Saturday, October 28, 2006

You Can't Believe Everything You Read

Recently I received a comment from Randy Badazz Alpert. It was in regards to my posting on the song that he co-wrote with his friend Andy Armer and the co-producer with his Uncle Herb Alpert of the song "Rise." The posting I did on the song was wrong about it orgins. Now I got the story from a usually reliable source. However, he said in the comment that it was not the true story. I hope he doesn't mind but I am putting it up front here so the readers of this blog can get the words straight from him on the creation of this beautiful song.
Hi Rick: Thanks for the nice words about "Rise" last week. Just to set the record straight: I was 22 in January 1979 and producing funk records for Columbia. Uncle Herb called me up and asked if I would work up some disco versions of some of his old Tijuana Brass songs. I never ever presented him with the idea of doing disco versions of anything. I was never a disco fan. My thing was James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Funkadelics, Aretha, etc. At our first meeting in Herb's office at A&M I played him Rise and he loved it however he still asked me to work up a disco version of the Lonely Bull and 2 other songs. I hated the idea then and never wanted to even attempt to record them. I had new songs and new ideas and thankfully when we went in to record them in early February, Herb did not like what he heard so we did Rise. Please note that I did not just pull out Rise because we had extra time booked in the studio. I had music charts drawn up for the musicians and we picked the musicians with the mind of recording Rise. I'm not sure how this all got started about me wanting to do disco. Not true at all. In fact I never wanted to work with Herb. I changed my name to Badazz because I wanted to be my own person totally out of the shadow of Herb. It took quite a bit of persuading by Herb to even get me to work with him. However, I'm glad that we worked together because we had a lot of fun and we created a classic record that went to #1 around the world. There sure haven't been a lot of #1 pop instrumental records during the past 27 years and I'm fortunate to have been a part of it. Thank you again for your kind words and sharing your happy memories.. randy badazz alpert

You're welcome Randy and thank you for setting the record straight.

Friday, October 27, 2006

This Day In Music History: Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers The Monster Mash

Actually this day in music history began 7 days ago. I can’t let this Halloween season go by without mentioning that starting on October 20, 1962 for the next 2 weeks the #1 song in the country was the Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers. It all started when Bobby was a little boy. His Dad managed the local movie theater and Bobby got to see all the movies he wanted. Many of them were Boris Karloff movies. He decided to become an actor and learned how to do many voices. His best was his impression of Boris Karloff.
After a stint in the Army as part of the Signal Corps in Korea he came back to the states and moved to Hollywood. He was trying for an acting career but in the process met some old high school friends and they started a singing group called the Cordials. They preformed at a local restaurant on Friday nights. One of the songs they did was “Little Darlin’” In the middle of the song Bobby did a monologue in his Karloff voice. The rest of the group thought they should write a novelty song about a dancing monster and record it. Bobby wasn’t interested. He wanted to get his acting career started.
However, an acting career was not in the cards for Bobby at that time. He did sign with an agent but the agent died two weeks later. So Bobby put his acting career on the back burner and got together with his friend from the Cordials, Leonard Capizzi, and they wrote the Monster Mash. Bobby and Lenny got Gary Paxton, the Cordials were under contract to him, to hear the song. He loved it and signed Bobby to a recording contract to his Garpax label. The song was quickly recorded and Bobby thought he would never hear the song again. That changed when the record sold over a million copies and bumped the Four Seasons song Sherry from the #1 spot on October 20th 1962. The popularity of the song has spanned the years as on August 29th 1970 the song entered the charts again and peaked at 91. In May of 1973 it entered the charts a third time to peak at #10. With this song Bobby Pickett became a star. He had a Christmas follow up with Monster’s Holiday and later with a more serious song called Graduation Day. On that last song he didn’t include the name of Boris. He only uses that in connection with the Monster Mash.
While the song was a huge hit in America in 1962 it was banned from the airwaves in England. That is until 1973 when it was played there and became a #3 hit on the British charts.
Thanks to the song Bobby even got his acting career going for awhile. In 1964 the LA radio station KRLA hired him to do Saturday night monster shows from 9pm to midnight. He used many of his voices to play characters like Dracula, Igor, Zombie the Surfer and of course…Karloff.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


