Hootie & the Blowfish seem to have a lot of fun on the road, which includes hazing and apparently leaving a bandmate behind, as the group revealed during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday. Their appearance, which included a performance of their classic hit “Only Want to Be With You,” coincided with the announcement of their forthcoming North American tour. It will be the group’s first in more than a decade.
On Fallon, the band revealed that they often like to often haze each other alongside their opening acts during the final nights of their tour runs. During one set, tour openers the Gypsies pulled a hilarious prank.
“They come out with boxers on, their skivvys, all four of them – and this is our good buddy who is a very famous red-headed soccer player for the United States of America, Alexi Lalas, great guitarist, his band is solid,” Drummer Jim Sonefeld said. “They come out to hijinks us wearing only boxers to do a few coordinated dances and by the time the chorus rolls around to ‘Only Want to Be With You’ they face us onstage, butts to the audience, pull down their drawers and they have written in Sharpie across all their butts ‘Only Want to Be With You.’ Not sure if the crowd went wild or if it cleared the room, but it was an amazing hijinks on us.”
There was also a time they accidentally left one of their members behind. “One time I got left in Ohio,” guitarist Mark Bryan revealed. The band had decided to go out after their show opening for Big Head Todd & the Monsters. “I threw my bag in my bunk and went to bed in my hotel room. The bus left at like 9 or 10 the next morning and our tour manager kicked the bunk and felt my bag and thought, ‘Oh Mark’s in there’ and they start rolling down the road.
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“I wake up at around 11 or noon and go outside and the bus is gone.” He ended up having to rent a car to get to their next show “and made it for soundcheck.”
And while they’ve played to huge audiences, not all shows are well-populated as singer-guitarist Darius Rucker discussed about one of their shows in Alabama. “We don’t only outnumber the people in there, we are the ONLY people there,” singer Darius Rucker said. “We’re playing for the two bartenders to the point that one bartender just lit up a joint.”
A couple police officers also stopped in to enjoy their three-hour set. “The joints going around the room between the band and the bartenders,” Mark added, and at one point the bartender got a phone call. “She starts spraying around and a cop comes in and I guess she got the call that they were coming in, so she put the joint out.”