Arts and Music Festival Sunday Hippie-era heartthrobs Herman’s Hermits headline

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you probably didn’t grow up listening to Herman’s Hermits. But you are probably well aware of the band from the “(Something Tells Me) I’m into Something Good” video in Naked Gun, or Howard Stern’s spoof of “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” or even the “Rock of Ages” episode of Married With Children, where a benefit for aging rock stars included Hermits frontman Peter Noone (along with other past Arts Fest headliners like Ritchie Havens and John Sebastian). In other words, when you hear about Herman’s Hermits, you probably crack a smile.

And like it or not, now that I mentioned “(Something tells me) I’m into Something Good,” you know you’re going to be humming it until Herman’s Hermits play it Sunday, May 1, when they headline the 2005 spring Hoboken Arts and Music Festival.

Humor has always been integral to the identity of the infectious ’60s pop group, from the time of their inception. “When we first started, the competition was the Beatles, and we didn’t want to be like them,” Noone said last week. “We chose to go the opposite of them. What people liked about Herman’s Hermits was that we did funny stuff. We chose a name that would sound silly so people would know we weren’t trying to be a boy band. We chose ‘Herman’ because we thought girls would never scream ‘Herman!’… but they did.”

Noone is the only original member still in the band – “The guitarist is dead, he doesn’t even return any of our calls,” he said – but he promises that they play the songs the way you remember. Old classics mixed with some self-deprecating humor.

“We do it as good as we were in 1964,” Noone said. “We try to make them sound like the records, which is a hard job. Lots of other bands change the arrangements. We try to take the energy and keep them as they were.”

Hundreds of vendors

Dozens of bands and hundreds of vendors will line the streets of Hoboken for the bi-annual tradition this weekend. Booths of artists and local organizations will be there, while people enjoy funnel cakes, shish kabobs, and all sorts of fried delicacies.

“I’ve been attending the ArtsFest for about five years now, and I love how diverse and interesting the performances are,” said Greg McLoughlin of Hoboken familiars Buzz Universe, who are playing their first Arts and Music Festival on the Sixth Street stage at 1 p.m. “Most of all, we love getting out of the bars and playing music for the public. There are so many great people in Hoboken, many of whom don’t go to bars.” Noone plans to get there early to soak in some of the tunes himself.

“I’ve never missed a band in my life. I’m still a music junkie,” said Noone. “When I was a kid, John Lennon and I went to see The Shadows. He said, you’ve got to go see every band. When I’m on tour and in a show, I find out who the openers are, and I watch them.”

In fact, Noone is very supportive of newer bands. The night before last week’s interview, he attended a show at the University of Santa Barbara.

New groups

“There is a load of good new guys,” said Noone. “It’s getting a bit punk again. I like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. Up music. I found the Clash to be like a comedy band. They make me laugh.”

Noone’s daughter Natalie, a student at the University of Santa Barbara, is waiting to be a part of the next wave of musicians, but she’s waiting until the time is right – the business right now is looking for the next Britney. “Every time she’s been offered a deal, she’s been asked, ‘Can you dance?’ Noone said. “She wants to be a musician, and wants to come out as herself.” Hoboken Arts & Music Festival

Sunday, May 1 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Washington Street between Observer highway and Seventh Street Sixth Street Stage

Noon to 12:45 p.m. John Sonntag
1 p.m – 1:45 p.m. Buzz Universe
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Verdict
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Martin Y Su Rico Tumbao with the The Dance Group “Bailatina” (will demonstrate Cuban style Salsa, partner dancing and in a circle)
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Raphael Cruz
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Zydecoal

Third Street Stage

Noon to 12:40 p.m. Dawn Allynne’s Silly Critter Talk
12:50 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Polka Dot
1:40 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. Dr. Planet
2:30 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. Dawn Allynne’s Silly Critter Talk
3:20 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Dr. Planet
4:10 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. Polka Dot
5:00 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. Drumming Circle
Observer Highway Stage

Noon to 12:30 p.m. Everlounge
12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Ice Wagon Flu
1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Cat Lingo featuring Julio Fernandez
2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Skanatra
3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Swingin Neckbreakers
4:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone


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