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Herman's Hermits at Andiamo, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2020

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It's more than likely you've come across Peter Noone over the years.

During the ’60s, the British-born performer was the voice of Herman’s Hermits and hits such as "I'm Into Something Good," "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am." He's also recorded as a solo artist and acted, including in the British soap opera "Coronation Street" and Hallmark Hall of Fame's "Pinocchio." And his show "Something Good" can be heard on SiriusXM's ’60s on 6 station.

Ask him what he likes best, though, and Noone, 72, will tell you it's performing live, which he continues to do around the world.

• What keeps Noone on stage? "Y'know, it's what I do, I think," he says by phone from California. "I ask myself that question a lot — 'Why?' And when I'm not doing it, I miss it. Does that explain it? I’m just a music enthusiast. If I'm not playing songs live on stage I'm probably sitting at home playing ZZ Top or the Sex Pistols. So the opportunity to go out and play is always fun. That's what I do. That's what the (Rolling) Stones do, isn't it?"

• Noone, in fact, was a contemporary and friend of other British bands of his era, including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Who and others. "We all knew each other. We weren't all friends, but we all knew each other — 'Where are you playing? Where are you going? What's happening?' Everybody I can think of from that period around 1965, we kind of knew them. The music business used to be really small and camaraderie was not an option. We were all in this new thing and experiencing it together."

• Noone and Herman's Hermits were touring the U.S. with the Who and were part of the infamous Aug. 23, 1967 birthday party for Who drummer Keith Moon at the Flint Holiday Inn. "We pre-paid for any damage we did. Our road manager negotiated with the owner of the hotel — 'Listen, the boys are going to have a party and mess up a room. Why don't you tell me which room they should mess up and let's pre-pay to redecorate it.' So they gave us this ground floor room and somebody ordered 100 birthday cakes and we threw them around until Moon fell down and got injured and then sent a helicopter to get him and take him to Philadelphia to get his tooth fixed, and the next night he was back on the road."

• What didn't happen in Flint, according to Noone, was anybody driving a car into the hotel swimming pool, which has become a rock ’n’ roll urban myth. "I wish I could tell you it was true, but I'd defy anybody to get a car past an ice machine in that little corridor and get it over the white fence that surrounded the swimming pool. It didn't happen there. I think it was in Shepperton, England; Moon just mixed up his stories. When you're drunk you mix up your stories quite a lot."

• This year marks the 55th anniversary of several Herman's Hermits hits, notably the quirky "I'm Henry Eighth I Am," one of the group's two No. 1 hits in the U.S. "It was a song that every English person knew. We could've done 'Any Old Iron' as well, which was from the war. But when we were in the studio (producer) Mickie Most said, 'Y'know, how about Barry (Whitwam), play (the song) and Derek (Leckenby), you play, like, a Chuck Berry (guitar) lead on it.' Ours is nothing like the original by Howie Champion. I actually should have gotten a songwriting credit for ours, ’cause we changed it so much."

Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at Andiamo Celebrity Showroom, 7096 E. 14 Mile Road, Warren. Tickets are $28-$72. Call 586-268-3200 or visit andiamoitalia.com.

Web Site: www.andiamoitalia.com

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