When Herman’s Hermits step on stage at Cape May Convention Hall this Monday, August 12 for a sold-out gig, they will be the biggest-selling act to play the one-year old facility. The band, fronted by Peter Noone, has sold more than 80 million records since signing their first record contract, almost 50 years ago. “We don’t mention it, we say it’s the 20th year,” says Noone with a laugh.
Herman’s Hermits spent years criss-crossing England playing small clubs before signing a record contract in 1964 and scoring big hits with songs like “Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” and “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am.” Despite enjoying their popular heyday in the 60s, the band made more money from record sales last year than any time in the past 50 years — chalk that up to the greediness of record companies back in the day and the ability of savvy bands to engineer income from the internet.
Touring has always been a “big adventure,” says Noone, who will not be hiding in a hotel room when he arrives in Cape May on Monday afternoon. “I’m a cultural anthropologist, I like to walk around the town I’m playing so I’ve got stuff to talk about when I’m on stage,” he says. “I’ll know more about Cape May than anybody else who’s not from Cape May by the time I get on stage.”
Playing 900-seat Convention Hall is not a come down for Noone, who played 20,000 seat arenas in the 60s. “Every gig is better than the first place we played,” he said.
WE’VE been walking the Exit Zero puppies on Higbee Beach since they were born, nine years ago, and have had little trouble with other dog-owners in that time. But since we added another two members to the Tan Gang there have been a few anxious moments of late — in fact, we had blowups three days in a row this week. We understand that having four dogs approach your dog(s) might be a little intimidating at first but when a dog owner throws a full-on tizzy, for no good reason, guess what happens? It puts YOUR dog in a panic, and sometimes OURS, too. Higbee Beach is a paradise for dogs, and for relaxed dog owners. So, please… take a chill pill. Dogs sometimes growl at each other, just as people sometimes growl at each other. But unlike some people, dogs get over it really fast.
ONE of our writers has spent a great deal of time visiting Lace Silhouettes on the Washington Street Mall recently, as so many of her friends are currently engaged (she’s been charged with the buying of the obligatory lingerie, to be presented at obligatory wedding showers/bachelorette parties). Most recently, it was a groom’s gift — a pair of cotton boxers with the word “TAKEN” printed along the front — that she needed to pick up, at the request of one particularly cheeky bride. Every time our writer sets foot in this store, she feels the need to tell the world what a wonderful job is done by the women who work here. The employees are attentive and very knowledable (they can differentiate between all types of stick-on bras, which work well for all types of backless bridesmaid dresses), but are never overbearing or pushy… and the merchandise — wedding related and not, cheeky and otherwise — is the last-forever kind. We’ll be back again soon, for a pair of lacy, ‘I Do’-printed unmentionables.
“PEOPLE ask me if I think she was out of her mind, and I tell them, ‘Absolutely, she was,’” says Candace O’Donnell about former First Lady and wife of Honest Abe, Mary Todd Lincoln, “but she had every right to be.” Candace wrote, along with husband John, the one-woman show about the woman’s life — Mary Todd Lincoln: Much Madness is Divinest Sense — which she’ll be performing at the Chalfonte Hotel on August 10 and 24 at 8pm. You’ll learn all sorts of things you never got from a textbook in middle school history class, like what “great sexual chemistry” existed between Abe and Mary, how severe Mary’s shopping really was, how “down” Mary married, and how poorly the press really thought of her. Appropriately, the show will take place in the Henry Sawyer Room of the Chalfonte Hotel, with its own fascinating links to the Civil War… links that will be illuminated during John’s introduction. Reserve tickets in advance by calling 609-884-8409… and head’s up, this is a cash-only performance.
THANK YOU to whoever left the handwritten note on Baltimore Avenue Beach, calling out the “trashy” smokers who dropped at least six butts on the sand… and left them there. And thank you to Rita Lynn Lyman of North Wildwood for sending us a picture of this sign, so that we can all remember: people who are appalled by littering — especially near our oceans — will always outnumber the numbskulls who do it.
WE MAY live in the birding capital of the world — you’ll see around 300 species a year come through Cape May, as this is a migratory stopover point, according to local birder and author of the Crossly ID Guide Series, Richard Crossley — but it’s a hobby that fascinates the world over. One year ago, representatives from five continents came together to launch an international grassroots movement meant to unite birders during an outreach weekend, August 23-25. Whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned spotter of winged things, you, too, can make the Pledge by “making a commitment to inspire and foster an appreciation of birds in others.” (Read the Pledge at pledgetofledge.org.) This commitment can be anything from hanging a simple hummingbird feeder in your own backyard, to taking a cross-country trip that culminates in some great Alaskan birdwatching, to (shameless self-plug alert) simply reading about such a trip, recently completed by Richard himself, in our upcoming color issue, which arrives this week.