In the 1970’s Marvel started putting in more of the macabre. Books like “Tomb of Dracula” and “Werewolf by Night” were big hits with comic book fans. Even there old western title “Ghost Rider” was a hit. It was changed from a man who dressed as a ghost and rode a white horse to a man who changed into a demon with a flaming skull and rode a modern day motorcycle. Almost all of them were anti-heroes who tried to find a cure for what they had become. With them being hits it was only a matter of time before they tried to bring that success to their superhero line of books. Two new creatures of the night came from the “Amazing Spider-man.” They were Morbius the Living Vampire and Man-Wolf. Once again they were both anti-heroes searching to cure themselves. Both were popular enough that they were spun off into their own series. Morbius was in “Vampire Tales” and Man-Wolf was the feature story in the bi-monthly comic book “Creatures On The Loose.” He took over with issue # 30 and was with it till the end of its run. Col. John Jameson had been to the moon and found a shiny red rock there that he liked. He kept it and made a necklace out of it that he wore. However, became grafted to his throat, courtesy of Morbius when he wanted to control Man-Wolf, when it was exposed to the light of the moon John became Man-Wolf. As Man-Wolf he tried to destroy everything that John Jameson loved. He was always worried that he would hurt or kill his father J. Jonah Jameson or his fiancĂ©e Kristine if he changed when they were around. I always thought it was odd that they chose to debut these two characters in a Spider-man book. Hulk or Fantastic Four seemed a better fit for them to me. However, over the years I have come to realize that most of Spidey’s enemies are more animalistic in nature like Rhino, Vulture, Doc Ock, The Lizard etc. So why not add a Vampire Bat and a Wolf into the mix. You don’t hear much from Man-Wolf lately. Perhaps he was cured. I always wondered why he never had it surgically removed from his throat. Maybe he did and found that it was on him so long that he now changed without the rock on him. If not it would make a good story today.
I only read one issue of “Creatures On The Loose” when it first came out. Maybe I will get back issues from my local comic book store and read the entire series.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Peter Noone Interview

I wanted to tell everyone that I have heard from thanking me on the Peter Noone Interview that you are welcome. However, I want to make it clear that I did not conduct the interview. I am a fan of Mr. Noone's music and wish I had been the one who did conduct it but, as I stated at the beginning of eash part, it was Kent Kotal of Forgotten Hits aka who did the interview. So if you want to thank anyone it should be Kent. You can e-mail him at You can also subscribe to his newsletter at that address. I am glad that you enjoyed it and I hope you come back for more.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Forgotten Hits Interview with Peter Noone Part Six the Conclusion

With permission from Kent Kotal/ Forgotten Hits/the60sShop here is part six of the interview with Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. To subscribe to FORGOTTEN HITS, which is a great newsletter if you are like me and into music of the 60's, you can e-mail them at Here is part six in this six part series.
FORGOTTEN HITS: Today you seem to draw a wide range of audience members again ... now you've got kids who've grown up listening to your music and know every word because this is the music that their parents ... who were THERE at the time ... play at home. We recently bought our youngest daughter (10) a copy of the HERMAN'S HERMITS' GREATEST HITS CD, RETROSPECTIVE, and she absolutely LOVES it ... sings along with every word!!! (In fact, she's planning on singing LISTEN PEOPLE for an upcoming audition at her performance group, KIDS WHO CARE ... and sings along with your CD whenever she cleans her room .... which, of course, is NEVER often enough to please a parent! She actually squealed when I told her that I was going to be doing an interview with you for FORGOTTEN HITS!) In fact, something she wrote for Fathers' Day last year inspired me to do a series on PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC OF THE '60's, which we turned into a little contest. We let HER judge the entries that we received and it was HER final decision as to which ones BEST explained what psychedelic music was. Which leads me to my NEXT question ... while other artists were dabbling in that whole psychedelic genre, HERMAN'S HERMITS remained true to their roots and continued to release great "pop" songs. Did you ever want to "experiment" more in the studio, as was certainly the way at that time? Was this more of a conscious decision to "not mess around with what was working"? Were there ever any angry outbursts in the late '60's about taking more control of your music? (Unfortunately, such control has often spelled the END of many of these artists who thought that they now knew better than the professionals who had guided their careers to the heights they achieved ... that's gotta be a double-edged sword of sorts!)
PETER NOONE: I made a conscious decision in 1963 to be a pop singer and to sing the music of the 14 and 15 and 16 year old girls. I was proud of my choice. I played psychedelic music for my own pleasure and even had a go at a couple of tracks but Sunshine Girl is still considered a pop song.
FOR THE RECORD: SUNSHINE GIRL was a #8 British Hit but stiffed here in The States where it peaked at #82. It will be included in the "BONUS SECTION" of HERMAN'S HERMITS wavs sent out at the conclusion of this article.

