Q&A with Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits


We recently sat down with Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits to learn more about him, his expansive career and tried to get the answer to "who is Mrs. Brown's daughter?" See him perform at The Northern Lights Theater January 23 & 24, 2014 at 8 p.m. 

Potawatomi Bingo Casino: How do you feel Herman's Hermits fit into the British invasion of the 1960's? Tell us about being a musician during this exciting period in music history.
Peter Noone:

I think we were a large part of what you would call the British invasion, but in England was known as the Beat Boom. In the USA Herman's Hermits came right after the Beatles and the Dave Clark 5 and just before the Rolling Stones. We outsold even the Beatles in 1965 and were the biggest selling recording act in the world in 1965 and 1966.


Everyone in the British Invasion was unique, and we all had different musical themes. The Beatles are not like the Stones and are not like Herman's Hermits because in order to succeed in England one had to be different and have one's own personal style. I chose to be the perfect English cheeky chappie, which was not a stretch for me and, of course, the Stones chose to be the bad boys. The Beatles went into the studio and became a recording act only. We all knew each other as England was a very small music scene and being a musician was being one of the boys in a very small boys club; girls in the music business back there were protected from musicians as well they should be.


Although we all didn't like each other's music, we knew we were members of a gang and all we wanted was to play the Cavern, the Oasis, the Locarno in Liverpool and one day get to see the USA. Some of us got to do it. I was 16 or 17 when I got back to England all the other bands would ask questions about how we did it and what they should do to get similarly successful. Each US tour we would bring our favorite English group on tour animals. Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders, The Who and The Hollies all toured the USA for the first time on our tours. We are proud of our good taste in music and friends!


Potawatomi: What was it like being a pioneer in Rock 'n Roll at such a young age and how has it sculpted your life?


I am not a pioneer at all. I went on this magical ride. I got four friends to join me in a musical adventure that required quitting their real jobs and going ALL IN. We left home in a van with everything we owned and set off on a trip. We made a record and got fired. We made another one and it was a number one ("I'm into Something Good"). I still am in the van.


Potawatomi: This is probably a question you've fielded numerous times in the past, but we are dying to know—who is Mrs. Brown's daughter?

She was called Wendy Silverman and her dad was a cantor, but I still went around to her house and talked to her mother. I changed the names to protect the guilty as charged!


Potawatomi: Your career has spanned decades, but of all your songs, do you have a favorite, and why does it stand out as special?

I like “I’m into Something Good” and “There's a Kind of Hush,” as they are sort of the beginning and the end. I think my biggest asset has always been my ability to outlive the competition - not a dead joke - as in a race, I will always try to win it. 


Potawatomi: You have a tremendous portfolio of work to choose from, but what can fans expect from your upcoming shows this month?

Two things they can be sure of, is that I will not use the words 'work' or 'portfolio' to describe my activities. I am honest on stage and am unafraid to show you my weaknesses - but not my tattoos.


Potawatomi: You’ve played Milwaukee in the past. What is it about playing here that keeps you coming back?

Right from the first trip to the USA in early 1965, Milwaukee and Wisconsin have always been the best audiences for our music and comedy. Also, I was once married to Shirley from Laverne and Shirley and she told me all about you!


Potawatomi: What are you listening to now?
Noone: Today is ZZ TOP day. Every day I listen to one person all day. I did Roy Orbison yesterday and Bob Dylan for a couple of days because he has so much material. I recommend to everyone to load one person’s material into their music player iPhone thingy-bob and give the whole day up to that person’s artistry. Tomorrow is Don Williams!