Flashback to the pop-tinged 1960s as acclaimed rock and roll acts Tommy James & The Shondells with special guest Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone crank up the classics at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 12, 2011 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 10 at 1 p.m.
A popular classic oldies radio mainstay, Tommy James has sold over 100 million records and has been awarded 23 gold singles and nine gold and platinum albums.
A child model at the age of four and a rocker at the age of 12, James and The Tornadoes began playing local gigs in Michigan before getting signed in 1964, changing the band’s name to The Shondells and releasing a then unknown single, “Hanky Panky.” Two years later, the song became a breakout hit selling 80,000 copies in just ten days. It became the biggest summer hit of 1966 and began one of the longest strings of non-stop hits in recording industry history.
The song was quickly followed by two more million-selling singles, “Say I Am (What I Am)” and “It’s Only Love.” Over the next two years seven more back-to-back gold singles were released: “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Mirage,” “I Like the Way,” “Gettin’ Together,” “Out of the Blue,” “Get Out Now” and the party rock rave-up, “Mony Mony.” The albums I Think We’re Alone Now, Something Special and Mony Mony went platinum.
In 1968, Tommy James and The Shondells became one of the first acts to experiment with music videos of their hits, creating a mini-film around “Mony Mony,” 13 years before MTV hit the airwaves.
Crimson and Clover, released in 1969, went multi-platinum, and spawned three more monster hits for the group – the title track, “Do Something to Me” and “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” Cellophane Symphony followed spawning another Top Ten smash, “Sweet Cherry Wine.” In 1970, the group released another million selling LP, Travelin’ which contained the gold singles, “She” and “Gotta Get Back to You.” Other hits James was responsible for included the million selling single “Tighter, Tighter” for the group Alive ‘N Kickin’ and his own “Come to Me,” “Ball and Chain,” “I’m Comin’ Home” and Draggin’ the Line.” He also produced a string of Top 40 albums and later formed Aura Records.
As of 2010, over 300 artists have recorded their own rendition of a Tommy James tune or have performed his songs in concert – among them Billy Idol, Prince, R.E.M., Joan Jett, Tom Jones, Cher, Concrete Blond, the Boston Pops, Tiffany and Dolly Parton.
His recently published autobiography, Me, The Mob and The Music (Simon & Schuster), has garnered rave reviews from Rolling Stone and Mojo magazine as well as Howard Stern, Don Imus, Andrew Loog Oldham and Dave Marsh.
Manchester England’s Herman’s Hermits’ debut single, a Carole King/Gerry Goffin song called “I’m Into Something Good,” released in the summer of 1964, hit number #1 in England and #13 in America, introducing the band’s upbeat brand of pop music to the world
Led by former child star Peter Noone and produced by recording industry hitmaker Mickie Most, the band charted six Top 20 hits through 1966 and was a major concert attraction. Their cover of Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” (which reached #4 in America) and remake of the Rays’ 1950s hit “Silhouettes” were good representations of the group’s releases; on their EPs and early LPs, they also threw in covers of old rock & roll numbers like Frankie Ford’s “Sea Cruise.”
In 1965, coinciding with their first U.S. tour, an American disc jockey heard the song “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” on that album and convinced the label to issue it as a single. The song had been done almost as a joke by the group and was never released as a single in England. In America, however, it was considered just another piece of British Invasion pop/rock and it shot to #1 on the charts, earning a gold record in the process. It sold 14 million copies around the world and marked their first film appearance in the movie When the Boys Meet the Girls.
This novelty music hall formula seemed to fit the band well and Most got the group to record more songs in the same vein, including the actual Edwardian-era number “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am,” specifically for release as a single in America. Again, it hit #1. The Hermits continued to issue current romantic pop/rock such as “Listen People,” “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” and “Leaning on the Lamp Post” which sold well and kept up their image. In 1966, the single “No Milk Today” put them back in the U.K. Top 10; in America, the same song was also a hit paired off with “Dandy,” a pop cover of the Kinks song. The group made their second film appearance, this time in a starring role in the comedy Hold On! (1966), which mixed Herman’s Hermits in a story about space flight. The 1967 follow-ups, There’s a Kind of Hush All Over the World and Blaze (which never even came out in England), were excellent representations of the full range of the group’s sound, including hard rock, psychedelia, and pop/rock.
The group made one more feature film entitled Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter (1968) based on the song that had rocketed them to fame in America.
In the mid 1980s, Noone returned to acting on stage in The Pirates of Penzance on London’s West End. He also became a star VJ on MTV’s VH1 channel.
Tickets cost $59, $49 and 39*; All seats are reserved and available at the Hard Rock Live Box Office, open Tuesday – Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and on Sunday & Monday – only open on event days at noon. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one-hour prior to show start time. *Additional fees may apply.
About Hard Rock Live
Hard Rock Live, a spectacular state-of-the-art facility has quickly emerged as the entertainment capital of South Florida. Attracting music, comedy and sports fans, this 5,500-seat indoor arena further expands the ultimate entertainment experience at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. For more information please visit www.hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com or www.facebook.com/seminolehardrockhollywood.