14 Oct 2015
Walking and talking with Peter Noone
Hermans Hermits starring Peter Noone will perform Friday at Circle Square Cultural Center.
Photo by Jeff Daly/Invision/AP
Published: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.
The youngest of five band mates, Noone was the front man Herman in Herman’s Hermits – one of the British bands in the vanguard of the British Invasion back in the 1960s. “Yes, me, Paul McCartney, the Stones,” he said. “We’re all pretty healthy specimens, and the healthy guys made it.”
At that early age he and his mates already were a force in the feel-good teen music of the day; “I’m Into Something Good” hit No. 1 on the British charts in 1964 and reached No. 13 on the U.S. charts later that year. Something else good? By 1970, they had 16 songs hit to Top 20.
Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone – one of two Hermits from the original band; drummer Barry Whitwam is the other – perform Friday night at the Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala's On Top of the World. Tickets sold fast, and as of this writing, only a double-handful of tickets remained; call for availability.
This is a return trip to Ocala for Noone, who played the area twice five years ago – one night at Circle Square and the next in The Villages.
“I had some friends who used to live there, but they’ve moved away now,” he said by phone while on a two-mile morning walk.
With hits such as “Something Good,” “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “There’s a Kind of Hush” and, of course, “Henry the Eighth, I Am,” the Hermits were undisputed champions of the upbeat songs of the ‘60s.
“It just turned out that way,” Noone said. “The way bands worked in those days, every band had to be unique. Our style was all the stuff no one else would do. ‘Mrs. Brown,’ nobody else would that; we were the band that did all the up songs.
“But it was easy to get into the songs because we were teenagers singing songs to teenagers,” he added. Though he's 67 now and does 100 shows a year, he still gets into the songs “though on stage I don’t feel like a teen anymore.”
According to biographies of the Hermits, Noone left the band in the early 1970s for a solo and a stage career, but later returned. “Oh, you saw us in the ‘80s? We’re much better now,” he said. “We’re firing on all cylinders now.”
Noone said he thinks he has another 10 years in him, thanks to a life of moderation. “When they said moderation was for wimps, I wimped,” he said.
Even after eventual retirement, there’ll likely still be music in the Noone household; his daughter, Natalie, is about to release her first single -- “’I Warned You,’ I think it’s called,” he said.
For now, “as long as we keep selling tickets, we’ll still be out there,” Noone added. “The secret’s to keep working; as soon as you stop, you fall apart.
“As long as I can still work, I’m gonna do it.”
Rick Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 867-4154 or on Twitter @rickallen0103.