FH: What were some of YOUR all-time favorite HERMAN'S HERMITS recordings???
PN: I'm Into Something Good, for its pure pop honesty ... and No Milk Today, which is the PERFECT Herman record.

FH: FORGOTTEN HITS has existed for the past seven years by reminding music fans out there about some of the GREAT music that just doesn't get played on the radio anymore due to the tight playlists dictated by those who control the Oldies Radio stations ... instead, we get the same 50-60 songs over and over and over again. As I mentioned to you earlier in my first email, a good part of HERMAN'S HERMITS' appeal to ME is some of the lesser-known, lesser-played material like EAST, WEST, LISTEN PEOPLE, JUST A LITTLE BIT BETTER and LEANING ON THE LAMP POST ... the stuff that you cleverly refer to as "the rubbish" on stage.
PN: Only I am allowed to call anything of mine RUBBISH. As long as I continue to tour, the songs will stay alive despite the fact that ABKCO does not promote them. EMI released a great CD this year and I sell it on the road and on my website and promote it as a great Herman's Hermits CD. I have never knowingly promoted an ABKCO CD by anyone who they have on their roster because I know they steal all the money and live in Scarsdale waiting for what g-d has ready for them or their offspring.

FH: Speaking of HERMAN'S HERMITS in concert, I've seen you three or four times now these past few years and it is ALWAYS a fantastic show. You genuinely seem to be having fun up there ... (and your guitarist is TOTALLY crazy by the way!!!) I can't do a proper interview and NOT address the fact that there WAS a period of time where you deliberately tried to DISTANCE yourself from the HERMAN'S HERMITS material ... even starting a NEW band called THE TREMBLERS and refusing to play HERMAN'S HERMITS material. Have you embraced your roots again? I'm sure touring as much as you do, performing all the hits, earns you a good living, but are there times when you still long to be accepted as a "contemporary artist"? Aspirations to record some NEW material? Are there some HERMAN'S HERMITS songs that you're just sick and tired of performing?!?!? (LOL)
PN: The Tremblers was a way for me to go out and have fun and it led me back to Herman which was a surprise and I needed a break to understand how good I had been as Herman and that Peter Noone is Herman is Peter Noone!

FH: If I'm not mistaken, during some of the time that you had "retired" HERMAN there for a while, a group performing as HERMAN'S HERMITS (WITHOUT PETER NOONE?!?!?!?) was doing a lot of British Invasion Revival Shows. How did THAT come about? Why would ANYBODY go see HERMAN'S HERMITS without PETER NOONE ... PETER NOONE WAS HERMAN'S HERMITS ... that's the WHOLE sound!!! Was there legal action taken to stop this? Were any of the original HERMITS involved in this? How has this affected your relationship with the old members of your band? Do you still keep in contact with any of them today? Are any of them still involved in the music business?
PN: The world is now full of disgraceful shots at passing off people as the band. We have The Animals drummer calling his band The Animals. Many people would argue (rightly) that The Animals was Eric Burdon and Alan Price and perhaps Hilton Valentine. Nobody would call John Steel the focus so therefore I am saddened that people see what they THINK is The Animals and it isn't. There is a band called Herman's Hermits which also features a drummer named Barry Whitwam. Barry was a nice guy but was never a focal point of anything musically at Herman's Hermits and is not even on 89% of the recordings and wasn't even at the sessions! This is disgraceful behaviour but is protected by a legal system that consistently prove they do not like music and it is only a way for them to buy a car and a pool, and not to present music as art.

