Sunday, January 06, 2008

You've Got a Friend: Classic Heartthrobs on MySpace, Vol. 1

No milk today: Herman's Hermits perform the Graham Gouldman classic in glorious black and white. (Click image to view video.)

Ladies, let's be honest--if you were once a 12 year old girl with a raging crush on a pop star and a wild imagination, you had that "celebrity pen pal" fantasy. You know the one--you'd write this amazing fan letter, a letter that would somehow reach him as he lounged by the pool, resting between photo sessions for 16 Magazine and those breezy recording sessions they showed on sitcoms, where the singer waltzed into the booth, sang the whole thing in one take, and waltzed on out again.

After a few heartfelt letters back and forth, you'd send your photo (of course, by then he'd be so hypnotized by your devoted prose that the Olan Mills image of 12-year-old you, braces gleaming, by a cheesy wooden fence backdrop would detract not at all from your inner beauty) and your phone number (praying that your bratty brother wouldn't answer the phone) and when he next did a concert in your town, he'd call, you'd meet! On to that other 12-year-old girl fantasy, the Vegas wedding and the honeymoon in Hawaii...

Ahem. Not that I'd know anything about all that, of course, as I was busy reading my own fan mail. I was my neighborhood's homegrown Brooke Shields at 12!*

Fast forward to today--did we have any way of knowing that, through modern technology, we could become the "friend" of our favorite Hermit/Brady/New Kid with one touch of a button? These guys may not be topping the charts these days, but plenty of your favorite TV and transistor boyfriends have found a home on MySpace, where the music's still rockin', the concert halls are gratifyingly full, and for some of the fans, the "celebrity pen pal" dream lives on in glittery, animated 21st century style. First up--the legendary Peter Noone.

Hermans Hermits starring Peter Noone

What few of Peter Noone's screaming fans knew back in the mid-60s was that there was an incredible British wit (and lots of show business smarts) behind the twinkling blue eyes and shaggy blond hair. Add "internet savvy" to the mix and you've got a recipe for an ongoing party. Peter's website,, is an absolute joy to browse, and his blog is a must not to avoid, unless you're swearing off giggles for the new year. His MySpace is characteristically busy, lighthearted and businesslike, with handy links to his online store, where some pretty cool stuff awaits. (Unfortunately, the link to one of their very best albums, 1967's must-hear Blaze, doesn't work at all, but it's still listed at Amazon--I have this one on vinyl and if you like their later sound, you'll love it on the bonus-track-filled CD.)

Some of Peter's MySpace friends: Alice Cooper, the GooGoo Dolls, Blake Lewis (American Idol runner-up last year)

Best Hermits songs you don't hear on the radio any more: the splendid pop tune "Busy Line", "My Sentimental Friend" from 1969 (great deeper vocals, and check out that haircut.)

Grooviest clip by far: "Something Is Happening" from the Tom Jones Show, complete with very mod dollybirds in major hairpieces, flirting with the Hermits as they sing. (All that Dynel, and Karl Green still had the best hair on the stage.) Stick around for the little closer with Tom and Peter--Peter's marketing savvy is nothing new!

See him now: Your next chance to get that long-desired autograph (or just enjoy a great show), is January 12th, when Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone play the Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Sheboygan, WI (tickets available at Ticketmaster).

More heartthrobs soon--don't touch that dial...

*So not true.

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Anonymous Eu said...

I loved reading your blog. Your description of the 12 yr old fan... so true!! As one of Peter's "friends" (he has 4,636 at this time), I visit his myspace often. His original and most popular site, is amazing!

Eunice (Eu)

12:26 PM  
Blogger Groovy Saturday said...

Hi, Eu! Thanks for stopping in. I really, really enjoyed Peter's main site. So much of his witty personality shines through there--it was fun to discover that he is as much of a joy to read as a writer (and I imagine, to talk to) as he is to listen to as a singer. I had a hard time putting this short blog post together because I was distracted by so many great Peter Noone/Herman's Hermits clips, articles and photos--I'm a child of the 70s, so lots of it was new to me.

(And in the day of the internet, 12-year olds will never be so innocent about their idols. Those of us who grew up in the 60s/70s/early 80s really had a sweet, naive view of it all. It was fun!)

Oh, just to reiterate--12-year-old me bore no resemblance whatsoever to Brooke Shields, unless the fact that we were both carbon-based lifeforms constitutes "resemblance"...

Thanks again, Eu!

2:44 PM  
Anonymous LindaIA said...

I was one of those innocent 12 yr olds who dreamed of marrying my teen idol Herman. Little did I realize nearly 40 yrs later that I would get to meet Peter Noone. I agree with Eu that is a great place to meet other fans as well as keep up with Peter & his entertaining blogs.
Linda in Iowa

11:10 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

I really loved reading your blog!

I'm sooooo thankful that the internet has changed things too!

:) Cassie

11:20 PM  
Blogger Groovy Saturday said...

Hello, Linda and Cassie! I put in my Favorites this weekend--very fun and lively site. Linda, it's so cool that you finally got to meet your "fave rave"--that is always a joy, even when the meeting's nearly 40 years in the making.

And Cassie, I agree--the Internet has changed the whole fan/music-lover's experience in so many ways. Not to mention how easy it makes it to meet cool people who like the same stuff you do...

Thank you so much!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I dug those dos!

I love beehives!

They were to dy(nel) for.

I love the moves when they looked over the Hermits' head and shoulders. Lucky dudes.

Great Blog. I enjoyed it.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Groovy Saturday said...

Hey, Gary--I would be first in line to rock that 60s mod Dynel headgear if it ever comes back into style. Too cute! Thanks for dropping in.

4:55 PM  

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