I can't stop thinking about Jimmy Nicol. I know it was only a couple of weeks or whatever, but the press conferences were just as witty, the concerts just as hysterical. If Ringo (God forbid) had died on that operatting table and Jimmy had stayed, what really would have changed?
Interesting point. Ringo had the operation on December 2, 1964; America had already been conquered and A Hard Day's Night
had already been released to ecstatic reviews. If, heaven forbid, something had happened to Ringo after all this, I agree it wouldn't have had the same impact on the Beatles phenomenon than if he hadn't been part of the steamroller earlier in the year.
I think Ringo brought personality to a wider audience than the Beatles enjoyed previously. You can see him charm the crowd in the press conferences in NYC and on the train to Washington. As Ringo himself said, in America RINGO was perceived as an equal member, as opposed to Europe, where it was always JOHN PAUL GEORGE [size=9]and Ringo[/size]-- his example, not mine!
Where I disagree with you is "the press conferences were just as witty" -- please! In the footage I've seen, Jimmy hardly says a word unless someone asks him a direct question-- quite right, too, as he knows he's only filling in. But there's this one clip, I believe in Amsterdam-- it's that same interview where he says the lads are treating him "marvelous". Earlier, one of the Beatles made some joke (I forget who or what), and Nicols gives this braying laugh and repeatedly slaps the table. John, who is sitting next to him, looks rather startled, as if Jimmy was growing a second head. Really, the Beatles were the ultimate in cheeky cool. Jimmy's honking and slapping was extremely un
cool. I felt as shocked as John looked--what the hell is this?!?!
So I think if Jimmy had said more, I only would have disliked him more. As it was, he made me cringe. And face it, the dude was homely. I don't believe that's why Martin picked him; I think he was selected because of his familiarity with the Beatles' songs. But Ringo is homely cute, whereas Nicols was just homely. No sex appeal. And since the rest of the Beatles are sex on legs, I think this would have hurt their appeal to the feminine part of their audience. It would have for me. Yes, the songs are great, but the complete package is songs + endearing personality + sex appeal. They had it all.