Gotham Interview - April 2004

April 2004
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Tribute to Gotham

Gotham was a cabaret trio formed in 1973 by Gary Herb, Michael Pace and Jonathan Morrow. David McDaniel replaced Morrow in 1975. The group was known for their comedy as much as their singing, and they became enormously successful in the 70's and 80's. An important aspect of the group was that they did it all as an openly gay act, and accordingly was the first openly gay group to play both the Kennedy Center in Washington DC (1976) and Carnegie Hall in NYC (1978).

Playlist (airdate April 26, 2004)
Douglas Byng & Lance Lister - Cabaret Boys (1928)
Gotham - Moonshine Lullaby
Gotham - Jersey Bounce (1978)
Gotham Interview (2004)
Gotham - Hold Tight (1978)
Gotham - Mrs. Reagan (80's)
Gotham - AC-DC Man (1979)
Gotham - Where Did Our Love Go (1976)

"Cabaret Boys" by Douglas Byng and Lance Lister is the only song on this show not by Gotham, but of course it's a perfect introduction to our modern gay cabaret boys. Douglas Byng was
one of England's most noteworthy cabaret performers of the 1920's and 30's. He was famous for
portraying a wide variety of characters, mostly in drag, and writing most of his own material. He was also an elegant actor, excelling in Noel Coward type comedies, and he worked regularly until his death at age 94. That was in 1987. Click to see a 1963 album, with lots of deliciously camp photos of him.

Learn more about Douglas Byng

1976, photo by Roy Blakey

David McDaniel, Michael Pace & Gary Herb (cw, from top)

Special Sections of This Month's Site:

1976 Live Show, from the Grand Finale, NYC
Gotham Music Section (hear rare tracks)
Gotham Video
Articles, Reviews & Programs
Beyond the Interview--Hear MUCH More of it



The website for this month's show will have many extra features, most made possible by the cooperation of the group members, David McDaniel, Gary Herb & Michael Pace. They provided me with dozens of photos and articles, tapes of live recordings, and even a video! Thanks to them for making this possible.



Read the script for the show...



GAY cover, NYC mag

above, they made the cover of NYC magazine "Gay" in May, 1975


probably 1974

Early group photo, featuring Michael Pace, Gary Herb, and Jonathon Morrow (Jon left the group in 1975)

below left, on the cover of The Advocate, for their June 30, 1976 edition; and far right, at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis

Advocate cover

Click cover for close-up

1978, photo by Marc Raboy

1975, at Chicago Baths show set, photographer unknown

1979 with Gloria Swanson in London

above, with Gloria Swanson in London, at far right is their musical director Ron Abel; below, with Bette Midler, 1988, at the LA AIDS Design Center Benefit

1988, LA AIDS Design Center Benefit

1975, for their "Africa" opening, photo by Joanne Jonas

1979, on "Good Morning New York"

above, 1979, on "Good Morning New York" below, emceeing at 1976 Mr Club Baths

1976, at Mr Club Baths show


Above, their first album, "Gotham" (1978), their 1979 12" 45rpm of "AC/DC Man," and "Void Where Inhibited," (1979). Pass your mouse over the images to see the flip sides and their 7" 45 of "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is"

Kennedy Center & Carnegie Hall Shows

1976, Kennedy Center, photo by Paul Parks

1978, Carnegie Hall, photographer unknown

The two upper shots are from their October 1 & 2, 1976, shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and the lower two are from Carnegie Hall, NYC, March 30, 1978

1976, Kennedy Center, photo by Paul Parks

1978, Carnegie Hall, photographer unknown


ad for LP from Advocate, 8/7/80

Above, 1980 ad for their album; right, flyer for London engagement, 1977

1977, London poster
Gotham is a combination of?

One of the things I enjoyed while reading over the various reviews of the act from the different years was the way the writers tried to describe them.
Here are some of my favorites......Gotham is a combination of...

