BMHOF Class of 1995
Only Humen was formed in 1987 and according to bassist Frank Pusateri, the trio has been playing out every night since. Members have not only found a way to survive as a cover band, but have often brought in more money from a show than national acts. How did they reach this point?
"We did a lot of things we didn't like to do necessarily, but we did them to get out before our audience," said Pusateri. "Things like playing Buffalo one night, Jamestown the next, Olean the next, or playing two or three times in one day."
During the summer, Only Humen played an average of 7-9 times per week. According to Pusateri, the band's mailing list has about 1,800 names on it. "We appreciate our audience," he said. "We try to make the audience an active part of what we're doing."
Shows consist of oldies from the '60s and '70s with a concentration on vocal harmonies. "We play the kind of music we grew up with ... Beatles medleys, Motown medleys," said Pusateri. "It's fun for us to do and then when we can throw in our original music, that's where our real gratification comes from."
Original songs played at their shows include "Stop, Look and Listen" and "Held in Confidence," which Pusateri said go over well. "We only play one or two live, because we know the oldies are our bread and butter," he said.
Bands that play the same songs every night face the risk of growing repetitious and stale. Pusateri thanked his fans for keeping Only Humen's music fresh. "Generally we get a pretty good turnout, and it keeps the fire alive," he said. "We pick up about 20 new tunes a year - it seems like we're always doing something to keep it a versatile type of job. We also break up our schedule with outdoor shows, weddings, and other functions."
While band members could easily become satisfied with their local status, Pusateri said they still yearn for more. "In your brain you got this vision of where you want to be," he said. "We're basically at the height of where we want to be in Buffalo, don't want to trade that in, but at some point, we're going to want to take the next step."
In addition to Pusateri, the 1996 members are guitarist Ray Wood, formerly of Two Hills; drummer Paul Varga of the Tweeds and Talas; and saxophonist Frank Pusateri Jr. "My son just started playing with the band about one and one-half years ago," said Pusateri. "it really adds a lot to the band, the sax adds another dimension."
Except for Pusateri's son, all members of Only Humen are in the Hall of Fame. Pusateri was inducted in 1991, Varga was inducted in 1983, and Wood was inducted in 1993. The band's former drummer, Bruce Morgan, was inducted last year.
Only Humen won the Buffalo Music Award for Best Classic Top 40 band in 1992,1993, and 1994.
Over the past couple years the band has had numerous personnel changes. However, Frank Pusateri continues to lead the group.
Check their web page for more info. Go to the topshelfentertainment.com site, select music and then select Only Humen.
Back - 1995