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Peter Noone, Davy Jones: A blast from the past

October 27, 2011 by  
Filed under davy, news feed


First meetings don’t get much more memorable than the one between the Monkees’ Davy Jones and Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits: During their initial encounter in 1967, Noone introduced Jones and his bandmates to The Beatles.

“I just happened to be with a couple of The Beatles at a TV show, and the Monkees were at another TV show, and I walked over with them,” said Noone. “I met Davy then, and I don’t believe I ever saw him again until the ’80s. Now, though, we do dates frequently, and it’s kind of a good little bill.”

Noone and Jones, icons of the 1960s English pop-rock era, will perform at the Ferguson Center for the Arts on Saturday.

During their performances, Jones mixes Monkees’ hits and signature solo numbers. Yes, “Brady Bunch” fans, “Girl” generally makes an appearance. Recent performances have found him delivering “Daddy’s Song,” an all-but-forgotten Harry Nilsson number buried on the soundtrack to the Monkees’ lone cinematic outing, “Head.”

Noone would love to follow suit and perform a few rarities of his own, but he’s found that fans tend to rebel if he shakes up the set list too much.

“I get fans who say, ‘Why don’t you ever do such-and-such a song?’ And I say, ‘Well, I’d have to drop one of the songs that sold millions,’?” Noone said.

“But, you know, you can’t drop ‘Henry the VIII, I Am,’ You can’t drop ‘Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,’ You can’t drop ‘I’m Into Something Good,’ You can’t drop ‘There’s a Kind of Hush,’ and it goes on and on and on. So I end up doing basically the 12 top-10 singles at every show.”

Although both originally hail from Manchester, England, Noone and Jones now spend the majority of their time in the States.

“There’s a limited amount of scope in England for showmen,” said Jones. “You’ve got a few summer venues that one can play, but it really closes down after that. A lot of entertainers headline in Christmas pantomimes or what have you, but there’s not much else. Peter, like myself, has been over in America for most of his career, so he’s pretty much Americanized, I guess. There can’t be any cities he hasn’t played, and I’m sure it’s the same with me.”

Noone agrees that both he and Jones are “Yankophiles,” but the reasons vary, he says.

“Davy’s been married to American women, and most men end up living where their wives want to live,” laughed Noone. “Which, as my wife is French, is why we lived in France for a while. … I have a little, tiny apartment in London, but I also have a very big family in England. My mum, my brother, my sister – they’re all still European, and the Noones are a close-knit clan, so we spend a lot of time with each other.”

Though they’ve each been entertaining audiences in one capacity or another for half a century now, both are confident their voices are stronger than ever. Noone credits his strength as a singer to lessons from voice coach Marge Rivingston, who has worked with Bette Midler and James Taylor, among others.

Jones chalks up his continued vocal abilities to maintaining a certain discipline on the road.

“When I did the concerts with the Monkees this past summer, I’d finish the show, do the meet-and-greet and talk to the people I had to talk to, and then I’d go directly to my hotel room, into the shower and then into my bed to relax and watch TV.

“In the old days, you’d get on the bus, you’d have a scotch or a beer. Now, you have a cup of tea. Preferably chamomile. Something with no caffeine in it. My voice is stronger, and I sing with more confidence than I ever have, but it’s only because I take care of myself.”

via Peter Noone, Davy Jones: A blast from the past | |

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