Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone at The Des Plaines Theater: A night of music and fun

Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone at The Des Plaines Theater: A night of music and fun

I’m Henry the eighth I am
Henry the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She’s been married seven times before

And every one was an Henry
She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam)
I’m her eighth old man, I’m Henry
Henry the eighth I am

More than fifty years ago, my Dad decided he was going to visit some of his cousins. He did this regularly so there was nothing strange about this. But, what happened next was the strange part. He grabbed my younger siblings, went to a cousin’s house and grabbed a couple of kids from there. Then they all went to another cousin’s home and serenaded them with the above song, “I’m Henry the VIII I Am”, from the English band, Herman’s Hermits.

I don’t know why my father picked this tune. He wasn’t interested in rock/pop music. He certainly didn’t like the music the bands of the British Invasion brought to America. But, I guess there was something about this tune. It’s cute and catchy. The words are easy to remember. In fact, I didn’t need to Google the lyrics for this. They’ve been seared into my brain since 1965. More than anything else, the song is fun. The fun is why the people involved still tell that story almost six decades later. The fun is why the leader of the band, Peter Noone, is still performing. The fun is why people are still going to see him perform.

The concert on Saturday night was fairly predictable. They played all the hit songs you remember from your youth. The show starts with “I’m Into Something Good” and “Wonderful World.” It closes with “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter”, ‘Henry’ and “There’s A Kind of Hush.” In between, you’ll hear covers of tunes by The Monkees, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and even Johnny Cash, because you need to have enough material to fill a ninety-minute program.

You’ll also get some stories and comedic bits. Peter jests about dreaming of always wanting to play in Des Plaines. He did the same joke more than a decade ago when he played at an art festival in Highland Park.

One thing I did find interesting was how well Noone’s voice has held up. He sounds the same at age seventy-four as he did when these songs were popular.

So while a Noone/Hermits concert isn’t going to break new ground musically, it is an hour and a half of memories and fun. There’s nothing wrong with that….nothing at all.

H-E-N-R-Y
Henry (Henry) Henry (Henry)
Henry the eighth I am, I am
Henry the eighth I am

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