If Nicol had been altered by 10 days exposure to the incomprehensible madness of Beatlemania, what did eight years exposure do to the other four?
Never shy to bump Harrison out of the way for a lead guitar solo, McCartney had initially served sporadic terms as the group's drummer during their Quarry Men days and again at various periods in Hamburg and Liverpool, particularly during Pete Best’s absence or solo singing spots. When Ringo Starr quit the group and walked out of the recording sessions for the White Album (ironically over an argument with McCartney about his drum part) McCartney took over. He taped a particularly credible – if slightly wooden – perfromance on "Back in the USSR", "Dear Prudence" and later on "The Ballad of John and Yoko".
John Lennon & George Harrison
During the same session for "Back in the USSR" in which Starr walked out, Harrison and Lennon also overdubbed drum tracks to augment McCartney’s. Allegedly on the stereo mix McCartney’s drum track can be heard in the left speaker, with Harrison’s and Lennon’s blended on the right. Incredibly, "Back in the USSR" is unique in that it features all three Beatles minus Starr on drums, with his colleagues taking over his part after his playing fell under criticism.
This was no easy band to be in, for sure!
Photo credit: Brian Farrell