In the beginning

Do you remember when you first became aware of rock music? Maybe you were so young that it was more pop than rock, but you get the idea.

My moment came in early 1964, when the Beatles took America by storm. My introduction came from the girls at Russell Boulevard Elementary School in Columbia, Missouri. It came almost as a taunt.

“She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.”

That got old pretty fast, especially when you are in first grade and you can’t figure out why all the girls are going so gaga over it. Like this.

Yet it wasn’t all that long before I heard something I liked so much that I learned the whole song. It was the summer of 1965. I was 7, maybe 8 by then. I must have heard it on one of the TV variety shows my dad so loved watching.

“I’m Henery the Eighth I am, Henery the Eighth I am, I am.”

You get the idea. A song that’s easy for a kid to learn and sing over and over.

Peter Noone came to town earlier this year, playing an outstanding Herman’s Hermits show. Our tiny casino lounge was jam-packed. The overflow crowd snaked out around the slot machines. A woman standing in front of me fanned herself with a copy of 16 magazine from November 1965. This one.

I hope Noone signed it for her. Autographs aren’t my thing, and there were plenty of the faithful on hand, so I didn’t stay for a meet-and-greet. Besides, my night was made when we got to sing along. I’ve known the words for 45 years.

“I’m Henery the Eighth I am, Henery the Eighth I am, I am.”

Ever since that night, I’ve been keeping an eye out for a good Herman’s Hermits record. I found one the other day.

“I’m Henry VIII, I Am,” Herman’s Hermits, from “Herman’s Hermits On Tour,” 1965. This is their second American release. It’s out of print. The song is available on “Herman’s Hermits: Their Greatest Hits,” a 1990 CD release, and digitally.


Filed under October 2011, Sounds

4 responses to “In the beginning

  1. Dane

    Thanks for this one. Love it but somehow didn’t have it. I think the first rock and roll song I ever loved was by either Wings or ELO. I would have been pretty small.

  2. I’ll have to pull the HH album out of the stacks and see what’s on it besides “Henry.” I got it for a birthday present in 1965 or 1966, and I think it’s still in very good shape. As to the first R&R song/record I loved, I’d guess it was the Beatles’ cover of Chuck Berry’s “Rock & Roll Music” from “Beatles ’65.” But it was years, unhip as I was, before I woud love another one: “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In.”

  3. Terry Anderson

    Funny, I’ve got that HH same record. Inherited it somewhere along the line. I can’t say I ever actually listened to it. But I know what you’re saying about the girls. I first heard the Beatles in 7th grade at Elston Jr. High, when Dorothy Byrd and Linda Allen convinced our music teacher Mr. Horn (yes, that’s correct) to turn off the Sound of Music, South Pacific and The Music Man and play the Beatles. My theory then and now: If girls like it, I like it. So shortly after watching Linda and Dorthy dance to the Beatles I went out and bought a 45 that had Please Mr. Postman and All My Loving, Still like those two songs.

  4. The first song that I can remember being cuckoo over was King Harvest’s “Dancing In The Moonlight” when I was four.

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