In times of economic crisis we send a happy message to the world. It’s a message about love. Love for the best pop music ever. Love for probably the two most important pop concerts that ever took place in Holland. Love for the wonderful drummer Jimmie Nicol, sure and swinging like a champion.
And last but not least: love for his son Howie, who was so kind to come all the way from London to do the official acts on this special day. And who is willing to talk to the press to put some things right. Things related to his father, Jimmie Nicol. Thank you very much, Howie, for being here!
Today we are here on the occasion of the unveiling of the new Beatles monument. It’s new, because we decided to put Jimmie Nicol on the statue, replacing Ringo Starr. Simply because Jimmie was The Beatles’ drummer in Blokker. Playing his heart out, just a few steps away from here.
Some days earlier the manager of The Beatles, Brian Epstein, told Jimmie he was going to join The Beatles on their first world tour. And Blokker was part of it on that 6th of June. A musical and cultural landmark in Dutch history.
So Brian Epstein said: ‘Come and join The Beatles!’ And Jimmie was sooo excited. Many years later he said: “That night I couldn’t sleep a wink. I was a fucking Beatle!” This fucking Beatle appears on a fucking statue. In eternity. And he earns it sooo much.
Imagine being a Beatle for 12 days during their first world tour, in the crazy rollercoaster of Beatlemania, being chased by hysterical girls. Imagine being sent home – after those crazy days – all alone from Melbourne, Australia. Bye bye, Jimmie! Thank you very much! Imagine trying to build up a career in pop music after this very confusing experience. Imagine trying NOT to be a Beatle, when everybody wants you to be one. Imagine the press and fans are hunting you for only one reason: sheer sensation.
Instead we are here to show respect to Jimmie Nicol. We are here to honor him as someone as normal as we are. Someone we can relate to. Someone who experienced a sensational ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ with The Beatles. In the highlights of world fame. But still he is just like you and me.
And maybe we should say: ‘Today is a glorious day. Not only for Jimmie, but also for his family’. Each year the 6th of June is called B-Day. Today we call it J-Day. Jimmie Day. A very special day in the loving memory of Jimmie Nicol.
Okay, let’s have a party on this wonderful sunny J-Day!