The Who

The Who / Herman's Hermits 1967 Summer US Tour • St. Louis, MO • August 25, 1967


Herman's Hermits 1967 Summer US Tour • August 25, 1967 • St. Louis, Missouri

The ever-suffering Hermits tour Manager Ed McCann, Mike Esposito of The Blues Magoos, and the Hermits' Derek "Lek" Leckenby inspect an advance copy of the Hermits' forthcoming sixth US LP, Blaze, while hotel-bound via chartered bus from Lambert-St. Louis Municipal Airport.

*Prints of this image are currently available in three sizes on matte Hahnemühle Museum Etching 350gsm Deckle Edge paper.



The Story

The Who perform two shows (6:30 & 9:00 PM) at the Kiel Opera House in support of Herman's Hermits — with special guests, The Blues Magoos.

Unlike fellow English groups like The Kinks, Pink Floyd, and The Who, the Hermits counted no moody songwriting geniuses among their ranks. The group took their marching orders from producer Mickey Most, who established his career with the success of The Animals' massive international hit, 'House of the Rising Sun.' Most solicited outside writers to provide material for the Hermits and (according to Noone) often brought in studio musicians, like Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, to record the group's backing tracks.

Naturally, the Hermits did not appreciate their producer's habit of booking studio musicians in their place — particularly lead guitarist Derek "Lek" Leckenby. Despite their lightweight image, the group was an incredibly tight, cohesive unit and easily reproduced their recorded material live. Leckenby, one of the finest and most overlooked pop guitarists of the '60s (along with Tony Hicks of The Hollies), was on a different plane altogether. Leckenby's playing was as effortless as it was articulate. Complex passages routinely cascaded from his guitar without the need for sloppy theatrics or the added facial contortions of a piano mover. Always cool, the bespectacled Leckenby projected a stage image resembling Michael Caine with a guitar.

Despite attributions of Jimmy Page playing on the song, according to the Hermits' Keith Hopwood and Karl Green, Leckenby replaced legendary session guitarist Vic Flick (James Bond Theme) in the studio — following the insistence of Most — and nailed the intricate riff snaking throughout the group's 1965 smash hit 'Silhouettes.'

Photo by Tom Morton

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