Herman’s Hermits

our 11th anniversary, to be exact!  September 16th, which fell on a saturday this year.  so hard to believe that it’s been 11 years…

after  i’d seen herman’s hermits at the IL state fair in august, kevin revealed that he was a huge fan!  so i’m still learning new things about him…

i looked up all the places where the group was going to be playing, and the closest spot was somewhere outside of Indianapolis, a place called the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.  it was yet another free concert, but hmm, a casino?  what would that be like?

kevin was all for it, so i booked a hotel – it was neat that the show what the night of our anniversary.

but a casino, hmm?

it was an enormous place and we weren’t knocked over by cigarette smoke when we arrived in the late afternoon to check it out.  and there was the band, rehearsing!   well, everybody but Peter Noone, anyway.  i wish i’d taken a couple more photos; i thought it was funny that they all looked so cool, every one of them all in black.  i guess that’s what they wear when they’re just hanging out?

but here’s the bad thing about this location – this giant column filled with TV screens!  are you kidding me?  there were some tables on either side of the stage, but if Peter Noone was standing center stage, he’d be looking at all the TVs.  we toyed with the idea of staying there til the show started, but it wasn’t even five o’clock and the show wasn’t til nine.

we checked into our hotel down the road and when we got back to the casino a little after 7:00 it was more crowded with many gamblers, many of whom were smoking.  as we got to the stage area we realized that one entire side of the seating was blocked off for “VIPs.”  oh brother.  i talked to a guy who told me that if i came back at 8:00, we might be able to get one of these tables.

I kept buzzing back and forth, and meanwhile i stopped at the sandwich place there in the casino to get us some dinner.  i ordered, and when i walked down to the end of the counter to wait for the food, i looked back…and there was Peter Noone!  ordering food, along with one of the band members; i figure this guy must be in charge.

it was cool to see him but also kind of disheartening; shouldn’t peter be in some special room somewhere having a nice meal and a glass of wine?  or his beverage of choice?  as i waited, they eventually made their way over to where i was standing but peter didn’t make eye contact and sort of ambled far enough away so that i wouldn’t accost him.  i did tell the other guy that i was looking forward to the concert, and said i’d just seen them at the IL state fair.  he smiled and then looked a little startled, saying, “oh, you mean just recently?”  i said yes.

and that’s my very exciting Peter Noone encounter.

I hurried back to a table we’d picked out – all the good tables near the stage were gone, and we were sitting on a lower level, but we could still see OK.  but i went to the VIP section and stood around and a guy was going to let me sit down but it was right in the very front.  hmm, would kevin want to be right in front?  i rushed back to him, and no, he didn’t, so we stayed where we were.

it was a good show, but just too bad that the venue wasn’t better.

i did, however, get  some good video of the song “leaning on the lamp post.”  it’d videotaped this at the previous show but the glare on the album cover was too great.

that’s an old album of his; at the fair, somebody handed it up to him, but at the casino he leaned down and picked it up saying “somebody must have left this here.”  always prepared.

in this song he walked all around and people loved that.

that’s the guy who was helping Peter order a sandwich, the keyboard guy.  peter got more into his groove as the night wore on, despite the bank of televisions…

…but i felt compelled to videotape this tv as this song was playing.

the crowd really went crazy during the finale, “I’m Henry the eighth, I am.”  but for much of the evening the biggest thing i could see was this guy’s shiny balding head.

i won’t include that song here again, especially because i have only recently gotten it out of my brain and hope that it stays away, at least for a while.

it was definitely a memorable anniversary evening, one that we won’t forget.  but actually, we really had fun the next day, sunday, when we stopped at Turkey Run State Park on our way home.

more later…

ok then,

mrs. recuperating more slowly than i’d like hughes.



whew, i can’t say what happened to september, but i finally have a few photos and clips of the great and free show at the grandstand at the IL state fair.

Bev wanted to see herman’s hermits and i figured, why not.  we didn’t have a plan, really, and were hot and tired by the time 7:00 rolled around, but we decided to walk to the grandstand and see what was what.

there wasn’t a huge crowd at first, and we found seats between the grandstand and the track.  pretty good seats!  we felt very young, because most of the audience was quite a bit older.  bev had listened to herman’s hermits when she was a little kid, but he was before my time.

they started performing when peter was only 15!  incredible, because now he’s 70, still getting up there and performing a great show.  his voice is still fantastic, he had lots of energy and was so funny and entertaining.

here’s where we sat for the first half hour.


this is a little part of the first song.  so good!

there were big screens on either side of the stage, which was nice for the people who were farther back, except the screen on one side was partially blocked by some big something.

at one point Peter mentioned that folks in illinois probably wanted to hear country music, and proceeded to sing johnny cash’s “ring of fire.”  he sounded just like him!

of course everybody had their phones out, recording and taking photos.

the show had started at 7:30 and by 8:00 i’d gotten a second wind.  down on the track there wasn’t such a huge crowd and i talked Bev into heading down there.  we managed to easily get about 20 feet from the stage, which was awesome.

this is the only good close-up i have, which is too bad because he was usually smiling.

he sang so many good songs, and then sang one where he inserted the words “illinois state fair” into the lyrics.  very clever, but i don’t know what the song was.

This is near the end of the show,  a bit of “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

Finally, his incredibly popular song “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.”  i haven’ been able to shake this ditty out of my brain ever since we saw the performance. there are worse things that could be stuck there, but i fear that it will never go away.

And this is so funny, here’s the band on the Ed Sullivan show, June 16th, 1965.  I’m sure that he had no idea he’d still be singing it 52 years later.

i am simply amazed by this man’s stamina.  what an entertaining end to our day at the fair!

i came home and told Kevin all about it, and it turns out that kevin is a big fan.  I immediately looked up shows online, and they were going to play at a place called the Indiana Grand Casino & Racetrack on Sept. 16th, our 11th anniversary.  Kevin thought it was a good idea that we take a drive to see them, so that’s just what we did.

eventually i’ll have a few videos up here about that experience; it was a memorable way to spend our anniversary, although the venue wasn’t as good as the big grandstand at the fair.

ok then,

mrs. approaching the end of september although right now it feels like the middle of sweltering august hughes.’