The Humans

The Humans, 1966 photo
The Humans, 1966, standing l-r: Marty Busch, Dick Doolan, Bill Kuhns, Danny Long, Gar Trusselle
sitting: Jack Dumrese

Dick Doolan – vocals
Danny Long – vocals and harmonica
Bill Kuhns – lead guitar
Gar Trusselle – keyboards
Marty Busch – bass
Jack Dumrese – drums

The Humans were from Albion, New York, 20 miles north of Batavia. According to the liner notes for Back From the Grave vol. 5, all six members were in high school marching band when they decided to form a band in the summer of 1964. Their band’s moniker was a dig at all the groups naming themselves after insects and animals.

They toured throughout the northeast, opening for some big acts, including playing the Rheingold Festival in Central Park, Manhattan in 1966.

Their only 45 has a fine folk-rock original on the A-side, “Take a Taxi”. The instrumental passage is a neat combination of twelve-string guitar and organ.

For years now, it’s been overshadowed by the B-side, “Warning”, which has become almost an anthem in garage-rock circles, and rightly so. It’s a well-arranged combination of ringing guitar chords, thudding drum beat and bass line, simple organ melody, a great rough lead vocal answered by a second singer and a harmonica solo.

Lead guitarist Bill Kuhns (listed as William R. Kuhns, Jr. on the label) wrote both songs. It was recorded at Riposo Studios in 1966 and released on the Audition label, which had a number of classic mid-60s singles. I don’t know what happened to the band after its release, or if the record sold at all. It’s pretty hard to find these days.

Gar Trusselle answered some of my questions about the band:

Q. How did the band sign get to tour around the Northeast?

We were managed locally by Al Cecere in Rochester. As far as we knew, Al Cecere was the sole owner of Audition. He had some connections so he got us signed up with Premier Talent Associates (PTA) in NYC. Our agent with them was Rich Nader who went on to promote R&R revivals across the country. We also opened for the Hollies, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (several times) and played a two week gig in Miami with the Standells.

We were friends with “The Heard” as they were also managed by Al Cecere. We alternated at Oak Orchard Lanes in Albion [with] Caesar and His Romans from Buffalo. By the way, Oak Orchard Lanes was quite a hot spot. In the summer, the owners would cover all 12 lanes with plywood and have dances on the lanes with some pretty big names. A couple that come to mind are the Rivieras and the Shadows of Knight.

Q. Do you remember any details about the Riposo Studio and making the record?

All I can remember is that the studio was in Syracuse. Someone said Wooly Bully was recorded there but I cannot verify that.

Q. Did it get any airplay at the time?

We did get good local airplay and some national as well. Billboard reported us in the top twenty in a Michigan and Texas market but it did not last.

Q. Did the band perform “Warning” and “Take a Taxi” during your live shows?

We did perform the two songs live at every performance.

Q. The band had long hair for 1966, did that cause any trouble?

Nothing but. However, we had a lot of local support even from the adult side.

Q. How did the band break up, and did you stay in music after?

It began when Dan died in a car accident in September of 1966. We went on from there but the draft started to whittle at the group. I think our last job was in November of 1966 at our own venue in Albion. We had rented the local (out of business) movie theater, remodeled it, and named it “Happiness Is…”.

Gar D. Trusselle

The photo at top originally provided to RambleMusic.com (link dead as of 2013) by Bill Vosteen. The site includes photos and clippings of other Batavia-area groups like Beethoven’s Dream Group, The Majestics, the Plague, Salt of the Earth, The Revengence, the Squires.

13 thoughts on “The Humans”

  1. I’ve known Jeff, Brad & Randy Wheat since the ealy 70s when I met them at the Record Store that I worked at in Rochester, NY. They’ve become almost legendary in Rochester. Jeff went from being a musician here onto to band management locally then off to California where he went into TV and Films. I haven’t seen him (0r heard from him) in probably about 15-20 years now. Maybe this will begin my journey to reconecting with him again. It would seem time.

    About three months ago I picked up a book about Jessica Savich, the ‘doomed’ groundbreaking TV anchor/reporter and was shocked to see Jeff Wheat’s name mentioned as having dated her during her days as a student in Ithaca, NY (I believe they were actually engaged for a while).and on WBBF-AM gere in Rochester. Their relationship lasted about a year or so as I recall before her success moved her on to new heights.

