Herman’s Hermits’ Peter Noone: 50 Years Later- A School Girl Crush Revisited

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While “Yesterday” will always be my favorite song and Paul McCartney my first true love, the summer of 1966 was one of great changes.  At the ripe age of 13 my budding cynicism helped me realize that, though my love was pure, luring and keeping Paul as my own was an unattainable goal.  I set my sites a tad lower and settled for the perfect boy next door, Peter Noone.  Our great love affair was the theme of many nighttime dreams and quite a few daydreams as well.  Davy Jones tried to sway me with “Daydream Believer” but my heart remained true to Peter.

HH03Peter Noone Live at the Golden Nugget Casino in Biloxi, MS (Sat. Oct. 1, 2016)

 As with all school girl crushes, this one lasted only until my first flesh and blood boyfriend came along.  His name was Randy and he was an excellent kisser. Suddenly the appeal of kissing the centerfold of Tiger Beat magazine faded away as did dancing with my pillow to the tunes of Herman’s Hermits.

I never really knew much about what happened to Peter in the 50 intervening years. Research reveals that he is still happily wed to the woman he married on his 21st birthday (November 5, 1968).  The throngs of pubescent girls who loved him then must have been crushed.  But this story is not about Peter, really.  It’s about me.

14457465_10209438632477192_5719806112685203738_nLeslie (right) with her friends at the Herman’s Hermits  Starring Peter Noone concert in Biloxi, MS (Sat. Oct. 1, 2016)

 Earlier this summer, while scrolling through Facebook, I discovered that Herman’s Hermits were touring again and would be playing at a venue just a few hours away.  My thoughts drifted back 50 years and I bought 4 tickets to the show, knowing I would have no trouble getting a group together to go to Biloxi with me on October 1.  It was shocking to learn that my younger friends were not only not interested but also didn’t know who Peter Noone was.  It took awhile, but I eventually found two girl friends from high school and college who shared my schoolgirl crush.  Punk came from Jackson and Freda drove down from Tuscaloosa and the fourth ticket went to Andy, whose camera would capture all the magical moments.

We were as giddy as a gaggle of 63 year old women can get as the band walked out on the stage of the Golden Nugget casino’s Grand Ballroom.  We were surrounded by a small sea of similar mindsets and ages.  A group of ladies who call themselves Noonatics commanded the first few rows.  And then it happened.  Peter bounced out on the stage, flashing a smile that lit up the room, thanks to a small fortune in cosmetic dentistry.  His blonde hair was perfectly coiffed and for an hour and fifteen minutes the rest of us basked in the delusion that we had aged just as gracefully.

HH01Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone Live in Biloxi, MS (Sat. Oct. 1, 2016)

David Crosby is the only 60’s singer I’ve heard in recent years who can belt out tunes with the same clear, sweet sound of his youth.  Peter comes a very close second.  He sang almost all of his hits along with delightful renditions of The Monkees “Daydream Believer”, Freddy and the Dreamers “I’m Telling You Now”,Gerry and the Pacemakers “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and he even hit the low notes of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”.

We lost Andy sometime during the first few numbers as he snaked his way closer to the stage to snap some choice shots.  Like a trooper, he reappeared at the end to accompany us to the lobby for our promised autographs.  

Clutching my 50 year old 45 of “Leaning on the Lamp Post” firmly, I joined the crushing throng of fans and picked up a copy of Herman’s Hermits Greatest Hits CD at the merchandise table before reaching the man of my dreams.  He had aged quite a bit in the 90 minutes we’d been there.  Andy did an amazing job of making us both look good in the few seconds he had to take capture our moment together.  Peter asked me how to spell my name and then, far too soon, he was saying, “Move along, can’t you see the line behind you?” and it was over.  The massive security guard eyed me and I followed directions.

30417_1373462751062_750725_nLeslie in 1965

All in all, it was a great experience.  I got to spend time with two women who were my running mates from 40 and 50 years ago.  We giggled a lot, gambled a little and ate some really bad, overpriced food at the hotel’s buffet.  As we parted in the parking garage we vowed to meet again for another casino concert from the past.  As for Andy, maybe he’ll come along for kicks and another story.  You never know.

HH11Peter Noone signing merchandise for Leslie. She brought one her of old 45’s to the show to be signed too.

HH12Peter Noone with Leslie following show. (Sat. Oct. 1, 2016)
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Design & Layout of Article by Johnny Cole

© The Southland Music Line. 2016. All rights reserved

©The Southland Music Line

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