L to R: The Red Button (Mike Ruekberg and Seth Swirsky) with Peter Noone
Mrs. Brown, your singer has a lovely new song.
Merseybeat veteran Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits fame joined forces with the Los Angeles pop duo The Red Button for "Ooh Girl," a jangly new track whose video is premiering exclusively below. The match was made by Alive Enterprises' Toby Mamis, Alice Cooper's tour director, who suggested to friend Marty Scott of Jem Records that Noone and the band would complement each other on the heels of the Red Button compilation Now It's All This! that came out last year.
"Toby suggested it, and I said, 'Oh, let's listen to the stuff,'" Noone tells Billboard. "So I listened to the stuff and thought it would work." That, not surprisingly, was music to the ears of the Red Button's Seth Swirsky, a Grammy-nominated songwriter (Taylor Dayne, Al Green, Celine Dion, Xscape, Rufus Wainwright and more), author and filmmaker who, along with band partner Mike Ruekberg, is a major Noone fan.
"When (Scott) said, 'Hey that song would be great for Peter Noone,' I'm thinking, 'Wow, what a fun thing,'" Swirsky says. "I grew up listening to Herman's Hermits' Greatest Hits. It was such an influence on me. So ('Ooh Girl,' which was on the Red Button's 2007 debut album She's About To Cross My Mind) is really one of those full-circle things. Having Peter in the studio was like a time machine back to my childhood in many ways. I really wanted to make it great."
Noone loved working with the band, for his part. "It was great, just a fun experience," he recalls. "There was no downside to it at all. The track was good. The players were good. The people at the studio were good. Everybody was happy and smiling and telling stories and it just all came together. That's what it's supposed to."
Swirsky -- who's written several books, mostly about baseball, and also made the documentary 2011 documentary Beatles Stories -- decided early on that "this (song) needs a video." He rolled cameras during the "Ooh Girl" recording session and wove the footage together with London street scenes from Beatles Stories. Both parties leave the door open for more collaborations in the future -- though Noone is in the midst of a 120-show calendar year right now -- but the video provides a welcome souvenir of a pinch-me experience for Swirsky and Ruekberg.
"I'll tell you one thing about Peter more than anything else -- he's the most enthusiastic person I think I've ever met," Swirsky says. "I want to be around the guy. He's just so full of enthusiasm. He just took the microphone and went for it, dancing and everything -- you see that in the video. I didn't ask him to do anything. That's just the raw footage of the first two takes. He's so great, and that was a really big moment for us."