FH: Do you still associate with any of your "contemporaries" from back in the day? I know you're sometimes packaged in oldies shows with other British artists ... who were you closest to back in the '60's ... and who have you remained close with (or are closest with) today?
PN: I associate with everyone who is alive. I run into everyone at funerals or Albert Hall concerts. I saw Charlie Watts at a concert and asked him how his little girl was, and he said, "Peter? My little girl is 45!" I saw everyone at Mickie's funeral. Page, Beck, John Paul Jones, The Pretenders, Donovan, Lulu and I was happy to say that Mickie chose Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff and two Herman's Hermits songs to play after Lucille by Richard Penniman.

Well, the GOOD news is that PETER NOONE is having fun being "HERMAN" again ... and it really shows. He puts on one of the most entertaining, hit-filled oldies shows on the circuit ... and it's DEFINITELY worth checking out.

I've saved the best for last ... my all-time favorite HERMAN'S HERMITS B-SIDE, I GOTTA DREAM ON ... a song that I believe could have been as big a hit as ANY of their others had it simply been given a chance ... but instead it was stuck on the flip side of MRS. BROWN, YOU'VE GOT A LOVELY DAUGHTER and was virtually ignored by both radio and the public alike. Too bad ... this one gets MY vote as one of the best, over-looked B-SIDES ever.
I hope that you've enjoyed my little interview with PETER NOONE ... it certainly was INTERESTING (to say the least) and, hopefully, equally entertaining. We've got LOTS more great B-SIDES coming up ... remember, you can vote for ANY of these that you like ... and, vote as OFTEN as you like ... and even nominate a few of your own favorites for consideration. Lots more to follow ... stick around!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Forgotten Hits Interview with Peter Noone Part Five

With permission from Kent Kotal/ Forgotten Hits/the60sShop here is part five of the interview with Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. To subscribe to FORGOTTEN HITS, which is a great newsletter if you are like me and into music of the 60's, you can e-mail them at Here is part five in the series.

FORGOTTEN HITS: One of my upcoming series will be spotlighting some of the GREAT, UNDISCOVERED AND FORGOTTEN B-SIDES ... I think that HERMAN'S HERMITS recorded some of the BEST B-SIDES of the '60's ... songs like WHAT IS WRONG, WHAT IS RIGHT, your version of SEA CRUISE, the previously mentioned THE END OF THE WORLD and NO MILK TODAY ... I GOTTA DREAM ON, WALKIN' WITH MY ANGEL and GOT A FEELING are amongst my favorites from your catalog. (By the way, as a serious music collector, I've gotta ask you: are you aware that I GOTTA DREAM ON appears TWICE on your new 2-CD Greatest Hits package?!?!?)
PETER NOONE: Wow ... then it was a B-side twice then! The B-sides were always left to the Hermits and we did what we could and I am proud of all of them except Truck Stop Mamma and I walked out of that session because Herman cannot sing about a Truck Stop Mama.

FH: I've heard you say in concert that THE END OF THE WORLD is one of your very favorite HERMAN'S HERMITS recordings ... what are some of your other personal favorites? Are there any songs that you felt SHOULD have been bigger hits than they were ... or maybe a couple of songs that you feel weren't given the chance that you're especially proud of?
PN: I think the end of Herman's Hermits was Allen Klein. It became a constant thorn in the side of the band that we made records that were number one in the USA AND WE GOT A GOLD RECORD BUT NO CHECK TO GO WITH IT. We decided to stop giving the US records thinking that this would make them pay up, but actually that was their plan all along. Remember, Allen Klein was a bag carrier auditor. My mum and dad did the same thing so I know how it works. He weaseled his way into every band's office and lied and cheated us all and now his children are spending the royalties from I'm Henry the VIII I Am. Why don't you ask them how they can justify never having paid Herman's Hermits? That is a real story for you! I am fortunate because I actually made a lot of money, but think of Derek Leckenby's family when they hear a record of their late father's on the radio and imagine Klein's children getting paid for the sale??????????? I hope Lennon was right about karma.

FH: ALLEN KLEIN is probably BEST known for his associations with THE BEATLES and THE ROLLING STONES (good, bad or otherwise.) How did HERMAN'S HERMITS first come to be involved with him? Wasn't it pretty much the contracts of HERMAN'S HERMITS and THE ANIMALS that he first picked up?
PN: No idea who was first but look at all the music he has touched (even Cameo / Parkway and Sam Cooke) and you will see unhappiness everywhere with the exception being The Stones, who have overcome his deft and dastardly skills. He should be remembered as the destroyer of bands. Can you name a band he has been involved with who haven't had shit happen?