The Pointer Sisters, the Boswell Sisters,
   the Ritz Brothers & Bette Midler
Manhattan Transfer & the Andrews Sisters
Mills Brothers, DeCastro Sisters & Boswell Sisters
The Andrews Brothers & the Marx Sisters
The King Sisters & the Ramones
Vera Lynn & the Sex Pistols
The Andrews Sisters, Sha Na Na & Better Midler
The Mills Brothers & Twisted Sister
"Ain't Misbehavin'" & "Greater Tuna"
and "Three Faces of The Divine Miss M Revue"

Bottom Line flyer/ad

jukebox strip

yes, there were "Void Where Inhibited" buttons


...and there's more, see the special bonus pages for this month

In Memorium

Gary G. Herb, founding member of the ground breaking group, Gotham, of the 1970s and 80s, died March 8, 2008, at University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore after a brief illness.

Gary Herb was born July 7, 1951 in Salisbury, Maryland, the son of William and Esther (Edie) Sandberg Herb. His parents were also in show business.

In 1972, Gary co-founded Gotham, a comedy/musical cabaret act,
with Michael Pace. They were later joined by David McDaniel. The members of Gotham performed as America's first openly gay group minus stereotypes of gay entertainers from previous eras. Tearing down barriers wherever they performed, they paved the way for the "out" performers seen today on television sitcoms and talk shows. Receiving rave reviews from the major press from London to Los Angeles, in 1974, they gave their first performance on national television on The Merv Griffin show. In 1976 Gotham did two sold-out concerts at The Kennedy Center, and in 1978 they were the first openly gay act to play Carnegie Hall. The group recorded three albums and stopped performing in 1992. In a 2004 radio interview with KPFT in Houston, Texas, interviewer JD Doyle asked how he would like Gotham to be remembered, he replied, “I'm just happy if we're remembered. That thrills me.”

David McDaniel, 65, of New York City, died Saturday, June 29, 2013, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York after a brief illness. He was born June 15, 1948, and also produced and performed with "Gotham." That comedy/musical trio performed in cabarets and theaters from London to Los Angeles from 1972 to 1994. "Gotham" sold out Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall, The Guthrie, and many other concert halls throughout the United States, Canada, and England. They appeared on numerous talk shows and recorded three albums. David has done several Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, and their national tours. He is also an artist, having started painting at age ten. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries from Oregon to Israel. He has been the recipient of several awards, and his work is represented in the permanent collections of several museums, including The Museum of the City of New York. His IMDB page.



Michael Pace

8/26/49- 8/24/14

Posted on Facebook by Mark Pace

Forgive me for being late in posting but it has been a most trying day....
With deep sadness and profound regret I must inform family, friends and fans of Michael Pace and Gotham of his passing. Today being Sunday, Gods choir received the lead singer that has been missing, I am certain that todays masses were profoundly better than ever with his amazing voice reaching the Heavens. I have dedicated my life for the last 16 months of my life to helping my beloved brother overcome his illness and pain, I am a profoundly better person and man because of this. While the trio of Francesca James, Thomas Spahn and myself may at times have had differing opinions of how to reach this final destination, it has been all of our intents to make his last time with us better, we did it.

I will forever be in your debt for taking care of him and allowing me to take part. He would have been 65 on Tuesday the 26th of August, he shared his multitude of talents, singing, acting, dancing, writing, art and comedy with not only us but the entire world. From the beginning at home with his family, to the residents of Kansas City at Starlight Theatre, the students and faculty of Carnegie Mellon Tech, the cabarets and theaters of NYC, from Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Guthrie Theater, the Great White Way of Broadway and off Broadway, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and all the places in between.

But with all those gifts to so many, to me they all pale in comparison to the gifts he gave me...the ability from the age of 12 to accept people of all genders and sexual preferences, and to call them all friends, but even more than that he gave me the love of my life Kim Dilger, if it had not been his single mind tenacity to live that would have never happened. So Michael, my dear brother thank you for allowing me to let go of my past and embrace a better future. I promised my father upon his passing that I would look out for Michael and my sister Toni McGill, today Dad I carried him to the last door. So tonight the lights of Broadway are a little dimmer, but the legacy of Michaels "Hot Ice" shall hopefully make them dazzle again soon. Rest in Peace, Michael