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Rare Beatles postcard for sale with signature of drummer who replaced Ringo

The rare postcard signed by the Beatles John, Paul, George and Jimmie is expected to reach at least £5 000

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A rare Beatles postcard is being sold off with the signature of the drummer who replaced Ringo when he fell ill.

Drummer Jimmie Nicol stood in for Ringo Starr for two weeks on a Fab Four world tour right at the height of Beatlemania.

Front of the postcard with Hong Kong scene

Jimmie played 10 shows as Ringo's replacement from June 3 - 15 1964 after the Beatles drummer suffered a bout of tonsillitis.

Londoner Jimmie got the call to join the band after he was spotted by manager Brian Epstein playing with Georgie Fame and the Flames.

Following a six song audition, the 24-year-old was given a Beatles haircut and told to pack his bag for a flight to Denmark the next day.

The Bits - Beatles tribute

The Bits - Beatles tribute

During his brief stint, Jimmie's wife was able to acquire a rare signed postcard by John, Paul, George and her husband Jimmy at Beirut airport as the plane landed to refuel.

John, Paul, George and Jimmie had stepped off the plane to a large screaming crowd, among them Jimmy's wife.

The consignor’s letter of the postcard's authenticity describes how Jimmie's wife obtained the autographs.

The letter reads: "At Beirut airport on that day a very large crowd gathered to greet the arrival.

"[Jimmie's wife] was in a privileged position because her father (Wing Cdr SJ Eaton - RAF) was Air Attaché in Beirut at the time.

"She was able to get through the security cordon, board the aircraft and speak to the Beatles and obtain their signatures."

Back of the postcard with the signatures of The Beatles

The 5.5 x 3.5 inch postcard of a Hong Kong harbour scene has the names of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Jimmie Nicol signed in blue ballpoint pen.

Described as "incredibly scarce" by Paul Fraser Collectibles, the postcard is expected to reach £5,000 - £6,000 at auction.

At the time of writing, the postcard looks set to reach with a top bid currently standing at £3,700 with eight days left before the auction closes.

Only 12 signatures of Jimmie with the other Beatles members are believed to be in existence.

Following his brief elevation from relative obscurity to worldwide fame and then back again in the space of a fortnight, Jimmie never quite hit the same heights in his musical career.

Jimmie Nicol stand in drummer for The Beatles

Now 81-years-old, he is reported to have shied away from media attention, preferring not to discuss his days with The Fab Four.

However, it is claimed that Jimmie's stint sitting on Ringo's drumming stool did inspire a Beatles song.

During Nicol's brief time on the tour, both John Lennon and Paul McCartney would often ask him how he felt he was coping, to which his reply would usually be "It's getting better".

Three years later the story goes that Paul McCartney was walking his dog, Martha, with Hunter Davies, the Beatles official biographer, when the sun came out.

McCartney is said to have remarked that the weather was "getting better" and began to laugh, remembering Jimmie.

This event is rumoured to have inspired the song "Getting Better" on 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

McCartney again references Nicol on the Let It Be tapes from 1969, saying: "I think you'll find we're not going abroad 'cause Ringo just said he doesn't want to go abroad. You know, he put his foot down. Although Jimmie Nicol might go abroad."

source: Liverpool Echo

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