Dannys Passion

Biography

The only Cornish group to record with The Legendary Record Producer Joe Meek, were Dannys Passion. Formed in 1965 as The Undecided, they come together through working for Marriot Magnetics, a local firm based in Penryn, rehearsals began in the factory after work, original line up was Alan Foster (vocalist), Alan Toms (lead guitar), Gerald Lynch (Rhythm guitar) John Challingsworth (bass guitar), and Peter Kay (drums).

In 1966, seeking a manager, David Peters was approached by Peter Kay's dad, David had contacts in the music business, he agreed to take them on, Danny Gill replaced Alan as vocalist, rehearsals were transferred to The Woodlane Social Club in Falmouth, when ready, gigs were arranged for the group, stage suits made, a demo tape was made, and sent to Joe Meek. In the spring of ‘66 an audition was arranged at his studio at 304 Holloway Road London, after a successful audition, contracts were signed and Joe changed their name to Dannys Passion, and gave them a demo of a song to learn, which was intended to be their first single release.

The song in question was “(It’s all leading up to) Saturday Night” a Geoff Stephens composition, a date was set to record, with the track completed, additional backing was to be added before ready for release. The fan club was organised, appearances in a local record shop were planned.

Further group recordings, including recordings by Danny, (later to have group backing and strings added), were made at the studio, but, as Joe put it, due to legal problems, (which we now know to be untrue) their debut single, "Saturday Night" was not released; instead the song was issued in late 1966 on a CBS single, CBS 202340 by Scottish group, Marmalade,

Disagreements between the group and their manager over the direction the group should go, led to a split in the summer of 1966, and the group were taken on by Monty Banks, a local dance promoter in Falmouth. After Danny quit in 1967, the group continued with a new lead singer Greg Young. Danny joined Peace and Quiet in 1968, but the long anticipated success did not materialise, and with the death of Joe Meek on February 3rd 1967, any hope of their recordings being released faded, and finally in late 1967, the group went their separate ways.

In 2006, forty years later, John Challingsworth, now living in Sydney, Australia, planned to return to Cornwall for a holiday, and after contacting all the group members a reunion meal was arranged at The Green Lawns Hotel in Falmouth, Alan Toms and Peter Kay were now living in London, while Danny Gill and Gerald Lynch remained in Cornwall, David Peters, also still living in Cornwall, was also contacted and agreed to come.

In May 2006 the group, minus Peter Kay, who was unable to be there, finally got together for the first time in forty years, memories came flooding back, stories were retold, of the golden days of Cornish Pop Music, even the desire to play together for one last time, was evident. A photographer from the local paper, The Falmouth Packet was present, to capture that historic pose from forty years ago, which graced the front page of the paper, only this time it was in colour.

In August 2015, on the 50th Anniversary of the group's forming another reunion was held, at The Merchants Manor Hotel, in Falmouth.

Their recordings remain in the infamous “Tea Chest” tapes, (possibly along with their audition tape), which were 67 Tea Chests full of reel to reel tapes, containing about 5000 unreleased masters, demos, etc, left by Joe Meek at his death. They were bought for £300 by Cliff Cooper, after the auction of Joe Meek’s estate. The tapes labelled as recorded by Dannys Passion are “(It’s all leading up to) Saturday Night”, “Wanna Lover”, ( a version by Neil Christian, another Ex-Joe Meek artist, and produced by the writer Mikki Dallon was released in 1966 on Strike JH 319) “The World’s Not Big Enough”, “Left me”, “I Cried Over You”, “Over the Weekend”, also labelled as by the group is “Who’s Gonna Fight the Lions”, which, the group have heard, but it is definitely not by them, as Joe never wrote much information on the boxes, the actual artist or group remains a mystery.

According to sources which have seen the tapes, they are very well preserved, but, despite many campaigns over the years, to get all the tapes handed over to The National Sound Archives, they still remain unreleased, it is hoped that one day, all these recordings may be made available.

A demo record of “Wanna Lover” given to John, during their time with Joe, is the only track available, and remains the only recording the group have heard, ( go to the music page to hear it ), the disc is now in the possession of their singer Danny Gill.

What of the future? Will their historic recordings ever be heard? Will the group perform for one last time? These questions remain to be answered; only time will tell, but we remain hopeful.

© 2007 David Peters