FH: This HAD to have been perceived as a GOOD thing at the time, no??? A big step forward for the band? Big, successful, rich American businessman with a proven track record takes on British artists like HERMAN'S HERMITS and THE ANIMALS ... when and where did things start to go sour?
PN: His trick was to tell everyone he could save us taxes. That's all. No musical knowledge other than he was a cash register expert and can play it better than anyone and maybe his son can play it, too, so it will continue.

FH: I've got absolutely NO problem covering the ALLEN KLEIN thing in greater detail either ... it's something I've never understood since (greedy bastard that he is) HE would make more money, too, by licensing out this material!!! (Makes absolutely NO sense to me!)
(EDITOR'S NOTE: I asked this particular question four or five times before I got ANY kind of answer ... with no further explanation than this, here is what PETER NOONE had to say):
PN: He is an accountant. Both my parents were accountants and I heard them discuss taxes but they always said it was a good idea to pay them rather than have them disappear.

FH: I, for one, absolutely LOVED the remake you did of I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD and the video (with LESLIE NIELSEN) for THE NAKED GUN ... that seemed to be the point where you sort of "became" HERMAN again. How did all of that come about? (I know that you mentioned earlier the reason for having to re-record this track ... and I personally happen to think it's a GREAT remake ... I've been looking for a copy for YEARS!!!) How were you first approached about working on this project? I especially love the video. That had to be good fun.
PN: Back to Klein ... They wanted to use the song in the movie. Klein declined because he knew he would have to ACCOUNT TO SOMEBODY (eg Paramount). As he hates to account to anyone, because he can't cheat and lie, he had to say no. The producers and writers contacted me with their story and I said, "I can make a copy exactly like the original and nobody will be able to tell the difference." When it was done, we decided you couldn't tell the difference so we took off the guitar and replaced it with a whahhoo machine so Klein wouldn't say it was the original. It's a tragedy that Klein and his witless children stop all the product they control from being in movies so they can steal ALL the money. A question: Have any songs under the Klein families' control ever been used in movies, commercials, tv shows? Doesn't anyone ever wonder why? Surely there would be one Herman's Hermits song, one Animals song. One song from a Cameo / Parkway artist, one Sam Cooke song, just one, that would work in a motion picture????
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Again, I'm unclear here ... wouldn't ALLEN KLEIN have even MORE "money to steal" if he licensed these songs for theatrical use??? I'm confused!)

FH: Speaking of movies, some people don't realize that HERMAN'S HERMITS appeared in a couple of movies back in the '60's ... what was it like making the transition to "movie star"? (Having started out as an actor, was this an easy transition for you?) Obviously, the HERMAN'S HERMITS movies were more "romps" than serious acting ... but have you pursued acting over the past 25 years? Is that something you would be interested in?
PN: Read the bio. Rock movies were romps where 1) The Beatles ran away from girls; 2) The Dave Clark Five ran away from girls; and 3) Herman ran away from girls. Do you think we didn't slow down for the healthy ones? That was acting.

One of the films starring HERMAN'S HERMITS was a little throw-away ditty called HOLD ON. Ironically, the title theme from the film was stuck onto the B-SIDE of THE HERMITS' then latest single, LEANING ON THE LAMP POST (a #8 Hit in the Spring of 1966, and also used in the film.) LEANING ON THE LAMP POST continued that "Tin Pan Alley" sound that PETER NOONE had so well established with some of his earlier hits like I'M HENRY THE VIII, I AM. With THE BEATLES scoring #1 "soundtrack" hits with A HARD DAY'S NIGHT and HELP!, THE DAVE CLARK FIVE hitting big with CATCH US IF YOU CAN and even GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS topping the charts with FERRY 'CROSS THE MERSEY, it seems extremely odd that HOLD ON never charted at all in its own right ... yet the song that you would normally EXPECT to be the B-SIDE (although included in the film) became the bigger hit.

