While “Yesterday” will always be my favorite song and Paul McCartney my first true love, the summer of 1966 was one of great changes. At the ripe age of 13 my budding cynicism helped me realize that, though my love was pure, luring and keeping Paul as my own was an unattainable goal. I set my sites a tad lower and settled for the perfect boy next door, Peter Noone. Our great love affair was the theme of many nighttime dreams and quite a few daydreams as well. Davy Jones tried to sway me with “Daydream Believer” but my heart remained true to Peter.
Peter Noone Live at the Golden Nugget Casino in Biloxi, MS (Sat. Oct. 1, 2016)
I never really knew much about what happened to Peter in the 50 intervening years. Research reveals that he is still happily wed to the woman he married on his 21st birthday (November 5, 1968). The throngs of pubescent girls who loved him then must have been crushed. But this story is not about Peter, really. It’s about me.
Leslie (right) with her friends at the Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone concert in Biloxi, MS (Sat. Oct. 1, 2016)
We were as giddy as a gaggle of 63 year old women can get as the band walked out on the stage of the Golden Nugget casino’s Grand Ballroom. We were surrounded by a small sea of similar mindsets and ages. A group of ladies who call themselves Noonatics commanded the first few rows. And then it happened. Peter bounced out on the stage, flashing a smile that lit up the room, thanks to a small fortune in cosmetic dentistry. His blonde hair was perfectly coiffed and for an hour and fifteen minutes the rest of us basked in the delusion that we had aged just as gracefully.
Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone Live in Biloxi, MS (Sat. Oct. 1, 2016)
David Crosby is the only 60’s singer I’ve heard in recent years who can belt out tunes with the same clear, sweet sound of his youth. Peter comes a very close second. He sang almost all of his hits along with delightful renditions of The Monkees “Daydream Believer”, Freddy and the Dreamers “I’m Telling You Now”,Gerry and the Pacemakers “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and he even hit the low notes of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”.
We lost Andy sometime during the first few numbers as he snaked his way closer to the stage to snap some choice shots. Like a trooper, he reappeared at the end to accompany us to the lobby for our promised autographs.
Leslie in 1965
All in all, it was a great experience. I got to spend time with two women who were my running mates from 40 and 50 years ago. We giggled a lot, gambled a little and ate some really bad, overpriced food at the hotel’s buffet. As we parted in the parking garage we vowed to meet again for another casino concert from the past. As for Andy, maybe he’ll come along for kicks and another story. You never know.