AURORA – Herman’s Hermits sometimes gets overlooked as one of the original British Invasion bands.
But the band’s hits – such as “I’m Into Something Good” and “Mrs. Brown, “You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” – are still heard on the radio today. The band will perform those hits and more May 18 at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Also on the bill is Berwyn’s own Ides Of March.
The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets range from $39.50 to $49.50, available at www.paramountaurora.com, or by calling Paramount’s box office at 630-896-6666.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Herman’s Hermits frontman Peter Noone about the band’s history.
Eric Schelkopf: You are playing with Ides Of March at the Paramount Theatre. Did you guys ever perform with Ides Of March back in the day?
Peter Noone: I think we did. It’s hard to remember, but I think we did.
I’ve run into them since the ’60s. Even though we were musicians, we weren’t so cool that we didn’t watch every act that was ever on the bill with us.
We were fans of music. Whenever you look at a picture of a concert like The Animals or The Who or Tommy James and the Shondells, you can always see members of Herman’s Hermits in the wings watching the show, or we were in the audience watching the show near the soundman.
ES: I understand you met many musicians back then.
PN: I think it was because I never was very cool. I didn’t ever want to be cool or fashionable.
So, I would go up to John Lennon and talk to him, and ask him, “Where are you going after the show?”
I think it was because I was so immature. I didn’t know that was not the right thing to do.
Consequently, when I met The Everly Brothers, I told them I was a fan and that I had all of their records. I was like a fan, not a fellow musician.
ES: How did those experiences help you out as a musician?
PN: It helped me out to be more respectful of my following. All the big stars that I liked were kind and gentlemanly to me.
It taught me that there is some sort of magical connection between the person who likes your music and you. You have to keep hold of that connection.
ES: You don’t hear Herman’s Hermits mentioned that much in references to the British Invasion, but you were part of it. Do you feel like the band was overlooked?
PN: We may be overlooked because Herman’s Hermits was like the Sex Pistols. We didn’t have a plan.
We were just fans of music, and we just happened to be in a band that made records that sold, and we said, “Let’s make another record that sells a lot.”
We never said, “Let’s go and make our ‘Sgt. Peppers.’ ‘’ We didn’t have that kind of plan.
ES: Herman’s Hermits’ songs are still heard on the radio today. Why do you think your songs are so enduring?
PN: They were made by very young guys. We were like the first boy band, really.
We were six or seven years younger than the competition. So, when we made a record for 13-year-old girls, it was really more about them. We didn’t know much about 20-year-old girls.
All the songs were romantic, like boy meets girl, boy falls in love and lives happily ever after, or boy loses girl and gets all miserable.
ES: How has the music business changed over the years?
PN: It seems odd that we all get thrown in competition with each other, like the American idea that music is some sort of talent contest, which is totally bogus.
You think that I was in competition with The Beatles? We were all unique and different. We didn’t compete with each other.
We all supported each other. Now, everybody is in some sort of weird competition.
None of us were in it for the money. We were just lucky we made some. The difference now is that everything is about money.
ES: So that’s still your view, you are doing it for the love of music, not for the money?
PN: If you see Herman’s Hermits, you can tell that we enjoy the stuff that we do. Before we go on stage, I always say to the guys, “Remember, this is going to be the best show we’ve ever done in our lives.”
We want it to be the best show. I’m just lucky that I managed to make a living out of doing what I like.