GH: Room. Then we went to Vegas. We played the Sahara hotel the old hotels. So that was a fun a really fun group. As I say, that was one of my first connections with people who went to Berklee. I was just shocked. I mean I had always wanted to go there in high school but we couldn't afford it. It was just expensive. So the state schools, I mean I got a full scholarship to Michigan State.
FB: No contest.
GH: Yeah and it was only like a 100 dollars a semester tuition and they paid my room and board too so I went there on a free ticket.
GH: Yeah Bill m?? had a really good band. And that was actyally the conduit. A lot of guys who played with Billy ??? went on to play with the big bands. Woody Herman's band, Buddy Rich's band. It was kind of the progression. Then I got the call to go with Buddy Rich's band from Billy M???
FB: How did that come about?
GH: Uh they they heard a lot of tapes of M??? band and I got to play a lot of jazz solos. So it was a jazz band a real jazz band. I mean M?? was. And then I went to Buddy Rich's band and I met even more people that went to Berklee. 'Cause in Buddy Rich's band was Pat Labarbara, Joe Calo, Don ???, who else, Keith O'Quinn trombone player and Rick ??? came back on. And then the trumpet section was people that I still see around Boston. ??? played lead trumepet. And Billy Moss played trumpet. And then I joined those guys. (FB: Great.) Who's this guy from Detroit? You know they're a little cold until you play and then they say "Oh fine!"
FB: What was it like being on the road with Buddy Rich?
GH: It was great. I really liked it. He was a little frightening at times.
FB: His reputation was worse than his bite.
GH: Oh yeah. He was alwyas testing it to see if we could stand up to his needling. But if you played well he respected you. And then if you didn't take any guff from him he respected you more. So, once I figured that out and that was a really great band. I mean real high caliber. We travelled all over the world with that band, we went to Austrlia a couple times, England, we went to Europe. It was great because in the winter we'd always travel across the bottom of the country warm weather. And then the top of the country during the summer. And then I started writing for that band. Yeah I came in with a chart and Buddy looked at me and he said, "You're crazy." And then he played the chart. He loved it.
FB: This was on Roar of 74?
GH: Yeah. That one before the album called Stick It. I wrote a couple on that. I wrote a good dozen or so charts for the band. I was with him 2 years 2 and half years that's a long time. Then the second year, a different trumpet section came on. All these guys from Indiana came and joined the band. Charlie Davis and Larry Hall and some other people from Eastman and then some more people from Berklee came. Yeah Joe Romano played. And one of my big influences playin that band when I joined and he would come back to the band with Jimmy Mosher. Jimmy Mosher was a legend in my mind before I ever met him. Because I heard his recordings and he... what an improviser.
FB: Oh yeah.
GH: I mean just the sound and the ideas and the flow and especially the time. This guy could play jazz. It just came out. So, and it was really nice to finally meet him in Buddy Rich's band. Hear somebody that creative play every night never repeated himself always searching for new ideas. And Buddy loved him. Buddy respected him. He'd help him out if he needed to go to take care of himself. Buddy would...Buddy was actually a kind person Buddy was. Misunderstood.
GH: Yeah. He was needlessly feared by a lot of people, so they shunned him and he was hurt.
GH: It's tough for a guy like that to work with kids. Basically we were a bunch of kids. He was 55 and we were 20. Buddy played with the greats.
FB: Oh did he ever.
GH: The trio was with Nat King Cole and Lester Young. Was that it?
FB: Art Tatum?
GH: Art Tatum and then he played with Nat King Cole. Course he did ???
FB: Yeah he was on Verve, maybe with Oscar Peterson?
GH: Yeah. Yeah we used to... that's funny. The famous story, We asked Buddy what it was like to play with Charlie Parker. He said, "Listen. Charlie Parker played with me." He was funny. Buddy was really funny. He could have been a standup, and he was a standup comedian sometimes. I mean that was a different era where there were really great players but they also knew the value of entertainment.
FB: Absolutely. Yeah.
GH: You know it was kind of in the Sammy Davis Sinatra crowd, but he could really play. Buddy played at such a high level every night and he expected everyone else to do that. It was just tough to measure up to that. Especially on a brass instrument. I mean you got to really be on and warm and on and strong every night. He did it. Fifty years, so yeah Buddy 's band was a really nice expeirence. And then I moved to Boston. 1974. I talked to Jimmy Mosher and I talked to Pat Labarbara and said what do you think it would be like to teach at Berklee for a year. I want to get off the road. 'Cause I had been actually travelling for about 6 years. And it was tiring. A lot of it was driving. And then on the bus. And you got to schelp all your stuff around. And it was tough to practice. Although you keep your chops up by playing every night. So, don't get me wrong I appreciate...
FB: And you would play far more nights than you travelled. Five out of seven, and weeks at a stretch.
GH: Oh yeah. two or three days off a month if that. One night we did 65 gigs in a row. Without a day off.
FB: Geez geez.
GH: Yeah yeah. I think Buddy was trying to get people to quit so he just kept taking gigs. But we got stronger and so he said, "I give up I'm cool. You can have two days off." So yeah I moved to Boston. I interviewed for a teaching gig at Berklee.
FB: Who'd you talk to?
GH: I talked to three really great people. Because in Buddy's band I met ??? and he played piano and he subbed. And he said come on I'll get you a gig. I said Okay I can rest and....