Hootie & the Blowfish
updated 12/25/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/25/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST
Indeed, the four Hooties—Rucker, 29, drummer Jim Sonefeld, 31, Felber, 28, and guitarist Mark Bryan, 28—enjoy a lifestyle as gimmick-free as their music. Amateur jocks who spend more time chasing golf balls than groupies, they still dress in the same dorm-geek fashions—baggy shorts and T-shirts—they sported as undergrads at the University of South Carolina, where they began playing together in 1986. Now that the money is rolling in, they've limited their extravagances to buying houses in decidedly nontrendy Columbia, S.C., and attaching a rider to performance contracts demanding new boxer shorts at every venue. "We're dorks, basically," says Rucker. By now, the band has grown weary of explaining how they got their name. (For the record, it was inspired by two of Rucker's acquaintances, one bug-eyed and one Dizzy-cheeked.) They have tired too of questions about their interracial makeup. "We're a kind of demographic of the country," says Rucker, "and it works." As for their detractors, they don't give a hoot. "If they say this is wimpy," says Bryan, "screw 'em."