I have to admit that HOLD ON is NOT one of my favorite HERMAN'S HERMITS' B-SIDES ... but I remember it receiving enough airplay to qualify for at least a nomination in this special poll. (Besides, we've got more of our PETER NOONE interview to run ... so it ends up as one of today's featured tracks!) Along with HOLD ON, I'm also sending along GOT A FEELING, a B-SIDE that I actually DO like. This one came on the flip side of LISTEN PEOPLE in early 1966. (By the way, DIDJAKNOW that HERMAN'S HERMITS performed LISTEN PEOPLE in the CONNIE FRANCIS flick WHEN THE BOYS MEET THE GIRLS???) Remember, you can vote for ANY of the songs mentioned in this special B-SIDES Series ... and you can vote as often as you like. If something catches your fancy, drop us a line and let us know. When it's all over, we'll countdown your All-Time Top Ten B-SIDES Favorites!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

It's Party Time! My 1 year anniversary as a blogger!

Welcome to the party! Today is the one year anniversary of my blog. Sadly if it keeps up with this new blogger beta that I can't post photos I will have to either quit or move to another service. I plan to keep the Peter Noone interview on here and if I have to move my blog I will let you know so anyone can change their bookmarks if you have this site marked.
Till then enjoy the party. My cousin's Randy and Steve have switched jobs at this party. Randy is taking the guest coats and putting them in the bedroom. Steve is in the dining room handling the punch bowel and talking about Sam Spade's comic book ads. In the family room Ron Dante is singing old Archie's tunes and songs from his new CD "California Weekend." My friend Paul from Comic Book World is over in the corner talking about silver age comic books. Mary Spooner is in the living room showing old movies of George Reeves and other old time actors. You may even run into Fred Hembeck, Mark Evanier, Marv Wolfman or Herb Trimpe. You might even see Kent Kotal from Forgotten Hits or the good folks from This Is Pop Culture. Who knows maybe even Peter Noone will show up. You may even see someone from the Monkees Fan Club or Micky, Mike, Peter orDavy may show up. There is my wife bringing in the cake now. Everyone to the dining room for refreshments and thanks for reading this on line magazine of my thoughts, hobbies and stories and thanks to all the new friends that I have made from this site.

The Forgotten Hits Interview with Peter Noone Part Four

With permission from Kent Kotal/ Forgotten Hits/the60sShop here is part four of the interview with Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. To subscribe to FORGOTTEN HITS, which is a great newsletter if you are like me and into music of the 60's, you can e-mail them at Here is part four of the series.

My conversation with PETER NOONE continues today in FORGOTTEN HITS ...

HITS: As a bit of a chart-aholic, I find it somewhat offensive that HERMAN'S HERMITS are often discounted when recounting the big British Invasion bands of the day ... you ALWAYS hear about THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES, THE KINKS, THE WHO, THE HOLLIES, THE DAVE CLARK FIVE ... yet the TRUTH is that HERMAN'S HERMITS had (in MANY cases) MORE hits than many of these other bands ... and, in fact, some early HERMITS material was later covered by artists later considered to be more significant like THE YARDBIRDS and THE HOLLIES!
PETER NOONE: This is because Allen Klein THINKS he owns the product and, as he hates music, he has trodden and traded down the works of not only my band but also the genius of Sam Cooke and anyone else he and his family have decided to steal from to pay for their lifestyle. My revenge is to have a happy life and denounce this fraudulent family at every occasion to the point that people think it is a personal vendetta, but I love my life and I bet his family will pay for their fraud one day. Every time someone asks to use a Herman's Hermits song in a movie (eg Naked Gun), I have to go and recreate the music and nothing can beat the original vibe and Allen owns it and hides it. Ever hear a Sam Cooke song in a movie? One of the greatest songs of all time, "A CHANGE IS GONNA COME" is never heard. How about all the other stuff he owns, like the CAMEO / PARKWAY tracks. His son and daughter now operate the catalogue in the same vein as their crooked father and one day bad things will surely befall them! (Scumbags!) You would think they would at least ask for permission to re-release all our stolen work, and one day the lawyers we throw money at to get these scum will expose them for who and what they are. I use them as an example to my daughter (who is also intent on being in the music business) of what she should avoid, and to try to always act honestly, unlike them.

HERMAN'S HERMITS seemed to have been more popular here in The States than they were back at home in England, scoring 18 STRAIGHT TOP 40 HITS!!! (And 13 of those made The National Top Ten!!!) Any thoughts on why that may have been?
PN: Not true ... We had far more hits in the UK. Check your facts. This is a theme developed by 16 Magazine and other irrelevant newspapers like Rolling Stone.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out the HERMAN'S HERMITS HIT LIST at the end of today's mailing ... you'll see just how popular these guys really were!!! And, you can see for yourself just how many hits they had ... and just how BIG those hits were ... here in The States!!!)

