The Humans was a Santa Cruz new wave band consisting originally of Sterling Storm (vox), Eric Gies (bass), Jerome Deupree (drums) and John Anderson (guitar). In February 1980, they signed with I.R.S. Records.
John, Eric and Sterling were originally from Los Angeles, where they were signed under Liberty Records as Eddie and the Showmen (1963-1964) and The Plunkers (each surf bands). They then formed Space. As Space, they moved to Santa Cruz in 1976 and changed their band name to The Mysterious People. Eric and Sterling had stopped listening to music around 1970, but were highly taken with the new sounds of the Talking Heads and Patti Smith. Upon advice of their new label Beat Records, they changed their name to The Humans in 1979.
They played at Mabuhay Gardens on June 29 and July 5, 1979. The Humans peacefully changed management from Andrew Bailey to R & R Management of Los Angeles in September 1979. Toward the end of 1979, they opened for Iggy Pop at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco and at the Stardust Ballroom in Los Angeles. In the beginning of 1980, they added David Larstein on keyboards.
After signing with I.R.S. in February 1980, The Humans played a number of well-thoughtout shows to thank the Santa Cruz community for their support. The first occurred February 29 when they played at the Civic Auditorium allowing entry only to those 21 and under. Then they played an all-ages show at JJ's Pizza on March 7, followed the next night with a 21+ show at the same location. Then on May 7 and May 8, they played two free shows at the Catalyst; tickets were given out to the first people who mailed in requests. In June and July, The Humans toured with Squeeze, opening for them in Seattle, Vancouver, Winnepeg, Chicago, Madison, Toronto, and Boston. They also had gigs in New York and Los Angeles. At the end of this tour,Jerome Deupree amicably quit the band. It wasn't until September that they selected their new drummer, Jim Norris.
They gradually adjusted to the new sound. Norris was brought in, and in fall of 1981 managed to attract the skills of producer David Kahne at the Record Factory in San Francisco. By the end of the year the album Happy Hour was finished. It was released in 1982.
In early 1982, Sterling Storm formed a production company with L.B. Johnson and Stephen Greenberg and began a full length video project, "Happy Hour." It was based on songs from their album of the same name, only it had a story line and it lasted approximately one hour. The production consumed most of the year, but by the time it was finished the Humans had created a breakthrough music video.
In early 1983, the band broke up. The production of the "Happy Hour" video had stalled live performances and deflated the psychological push the band had gotten from the tour with Squeeze. Economic pressures and being on and off the road strained individual members' family situations to the point where they chose to pursue more stable lifestyles.
Beyond pragmatic realities, there was something intriguing about a band walking away from an artistic enterprize at the moment it had assembled all the necessary pieces to make itself a commercial success. The Humans became what they had often joked about - "the band that never made it."
Since 1983, the Humans have gotten together periodically to play at private parties. The latest reunion was in 2005, the opening of the Marni Jaime studio in Santa Cruz. Some said it was their best perfomance ever.
- I Live In The City EP on Beat Records (1979) (re-released by IRS in 1980 as "I Live in the City" b/w "Wild Thing")
- Play EP on IRS (1980)
- One song, "Telstar," on Surf City Underground (1980)
- Happy Hour LP on IRS (1981), produced by David Kahne