    Jeff’s management career included local Rolling Stones clones (not really a fair tag but you’ll understand) RAIN. They were fronted by one Brad Morrison, who looked remarkably like Mick Jagger and had some of his vocal swagger and visual stagger. Helmut Getto on lead guitar, Bob Limner on bass and unfortunately I don’t remeber the drummer. I saw them 5 or 6 times and the DID have a bluesy souond reminiscent of the Stones, but also were the first band I ever saw a guitar playe4r put an electric guitar in their lap to do a sit down version of ‘THe Weight’ probably not months after the first Band lp came out. RAIN put out one LP, a live document in a white sleeve with a sticker in the corner that was pretty good as I remember it. Used to own it; sold off with a big purge back in ’93…but I’ll bet I could find it again at THe Bop Shop in Rochester. RAIN would morph to SHIVERS under Jeff’s guiding hand, gaining a contract with RCA that produced enough tracks to fill an LP that never got released. I remeber hearing the acetates at Jeff’s apartment not long before he move to the West Coast. It was rock, for sure, probably not unlike much that was happening in the early 70s…all I recall was their version of the Kinks ‘Victoria’ which I sort of recall had phasing on it, which was pretty special to me back then. I don’t know what happened but the LP never got released and RAIN/SHIVERS disappeared not too long after that. Helmu ran a printing shop on Park Avenue here in Rochester for years…don’t know if he’s still there or the shops still trhere. I saw Brad once or twice…I think he worked in a Record Shop at one point. Bob Limner I watched play with another fine unsung Rochester band, KNOTS later on in the 70s. I think he struggled with drugs for a while, Haven’t heard of him in years. There was also at least one 45 on a Capitol subsidiary (used to have it too, wish I could remember the title and label name)that Jeff had a hand in by another loccal band called ‘The Oxford Watchband’…THAT was a pretty cool single also.

    Jeff’s brothers Brad and Randy continued as musicians. I saw them several times when they all would converge in town and come to the Red Creek where I worked as a DJ and soundman in the 70s and 80s. Randy was pplaying down in Florida somewhere. Brad was married and living up here in Rochester. Sadly, Randy became addicted to coke and died frojm a heart attack during withdrawalduring the eartly 80s I believe. Brad became an alcoholic who wouldn’t stop no matter what. I took him to AA meetings doe a while but he didn’t want it bad enough. I bought one guitar off him trying to help out, only to find later it was a loner from a mutual friend who had a music store and was trying to help, too, with instruments and paying gigs, but Brad wasn’t able to stay sober. Eventually it was too much for him and he destroyed himself, dying in the 90s a virtual wet-brain.

    Jeff has had a pretty good life as far as I can tell (in spite of the loss of his brothers, which I don’t doubt hurt very badly). He worked on an early reality show for ABC as a cameraman (something about towns competing against each other in stadiums playing stupid games of some sort)…then he was a cameraman for ‘All In The Family’ for a number of years which lead to being a producer/director for ‘NightCourt’ which served as a traing show for a lot of people over the years. Along the way he appeared as an on camera cameraman co-starring with Sean Connery in some movie (can’t remember the name, sorry)about a reporter & cameraman in the Middle East…and most amazingly he was in ‘E.T., The Extraterrestrial’as one of the first two men in space suits you see entering the house after E.T. is ‘discovered’ and the house is hermetically sealed near the end of the film. This happened because among the friends Jeff had cultured out in LA he could list Stepgen Speilberg as one along with Kenny Rogers, John Davidson (I know, Lame) and many others. When I was seeing his brother Brad during his last years he showed me a scrapbook with tons of autographed pictures Jeff had gotten for him. To pay me back for money I had loaned him, Brad gave me a picture that one of the three brothers had taken from the front row of John Lennon playing during the Beatles last tour when they played in Toronto Canada, which is about three hours from Rochester and the closest they got to us. Nice and in COLOR, too. I stil have it and also a copied picture of the three brothers with the Yardbirds when the opened for Herma’s Hermits here in the 60s.
    At one point in the 70s Jeff and I were dating sisters so I saw him again a few times here and there. This was probably just before he left for the West Coast.
    Last time I saw Jeff he unloaded a pile of Brad’s records he was trying to sell on me that had been turned down by the local used record shop. Among them was a sigend copy of the first Young Rascals LP. These guys were CONNECTED or at least knew how to get close to people that mattered.