PN: The idea that we were more popular in the US than in the UK is totally preposterous and was probably something somebody who warleked at Rolling Stone Magazine said so it became gospel along with all the other nonsense they wrote, incidentally excluding Herman's Hermits totally as if we never existed. I went to Jan Wenner's office once and was thrilled to see he had a broken Pete Townsend guitar on his wall which is the closest he will ever get to being a musician, no matter how much money his mum gave him.

(After compiling the list ... and sending it to PETER ... we covered some of the specifics)
FH: I said earlier that HERMAN'S HERMITS had more hits in America than Great Britain ... in truth, it appears to be a bit of a wash. HERMAN'S HERMITS' original popularity lasted a couple more years in Great Britain than it did here in The States ... but, song for song, our countries were pretty evenly matched. But THREE of your songs that went all the way to #1 here in The States were never even released as singles back home!!! Yet they're now amongst your most popular and well-known material. What were your thoughts at the time regarding DIFFERENT singles being released in America vs. what was being released back home?
PN: We made records. Some of them were decidedly more likely to hit the US charts than others. We had hits everywhere in the world and we lived for hit records. I never really worried much about the UK and always wanted to live in the US as an Englishman and become Terry Thomas.

FH: HERMAN'S HERMITS came along at a time when so many of the British bands were writing their own material yet most of the music you released was written by professional songwriters ... and some VERY big names at that. CAROLE KING and GERRY GOFFIN wrote I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD ... P.F. SLOAN wrote A MUST TO AVOID ... even some of the early cover tunes (like SILHOUETTES and SAM COOKE's WONDERFUL WORLD) were decidedly American. Then you hooked up with some of Britain's most prolific songwriters. (GRAHAM GOULDMAN wrote LISTEN PEOPLE, EAST WEST and NO MILK TODAY along with several hits for other British Invasion bands like BUS STOP for THE HOLLIES ... which, if I'm not mistaken, HERMAN'S HERMITS actually recorded first. He then went on to record some of his own material as part of 10cc.) GEOFF STEPHENS (who later wrote WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL) wrote THERE'S A KIND OF HUSH and SUNSHINE GIRL. Was this a conscious transition ... once you were established ... to record the works of British songwriters? You then also worked with RAY DAVIES of THE KINKS (DANDY) and DONOVAN LEITCH (MUSEUM, another one of my favorites.) What was that like? Again, how was this material presented to you? And what was the selection process? Did you have any input as to which tracks would be released as singles?
PN: We recorded every song we could play. There may be 500 horrid recordings sitting in a vault somewhere. We recorded hundreds of songs. We were studio rats. We did them, we threw them away, we polished them, we tried different things with all of them. Some were better than others. At first it was me and The Hermits but after it was discovered that Barry the drummer had a studio problem (time) rather than replace him, (he was a friend and a nice bloke) we used The Hermits less and less, and unfortunately, Mickie Most and I discovered the process was faster if not as much fun and we stupidly left The Hermits out of all the decisions causing them to hate us and I think rightfully so, but in my callousness of youth I thought little of other people's feelings and destroyed my friendships in the name of super success, none of which I regret sadly enough, because the recordings are of the moment and I was in the moment and The Hermits weren't. At the time I mean. And, at the time, Donovan was in top form ... Ray Davies always was. We loved them and they tolerated us, because we were kids!

