A Fan's Story
Hi. My name is Winston Wainwright, Jr., and I guess you could say that Iím your typical Good Humor Band fan. I forget how old I am, but before I flunked out of Virginia Tech I used to see them in Blacksburg at 117 S. Main. Then Dad got his inheritance and got me into UVA. They would come up and play our frat house. I was there at the end of one of their shows and my friend Carlton Smithers, III looked up after the last song and said, "Hey! Whereís my liquor? Whereís my date?" But the band was packed and gone by then.

The famous Johnson's Burger BarFor a while after I graduated in Ď78 I lived in Nags Head, NC, and the band was there all the time. I had my BA in sociology but I was working in a crafts shop. I pretty much felt like my drinking was under control by then and Dad had given me his Corvette which I used to lend to the bass player. Some of my pals said that the Good Humor Band really wanted to be NRBQ but they werenít as good. Then again, the GHB were more likely to come to your party. Though theyíd try to pick up your girlfriend. The bigger bands werenít quite so accessible.

I felt a real kinship to the group: I was short on ambition, I liked lots of beer and girls, and I enjoyed all types of music. I remember they traveled in three red, white, and blue Ď67 Mustangs with an ugly purple truck they called the Wine Wagon. They drank and smoked a lot on stage and seemed offended if the crowd didnít respond in kind. They played requests even if they only knew a verse or two, though they knew hundreds and hundreds of songs.

Dancin' the night awayThen Dad declared bankruptcy and I developed an allergy to pottery clay, so we both moved to D.C. Mom and Dad were maintaining separate residences because she wanted to stay in Richmond while Dad got things happening in Washington. Dad kind of had a midlife crisis and started a consulting firm and bought one of the Ď67 Mustangs from the Good Humor Bandís drummer. He really liked that car even though it was mostly made out of Bondo and some of the serial numbers had been filed off. He said that it had character and a history and they were two things that he had always been accused of lacking.

There was a place in Georgetown called Desperadoís, and Dad and I would go there to see all of the acts. Danny Gatton would come in and play with the Good Humor Band all of the time. So would George Thorogood and guys from the Nighthawks and Muddy Watersí band. Everybody would sit in with the Good Humor guys even though they goofed off all the time and even played in their underwear once. I asked Dad why would such great musicians sit in with a bunch like the GHB and he said because it probably reminded them of their first band and how not to conduct your career.

A night at the drive-inThen in 1980 Mom and Dad got divorced so Dad could marry his secretary, and I decided to take the plunge too. I asked Dad if I could have the Good Humor Band play at my wedding and he said okay, though Mama thought it was a bad idea. As it turned out she didnít come anyway because Dad and I had a double ceremony. Funny thing, it turned out that Dadís secretary used to run around with one of the guys in the band and she got real drunk and jumped up on the bandstand and sang On The Way To Cape May (she spent her Summers in Wildwood, NJ) and then Daddy caught her making out with one of the band guys in the Wine Wagon (not the guy she used to date) and had the marriage annulled. She never worked for Dad again, either.

Well, Iím still married to the same sweet girl and we have two sons. We go to see the Good Humor Band every year when they come up to Richmond and do their reunion. Itís pretty much the same as it used to be except that now Iím kind of heavy and my short term memory is shot. I see these guys on TV now and then, and I wonder why they keep on doing this shit twenty years after they broke up. But, thatís a question for bigger minds and, what the hell, philosophy is for the birds anyhow. I like this record. It reminds me that I used to not have a care in the world.

Winston Wainwright, Jr.
Short Pump, Virginia

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