Karl Green was 11 years old when he began playing in a group called the "Heartbeats." They were playing in the Manchester youth clubs and doing quite well for an amateur beat group. Then the lead singer left the group causing a big problem - or did it?
The boy that asked to fill the vacancy was a young lad with blondish-brown hair and big blue eyes. His name was Peter Noone. After several changes, Karl and Pete were the only two left from the original line up, but the five personalities that wound up together "adopted" sons, Pete, Lek, Keith Barry - Herman's Hermits!
Karl's mum, Mrs. Green, has had a wonderful time watching the boys work their way up from an unknown Manchester rock group to a worldwide pop attraction! She bubbles with enthusiasm when she talks about her son Karl, and her four "adopted" sons, Pete Lek, Keith and Barry!
She recalls, "Karl has been bringing boys in groups home since he was 11 years old. The Hermit's used to practice at our house.
"Karl brought Pete home when he was going on 15. My first recollection of Pete is in thinking how much he looked like your last President, Mr. John F. Kennedy! Of course, his hair wasn't as long then They used to fill the house with their laughing and joking!"
She particularly remembers how much determination and drive the five boys had as a group. "They used to tell themselves that one day they would make it big. I'm afraid I didn't always have as much faith as they had, but they were a happy group and always enjoyed their work."
Mrs. Green never minded Karl playing part time in a band, because she felt it gave him plenty to do in his spare time. But when he wanted to quit his job and become a professional, she became very doubtful. "I never opposed him and he and I have discussed this often, but I could see he was dead set on being a Hermit! We had always been strict with him when he was young about his school work. I made him do his guitar practice before he went out anywhere. Then as he got older and when he was in the group, he was allowed to do lots of things that most boys his age weren't able to do."
Did the boys' "long hair" bother her at first? "Yes, very much," she confides. "As a matter of fact it is about the only thing Karl and I used to fall out over. I was conscious of what people said about boys with long hair. It doesn't
bother me now because I know so many nice boys who wear their hair long."
Mrs. Green says that Karl and Pete sometimes double date, but she's not always certain where they go. There are many clubs in Manchester where lots of groups and singers meet and she says they often visit those places.
Whenever she sees the boys on TV she is very proud. "I am still a little nervous every time a new record comes out and I get flubbers in my stomach while waiting for them on television."
When the five made their first movie in Hollywood last fall, they each brought their parents over for a California holiday. Mrs. Green considers this the greatest thing that has ever happened to her "except when Karl was born !" She never dreamed she would visit America; and Disneyland, Marineland and the MGM studios, were only a few of the fabulous places she was able to see. She was especially excited over the trips to the studio to watch the filming!
When Karl's home he loves to ride horses and would like to own one of his own. Other activities include photography, watching TV, cooking offbeat meals for himself, and visiting friends and relatives.
How has Karl's success changed his mum's life? "I have met more people and made friends with the other boys' parents. I must be prepared now to let the fans come and look at Karl's room. People know me because their teenage children point me out, but more or less I carry on as before."
Karl has just bought her a lovely home with a large garden. His room in the new house has sage green walls and gray carpets. He has his gold records on the wall and all his presents from fans on shelves.
The souvenirs he's collected from all over the world adorn the room. A reindeer skin covers one wall and there are large windows overlooking the garden. Incidently, Mrs. Green confides that "he wants to paint the ceiling black!"
A lot has happened to the "Heartbeat" guitarist who began working quite by accident with a boy named Pete. Mrs. Green says, "I sometimes can't believe it's really true."
If there are still some doubts, there are millions of Herman's Hermits' fans that can verify the fact any day!
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