it was one of the most memorable nights I ever had—from what I
remember," said Corvino. "We all crawled out of that
bar at about noon knowing we had a real dangerous band,"
added Wetzel. "I don't remember nothin'," said Drake,
"except I think we played the whole second side of Abbey
Road without screwin' it up too bad. That and Wetzel sounded
like a damn bull runnin' up and down the steps." Relates
McAdam, "I had to switch out a keg so my partners
wouldn’t know how much we drank that night. We kept getting it
until about seven or eight that morning, but it sounded fuckin'
great. And there was Bruce, runnin' around in just his underwear
pulled up to his tit—funny as shit, disgusting, but playing
his ass off."
differ slightly but all agree that they emerged from the
windowless bar in broad daylight, with the complete lineup
already firing on six cylinders. The band had risen to a new
level. Within weeks they had bought an old school bus and a
grand piano (a Rhodes or Wurlitzer certainly wouldn't do) and
hit the road. They were young, hungry, and they were tearin' it
The rest of 1976
and into 1977 the band continued to improve, impress, and amuse.
They could completely change styles of music from one song to
the next in very convincing fashion. Rarely using a set list,
they pretty much played what they wanted, often playing
"Stump the Band" with the audience and usually
winning. If they didn't wow you with their considerable musical
chops they could probably charm you with their collective wit.
They had a penchant for some wild behavior onstage and off, but
other than the occasional trip to the courthouse or the clinic,
nobody got hurt.
By this time the
band had gained notoriety in the Washington, D.C. music scene
and were becoming a bit of a fixture at the Georgetown live
music venue, Desperado's. In September Morgan, who had grown
tired of the road, and Bouton, who had his sights set on
Nashville, decided to leave the band. Waiting in the wings was
another excellent steel player, Bucky Baxter, who joined the
band immediately. Trying something a little different in the
lead vocalist position, they hired Nancy Louise Atkinson. Nancy
had great pipes and her addition coaxed even more versatility
out of the band, but it just wasn't the same G.H.B. The band had
lost some of its edge. And a bit of testosterone as well.
When D.C. guitar
great Danny Gatton broke up his band and moved to
Danny's front man, Evan Johns, immediately signed on with the
Humorhoids, replacing the much prettier Nancy Louise. With Evan
in the lineup, the edge was back…and more. Fueled by a new
batch of songs from Evan and Wetzel, and the knockout guitar
combination of McAdam, Johns, and Baxter, the band's live show
reached “blistering" status. They had a regional hit with
Thirty Miles Outside Of Richmond. They were regularly
blowing major label acts off the stage. They were headlining at
prestigious venues like The Lonestar in New York City and The
Cellar Door in D.C. What could top this onslaught of drums,
piano, and guitars?
In 1978 Gatton
returned from the West Coast. He had a group of jazz players he
could always do gigs with, but he didn't have a rock ‘n’
roll band to work with. Yet. They started doing dates together
as Danny and The Good Humor Band or The Good Humor Band
featuring Danny Gatton, depending upon who had the bigger draw
in that particular venue. The shows were nuts. To some it may
have been guitar overkill at times, but it was always stunning.
If you were doing
a solo you had to be sure to get it in before Danny's, because
you sure as hell didn't want to follow him," laughs McAdam.
"That was rule number one." With Danny in the lineup
this was not the guitar army, it was more like the nuclear
guitar arsenal. Dangerous. Very Dangerous.
Later that year,
like most great steel players, Bucky Baxter split for Nashville.
"Smokin'” Joe McGlohon climbed on board to play steel and
blow sax. He could wail so well on the sax the guys told him not
to bother unpacking the steel. The band didn't lose stride, but
gained a step instead. They burnt through the remainder of '78
and '79 with a vengeance.
Gatton formed his
own band in '79, and at the end of that year, Evan and Mark
Corvino had decided to become "ex-Humorhoids." The
band decided to carry on as a five piece and began looking for a
replacement for long-time drummer Corvino. "Playing with a
new drummer was like wearing women's underwear," said
McAdam, who had played in bands with Mark since age 12. "It
takes a while before it feels good."
And then what happened? >>>