    The Heard 45 is a classic and got terrific airplay here in Riochester; probably the best of any local single until the Rustix (Chess, Motown/Rare Earth) and Bat McGrath & Don Potter (Epic) years later.

    I Would love to hear from Jeff again. He was a wonderful guy and I miss him. I want to apologize upfront to him if I offended him by relating these stories and please understand these are the facts as I recall and I could have details wrong. Jeff, if you;re out there, get in touch!

  2. Additions to the Audition label listing

    6103 Dick Jans Duo (June 64)
    I Am (Edwards,Shuman)
    Venus (Frank Marshall) – the Frankie Avalon hit

    6104 The Vitrones
    Linda (Cheshire, Couto, Downing)
    London Fog
    = Barry 3326X (Canada)

    6105 America’s Children (1965)
    Do-Maka
    No Need For Blame

    6106 America’s Children (1965)
    Star
    Swinging Christmas

    6107 The Heard (Billboard May 7, 1966)

    there’s also John Shur “You’ll Know” / “Once Upon a Time” on Audition but that’s another Audition label – from
    Columbus, GA.

    Davie

  3. This was a Rochester, NY band of folk musicians who mined the New Christy Minstrels field (a la Serendipity Singers, Back Porch Majority, etc)with a large outfit of men & women playing guitasr, banjo, bass and singing. They also did a local released LP (sorry, no label name. used to own it years ago) then got signed to Warner Brothers and released one more full LP.

    I used to see them quite a bit even after they broke up and continued on only with their leader, Pete___ (?) continuing to front the remnants. I was 14 when these 45s were release (don’t remember them and never saw any of the as a collector and I would have picked them up if i HAD so they must have been pretty scarce). I was a budding guitar player who hung on these guys (and anyone else I could see) watching the chords they played and trying to remember them until I got home. This rather wholesome style of music appealed to me for quite some time fueling my love for bands like the Association, Sunshine Company, Mamas & Papas …anything with great harmonies; I even like Up With People for a while…until I discovered THE DARK SIDE of music.

  4. Here’s a very interesting addition. Although The Wee Four’s Weird/Give Me A Try is on “Nu Sound” records, it continues Audition record’s catalog numbers and cites the same credits as the Heard and Humans singles, and if I’m not mistaken, The Rogues “You Better Look Now/Train Kept A Rollin'” single. Oh, I think the Terry Pillitiere 45 is Nu Sound 6112.

  5. Hey Dan,
    This makes a lot of sense, with Al Cecere’s name on all these 45s. Looks like Nu Sound is nothing more than a continuation of Audition. What a great run of singles from 6107-6112!

    I’ll update the discography to include the Nu Sound releases, thanks.

  6. Great memories. This was the first band I ever saw live. They played our high school gym. I remember them doing some great Byrds covers. Also, Danny was a real nice guy.

  7. I always thought that Nu Sound was Terri Pillitere’s, but this makes a lot of sense. I think the Vitrones on Barry is easier to find then on Audition, I got mine on Barry & have been collecting in Rochester a long time. The B-side of the Capitol Custom Acetate by the Heard, at least mine in Midnite Train. I think
    America’s Children may have another 45 on Audition, People Had No Faces, possibly it’s on another label, I’ll see if I can find it. I always wondered if the Junkyard Angels on Unicycle had anything to do with Audition, kind of looks like a silver version of the Audition label. Sounds late 60’s.

  8. Just playing the Angry Men 45 and noticed a Cecere Music BMI credit for both sides. The 45 is on Torch 1001/1002 Come With Me (To Another World)/Love Is Gone.

  9. I saw the Humans once at a place called “Guys and Dolls”, I think it was owned by a band guy. Warning is the greatest garage rock song, to me. I never got to own a copy though.. I still have the greatest garage rock 45, to me, The Heard ..Laugh With the Wind by the legendary …. Stop It Baby. I saw the Heard at least six times. I got to talk to Brad a few times … once he showed us a polaroid picture of a girl fan … she was naked! Once I answered an ad for a flyinf Vee and irt was Brad selling it … $350. this was around 1966! Garage Rock Baby … Rochester, NY.

  10. I was a setup man for Rain the band spring of ’69 thru Jan., ’70. The drummer was one Larry Schultz, a very talented drummer, a natural; he just had it man. He was like the first drummer in the Rochester area to run dual bass drums and a great cat to be around. Larry had like no bread, always broke and starving, but dig, he had the best kit to make the band kick. He was the best. That group at that time had huge talent.

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