The Beatles played their one and only shows in Australia 50 years ago this week but unlike the marathons fans expect now, The Beatles 1964 shows comprised of 10 songs in about 30 minutes.
The first Australian show for The Beatles was at Centennial Hall in Adelaide when John, Paul, George and Jimmie took the stage.
Jimmie? That’s right. Jimmie Nicol was the drummer for the two Adelaide shows. It was his 15 minutes of fame.
Ringo Starr fell ill with tonsillitis and was delayed in getting to Australia. Brian Epstein needed a replacement urgently and George Martin suggested Nicol, who he had recently used on a recording session for Tommy Quickly. Nicol had been recording Beatles covers so he knew all of the songs.
27 hours after he was hired, Nicol played his first show with The Beatles in Copenhagen. He played a total of eight shows, finishing in Adelaide before Ringo rejoined The Beatles in Melbourne for the remainder of the Australian tour.
After The Beatles Jimmie went back to obscurity. He has never cashed in on his 15 minutes of fame.
In 1964, The Beatles played 10 shows in Australia and six in New Zealand. It was their only Australia tour.
Since then Paul McCartney has toured Australia twice (1975 and (1993). Ringo Starr has toured Australia once (2013). George Harrison lived in Australia for a period in the 80s but his only public performance was as a guest of Deep Purple in Sydney on December 13, 1984. They performed ‘Lucille’ together at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. John Lennon never visited or toured Australia after the 1964 tour.
The Beatles SETLIST, Adelaide, June 12, 1964
I Saw Here Standing There
I Want To Hold Your Hand
All My Loving
She Loves You
Till There Was You
Roll Over Beethoven
Can’t Buy me Love
Twist and Shout
Long Tall Sally