starr suddenly collapsed and was hospitalized with tonsillitis and pharyngitis. Nicol filled the bill and the rest is history. Or is it? Until now, Nicol has been little more than a footnote in Beatles biographies. With the publication of The Beatle Who Vanished, Beatles fans now have the unexpurgated story of a man whose life after The Beatles was as tumultuous as it was during his brief tenure with them -- 13 days that proved to be as much of a curse for him as a blessing. The book has all the elements of a good mystery as Nicol struggles with self-delusion, betrayal, disappointment, resentment, despair, and, ultimately, self-imposed exile. It's the real-life tale of a virtuoso drummer working to forge his own way in a business he felt turned its back on him.
The Beatle Who Vanished is one riveting read -- a previously unexplored, never-before-told chapter in the group's history. But one doesn't have to be a fan to enjoy this mysterious true story of a temporary Beatle who "vanished". The book's secondary theme will intrigue the reader with what happens to a maverick drummer who enjoys 15 minutes of fame and then endeavors for the rest of his life to live up to that brief moment, searching desperately for his own identity as a musician, before disappearing...
The beginning of Jimmie's career saw him on many of the Larry Parne's package tours, including the 1960 tour with Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. He was a session musician and played with Georgie Fame, among others. When the Beatles needed a drummer the author explains how their paths had already crossed and he was a natural choice to fill in. Sadly, the fleeting moments of superstardom seemed to bring him more problems than success. It was nice to read that both George and Paul tried to make contact (indeed, in Paul's case offer help) even if it was rebuffed. However, this book gives as full an account of the drummers whole career as he could have wished and even turns into a detective story as Jim Berkenstadt tries to discover his whereabouts. For fans this is an intriguing and fascinating read about the man who wished he could stay a Beatle.