One Saturday in the 60’s while watching American Bandstand Herman’s Hermits made their first appearance on the show. I thought my heart rate was going to go through the roof the minute they walked on stage. Immediately after their performance I got on my CCM bike and rode to Lechauseur’s Appliance store on the Main Street of Cowansville, Quebec to purchase their record. In those days you found and bought your music between the Maytag Washing Machines and the Philco Televisions.
Mr. Lechauseur had only ordered one copy and he had placed it on the wall like some sort of trophy. When he saw me run into the store he teasingly held it up in the air while I tried to jump for it.
Placing my quarters on the counter I could not get that record home fast enough to play it on the Hi Fi. The next day I made a special Hermans’s Hermits scrapbook and cut out pictures I found of them in my Tiger Beat and 16 magazines. While reading 16 Magazine I found out he liked Shepherd’s Pie so I asked my grandmother to make it for me. The next day the casserole was sitting on the table and every single luscious bite made me feel closer to Peter Noone.
In April of 1965 I found out the band was coming to the Montreal Quebec Forum as part of the annual Dick Clark tour. Right away I tried to round up some of my friends to make the 45 mile journey and in less than 10 minutes we had our group. Somehow after many inquiries we ended up recruiting our math teacher to drive us there. I can’t remember exactly how we got him to do it, but it must have been one genius idea.
Our teacher told us to bring a lunch and my grandmother had packed me a large piece of shepherd’s pie. I had no idea what she placed in that container but had I known I would have passed. The quickly cold eaten Shepherd’s pie sat in my stomach like a rock and I had no idea if I should be sick or excited. As the opening act was getting ready to take stage I was getting sicker by the minute, and to top it off another problem reared its ugly head.
Fellow student Betty sat at the end of the row and would not let us scream with delight as she had promised the teacher there would be no trouble. I mean what is a teen idol concert without screaming and acting like bobble heads?
As Del Shannon began to sing and I yelled and stood up while I saw her motion me with her rather large finger to be quiet. When The Shangri-La’s appeared I was furious I had to sit there and be quiet like a nun. As The Zombies began their set I immediately stood up and cheered as she marched down the aisle and told me to be quiet. With that my upset stomach in prime form disputed Betty’s call with a large heave of Grammy Knight’s Shepherd pie on her fancy white shoes. Immediately I felt better just as Herman’s Hermit’s came on. Everyone got up, stomped and screamed and Betty no longer had jurisdictions on me because she was in the bathroom cleaning up.
When the concert was over I loved Peter Noone more than ever and on the drive home we sang Herman’s Hermit’s songs while Betty sulked in the corner. My grandmother was sitting on the verandah when they dropped me off and she told me she had prepared a snack for me if I was hungry. I ran into the kitchen and there sitting on the table was another large piece of shepherd’s pie.
Peter Noone had sang that night, “There was kind of a hush all over the world” and as I looked at it and years went by before I ever touched another bite of Shepherd’s Pie, but my love for Herman’s Hermits carried on.