The BEATLES – ” One Night Only – The Beatles In Oz “

Posted: July 13, 2020 in MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In case you weren’t aware already, here’s a friendly reminder that The Beatles‘ legendary Melbourne concert from the ’60s will be on TV across Australia tonight.

Starting at 9.30pm on Nine, One Night Only – The Beatles In Oz “is a stunning broadcast of the concert, completely remastered, that also includes never-before-seen footage of the Beatles’ tumultuous and only visit to Australia“.

Channel Nine was given access to film The Beatles‘ final sold out Melbourne concert in 1964 which took place at Festival Hall. “When they touched down here in 1964 on their first world tour Australia went into hysterical Beatlemania,” a statement from Nine reads.

“They captivated the nation for 13 amazing and unforgettable days. Wherever they went, tens of thousands of screaming fans lined the streets hoping to catch a glimpse of John, Paul and George, as well as Jimmie Nicol, the drummer filling in for Ringo, who missed some dates of the tour due to illness.” Beatlemania was at fever pitch in the summer of 1964 as the band prepared for its first tour to Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. But on June 3rd, the day before the Beatles were to leave, Ringo Starr collapsed at a photo shoot and was hospitalized with tonsillitis.

With hotels and concert halls booked and thousands of tickets sold, manager Brian Epstein understood that cancelling the tour would have been a financial disaster. A scramble began to find a replacement for Starr.

Epstein had to convince the other three Beatles to accept a substitute drummer. And where would he find a musician competent enough to back the biggest group in the world – and fit into Starr’s stage clothes? John Lennon and Paul McCartney accepted that hiring a replacement was necessary but George Harrison balked at the idea. Enter Jimmie Nicol, a 24-year-old London drummer whose studio work had impressed Epstein. McCartney also knew Nicol; the Beatle had recently caught a performance by Nicol with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames.

After a six-song audition, Nicol was hired, given a Beatle haircut and told to pack for the flight to Denmark the next day. In the hospital, Starr recalled that he’d replaced Pete Best as the Beatles’ drummer two years earlier. “It was very strange, them going off without me,” Starr said in Anthology. “They’d taken Jimmie Nicol and I thought they didn’t love me any more – all that stuff went through my head.”

Jimmie Nicol became a Beatle for 13 days, participating in press conferences and enjoying the adulation of fans. Nicol played eight concerts and taped a TV show as the Beatles’ drummer. Ringo Starr was released from the hospital and rejoined the Beatles in Melbourne, where he performed on June 14th. The next day, Jimmie Nicol did his final television interview as a Beatle and went to the airport for the lonely trip home. Before he left, Epstein presented Nicol with a gold watch inscribed, “From the Beatles and Brian Epstein to Jimmie – with appreciation and gratitude.”.

It was over 50 years ago that The Beatles made their one and only tour of Australia. The Beatles touched down in Sydney on June 11, 1964 and for an amazing 13 days they captivated the nation. Hundreds of thousands lined the streets everywhere, Beatlemania was more intense here than anywhere else in the world. It was a time of massive musical and cultural change and a time for teenagers to challenge and defy authority. Over 300,000 people turned out in Adelaide – it was the biggest crowd anywhere in the world, anytime! The Beatles performed 20 shows across Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane leaving in their wake a trail of euphoric, captivated youth. Australia was never the same following The Beatles 1964 tour. This montage captures the highlights of their tour and the euphoria that followed.

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