Education Letter: The sixth Beatle

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The Independent Online
TO ANSWER Roger McGough's question in the Education supplement (Passed/Failed, 18 March) "Where is Johnny Gentle now?", well last time I saw him he had reverted to John Askew and was working as a joiner in Bromley. I met him two years ago while producing a Radio 2 documentary on The Beatles' first tour, which took them to a number of Scottish dance halls in 1960.

Gentle was a few years older than the rest of the band and was nominated as driver of the tour bus. On one celebrated occasion he had to pull up sharp at a roundabout, sending the unfortunate drummer, Tommy Moore, hurtling into the front seat and knocking out a couple of his front teeth in the process.

Moore was taken to hospital but was dragged from his sick bed by John Lennon, who was anxious not to miss a gig.

John or Johnny still enjoys music, plays the guitar (sometimes publicly) and looks back fondly on his days in the industry.