Dick Clark, Herman's Hermits, and the All Star Caravan stormed into Cville Monday night, May 10th, for the greatest musical show ever presented in our town's history.
With 15 big acts booked in the show, the M/C News Reporter could not cover a story on all of them, and so this exclusive story will give you all the details of his coverage of HERMAN'S HERMITS, the sensational group from Liverpool, England, led by 16 year old Peter (Herman) Noone, and with his four exceptionally fine musicians: Derek Leckenby, lead guitar; Karl Green, bass guitar; Keith Hopwood, rhythm guitar; and Barry Whitwam, drummer.
Most of the All Star cast arrived from Ashland, Ky., at the Holiday Inn between 4 & 5 a.m., on Monday, including Dick Clark, Billy Stewart, a couple of the Ikettes, and several others were up and about the swimming pool at 9 a.m., with Billy taking the first dip.
By noon time, the big question around town was, "Where are Herman's Hermits?"
But, there were stars enough for every fan who showed up at the Holiday Inn for a look at, autograph, or interview. Jon Ardinger of Hawkeye Camera Center was on hand early in the afternoon for some fine color photos of the many stars.
Later in the afternoon, Herman's Hermits arrived in town, and were whisked away by a local radio DJ, to another motel, unknown to hundreds seeking their location.
The local radio DJ agreed to take an M/C news reporter, and Hawkeye photographer Jon Ardinger to visit with Herman's Hermits.
The "secret hideaway" turned out to be the Vacation Motor Hotel in New Providence, rooms 43, 44 and 45.
Upon arrival at the motel, Herman was "taking a dip" in the pool, while the others had already been in, and were either dressing or eating.
Jon Ardinger had his camera loaded with color film, and took many fine, exclusive shots of the group, and individuals. They are on display at Hawkeye Camera Center on Riverside Drive.
What do the Hermits do while waiting for their show? First off, they were most pleasant to talk with, to sign autographs, and pose for photos. Mostly, they played records on their new record player, and as a side note, Herman likes to play them good and loud, and usually joins in the singing, whether one of their records or some one else's. They talked about hit tunes, those coming up the charts, and those going down. Herman stated that their name, Herman's Hermits, comes from the character on the Bullwinkle TV Show - Karl Green, the left-handed bass guitarist, munched on cashew nuts, peanuts, potato chips while drinking a coke. Dave Lee Travis, their travelling manager, kept up with the bills, and kept the Hermits on their schedules - they traveled in a maroon station wagon with Ohio license tags, accompanied by Sandy Moore, their U.S. Travel Manager. Herman made several suit changes before deciding which to wear for the first show. Herman and his Hermits were made official reporters for the M/C News.
Derek Leckenby, lead guitarist; Barry Whitwam, drummer; and Keith Hopwood, rhythm guitarist, went out for something to eat after having a swim. Karl Green relaxed on the bed most of the time, signing autographs from time to time. Herman also signed autographs, and removed several Herman's Hermits photos from his suitcase, autographed one and gave them to the M/C News Reporter. Herman also talked on the telephone to Ellyn Bousman, and Venita Kramer, students at Roosevelt School
The room was almost a mess, with suitcases, clothes, guitars, records, record jackets, coke bottles, paper, peanut cans and practically everything else scattered to the four winds. The new record player took up most of the top of the dresser, and was playing constantly.
As show time neared, they changed from blue jeans and or slacks, into sharply tailored suits. Dave Lee, with the goatee, was in and out of the room requently "getting things organized and on time". On schedule, they posed for several group pictures before getting into their station wagon and leaving for the National Guard Armory.
And what a show it was! Playing in the non-air-conditioned armory, before a standing room only crowd of approx. 5,000 screaming fans, with a public address system that left much to be desired, Dick Clark, MC, and George McCannon, acting as stage manager, gave the fans the greatest show of talent ever to hit this town!! Top talent thrilled young and old for two rolling, rocking, rhythm packed hours.
About 15 minutes before they were to go on, Herman's Hermits arrived back stage, and went into the show's chartered bus, to avoid the rain which was falling, and await their time. More police were brought back stage, and in front of the stage inside, to keep order.
Make no mistake about it - THIS WAS THE NIGHT FOR HERMAN'S HERMITS! As they were introduced by Dick Clark, the screams and shouts must have raised the roof for five full minutes, and they continued the uproar throughout the smash performance of the Hermits, until the last number, when Herman invited the audience to join him in singing "Mrs. Brown, You Have A Lovely Daugher", and the crowd loved it.
Two interesting side notes of activities between the two shows - Dick Clark refused to sign autographs, and also refused to let photographers take his picture, even though he was not occupied at the time.
The second show did not have quite as many present as the first, but they were just as excited and thrilled by the performances as the first audience.
Was it a good show? Ask any of the approx. 8,000 who saw it!! They loved it! If screams were a dollar each, there would be enough to pay off the national debt, and send 3 men to the moon next week, and that's some screaming! And if shows of this top talent came again, they'd pack them in, and raise that armory roof another six inches with their enthusiasm. It was a great night. See you at the next show!