Style: The Way I Was: My June moon swoon song: Nicholas Roe hears how Jonathan King talked his way on to Top of the Pops

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Indy Lifestyle Online
WE'RE talking 1965, and this is me as a very innocent teenager, being photographed for the music sheet for 'Everyone's Gone to the Moon'. I was in my first year at Trinity College, Cambridge, and some people were wanting to produce a record for me. Suddenly my urgent ambition to become a pop star looked as though it was going to happen.

I'd written a song called 'Green is the Grass' - nice obvious title - that I'd brought down to London to a contact I'd made, who said: 'Yes, this is marvellous, but we do need a B-side.' So I went back to Cambridge in the greatest excitement, and wrote six which I sent straight down to the producers. I used simply to sing straight into a cassette. I couldn't play the guitar or anything.

Later I was strolling around Cambridge late one night and suddenly got this idea for this silly little song that would sound really significant lyrically and yet would subtly slide into the middle of it the rhyme of 'moon' and 'June'. And this song was called 'Everyone's Gone to the Moon'.

It took 20 minutes. I sang it into the tape recorder and sent it down the next day, and my producers said it was a possible A-side. I said, 'You're mad,' but I went down again and recorded three tracks, including this one.

It was my first time in a proper studio and I felt that at least I'd reached the stage I wanted to reach, because I thought I'd never be getting there. For about five years I'd been convinced there was something major coming up in the music industry, and I was pissed off when it was the Beatles, not me. I'd been resenting them like mad, but now here I was.

I had an Austin Healey Sprite and I drove all over London with it plastered in posters saying, 'Everyone's Gone to the Moon'. I found the home addresses of DJs and went round banging on their doors, saying, 'Here's my new record. It's going to be a huge hit. Please play it.'

It's energy really. Self-confidence had arrived earlier that year when I'd been diagnosed as having a duodenal ulcer and I'd been told to stay in bed and do nothing for several weeks. I lay there looking out of the window, contemplating the world and myself, and it led me to realise that what makes us all up as human beings is not necessarily good or bad, it's just what we are. Once you learn to accept that, you don't waste energy trying to correct things.

I worked like crazy on breaking the record, and break it I did. I was the first performer on Top of the Pops when the show came from Manchester to London. I remember the producer told me afterwards that they were horrified, because they were waiting for the charts to come in for this brand new show, and the highest new entry at No 19 was a person they'd never heard of, and when they tracked him down they discovered he was a Cambridge undergraduate. 'Oh my God,' they said.

For me it was marvellous. The record meant I then became a part of probably the most exciting small club there has almost ever been, and that was British people being successful in music in the middle Sixties, which included the Beatles, Stones and others. It was the London clubs we all went to, we shopped in Carnaby Street . . .

The photo doesn't bring back that many memories of me, but it does of the time. It was superb, belonging to that set, people in their teens and early twenties, ruling the world. The song did a lot for me. Musically, it's not my cup of tea, to be honest.

(Photograph omitted)

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