Johnny had a room to himself and the Silver Beatles shared two rooms. Sometimes they were put in different hotels. Johnny recalled the best hotel they stayed in was in Inverness, overlooking the river. It was while they were at the hotel that he played a song he’d written called ‘I’ve Just Fallen For Someone’ to George and John. Gentle was having difficulty with the middle eight and John came up with something he’d written which fitted in. Johnny decided to use Lennon’s middle eight in his song and he actually recorded the number for Parlophone the following year under the name Darren Young. The record sold about 3,000 copies.
Says John, “The middle eight words that John wrote to the song were:
We know that we’ll get by
Just wait and see
Just like the songs tell us
The best things in life are free.
“He also gave the tune to the middle.
“I recorded ‘I’ve Just Fallen For Someone’ as Darren Young, as a one-off as I was beginning to think that Johnny Gentle was not bringing me much luck record wise.”
Gentle was to say that, despite their rawness as a group, he was impressed with them and urged his manager to sign them up. However, Parnes specialised in representing solo singers and wasn’t interested in the problems associated with managing bands.
Parnes commented, “Johnny used to phone me virtually every night and say, ‘Come up to Scotland and see these boys. I’ve given them a spot in my act and they’re doing better than I am.’ He was very honest, I always said that if I’d found the time to go up to Scotland he might have been the fifth Beatle. Who knows?”
Johnny says, “I enjoyed the tour. I found the Beatles good company and disappointed when they were not available for my second tour of Scotland, but used another Liverpool group Cass & the Cassanovas. Later they split up and became the Big Three. They were also good fun, with typical Scouse humour.”
Following the tour, Johnny appeared with them once more. He visited Merseyside and on July 2 dropped into the Jacaranda Club with his father. He was told that the group was appearing that night at the Grosvenor Ballroom, Liscard, and went over to the gig and joined them on stage and says, “When I sang with the Beatles at the Grosvenor we ran through the complete Scottish repertoire.”
Gentle asked Parnes to book them again as his backing band, but they were appearing in Hamburg at the time.
His singing career was unsuccessful, despite changing his name to Darren Young. He also joined vocal outfit the Viscounts for a time.
He moved to Jersey for a while, but couldn’t maintain a living as a singer and in the early 1970s began his own joinery business.
This proved to be very successful. Johnny married and became the father of two children, Gavin and Donna – and is now a grand-dad and lives in Kent.
Happily ensconced in Kent, he had a brief return to the limelight when the ‘Beatles Anthology’ was released and the press became interested in that first Scottish tour. He also participated in the BBC radio show ‘The Beatles in Scotland’ and Merseyside rock historian Ian Forsyth then persuaded him to put his story down in print. The result was ‘Johnny Gentle & the Beatles: First Ever Tour’, published in 1998.
Johnny concludes, “I still gig now and then. My most recent show was at the 2004 Eddie Cochran Convention in Chippenham, sharing the stage with acts brought over from America: Little Richard, Billy Haley’s Comets, Buddy Holly’s Crickets, Charlie Gracie and British rockers Marty Wilde, Terry Dene, Vince Eager and Tommy Bruce, to name just some of the acts over a three-day weekend.
“I think it would be good if somebody could do a cover version of the song I collaborated with John Lennon on, ‘I’ve Just Fallen For Someone.’”