FH: It's no secret that THE HERMITS did not play on most of your studio recordings but rather "reproduced" those sounds on the road. Your "studio band" consisted of the EARLIEST stages of half of future headbanger rock and rollers LED ZEPPELIN. What do you remember about working with JIMMY PAGE? (This guy was playing on virtually EVERYTHING as a studio musician at the time!) When I tell people that the classic guitar riff that runs throughout SILHOUETTES was probably played by the legendary JIMMY PAGE, they cannot believe it!!! Also, what was the connection between FOR YOUR LOVE, HERMAN'S HERMITS and THE YARDBIRDS? (If I'm not mistaken, ERIC CLAPTON was THE YARDBIRDS' guitarist at the time of FOR YOUR LOVE ... and, reportedly, even quit the band over their trying "too pop" a tune at the time!)
PN: The Hermits played on the songs that they played well on. Sometimes (sometimes) other musicians played on tracks, mostly because the band's weakness was our drummer (the nicest guy in the band and therefore irreplaceable) because he had pretty unusual time and was therefore un-overdubbable (my word) so we started using Clem Cattini (Tornadoes) and Jim Page (Yardbirds), John Paul Jones, Herbie Flowers and whoever was around at the time. Lek is the guitarist on For Your Love so you can see he was very good. Eric, I think, quit the Yardbirds because they had no work. You guys really need to understand the financial side of being a rock star in the '60s. I think the Yardbirds got 30 quid a night.

FH: So, can you confirm then, once and for all, if JIMMY PAGE is the one who played the guitar riff on your original version of SILHOUETTES?
PN: Jim played on Silhouettes and Wonderful World and, once Karl Green faded, he was replaced on ALL the recordings by John Paul Jones, who also arranged almost everything and was our genius.

And there you have it ... right from the horse's mouth, as it were ... that IS JIMMY PAGE doing the cool little guitar licks on SILHOUETTES!!! More to come tomorrow in FORGOTTEN HITS!

P.S. We'll feature THE HERMITS' original version of FOR YOUR LOVE as a "Bonus Track" at the end of this special series.



I'm Into Something Good (USA-7/Cash Box; CHI-
1, UK-1)
Show Me Girl (USA-xx; CHI-xx; UK-19)

Can't You Hear My Heartbeat (USA-
1/Cash Box; CHI-3; UK-xx)
Silhouettes (USA-5/Billboard & Cash Box; CHI-
1; UK-3)
Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter (USA-
1/Billboard & Cash Box; CHI-1; UK-xx)
Wonderful World (USA-4/Billboard; CHI-3; UK-7)
I'm Henry The VIII, I Am (USA-
1/Billboard & Cash Box; CHI-2; UK-xx)
Just A Little Bit Better (USA-7/Billboard; CHI-2; UK-15)

A Must To Avoid (USA-6/Cash Box; CHI-5; UK-6)
Listen People (USA-3/Billboard & Cash Box; CHI-3; UK-xx)
You Won't Be Leaving (USA-xx; CHI-xx; UK-20)
Leaning On The Lamp Post (USA-8/Cash Box; CHI-9; UK-xx)
This Door Swings Both Ways (USA-10/Cash Box; CHI-9; UK-18)
Dandy (USA-5/Billboard; CHI-6; UK-xx)
East, West (USA-15/Cash Box; CHI-7; UK-37)

There's A Kind Of Hush (USA-3/Cash Box; CHI-2; UK-7)
No Milk Today (USA-33/Cash Box; CHI-xx; UK-7 in 1966)
Don't Go Out Into The Rain (USA-13/Cash Box; CHI-22; UK-xx)
Museum (USA-21/Cash Box; CHI-28; UK-xx)

I Can Take Or Leave Your Loving (USA-21/Cash Box; CHI-16; UK-11)
Sleepy Joe (USA-54/Cash Box; CHI-xx; UK-12)
Sunshine Girl (USA-82 / Cash Box; CHI-xx; UK-8)
The Most Beautiful Thing In My Life (USA-131 / Billboard; CHI-xx; UK-xx)
Something's Happening (USA-130 / Billboard; CHI-xx; UK-6)

My Sentimental Friend (USA-xx; CHI-xx; UK-2)
Here Comes The Star (USA-xx; CHI-xx; UK-33)

Years May Come, Years May Go (USA-xx; CHI-xx; UK-7)
Bet Yer Life I Do (USA-xx; CHI-xx; UK-23)
Lady Barbara (USA-xx; CHI-xx; UK-13)

Can you believe that THREE of
HERMAN'S HERMITS' Biggest #1 Hits here in America were NEVER released as singles back home in the U.K.?!?!?!!! Incredibly, it's true ... British teens NEVER had a chance to buy CAN'T YOU HEAR MY HEARTBEAT, MRS. BROWN, YOU'VE GOT A LOVELY DAUGHTER or I'M HENRY THE VIII, I AM on 45s!!!