Vintage Vinyl

The Human Beings “An Inside Look” b/w “I Can’t Tell” Impact Records 1001, November 1965

The Human Beings were a Detroit band with quite an interesting Tucson tie. Peter Joseph Licavoli Sr., (June 1902—January 1984), was a Detroit-area racketeer who headed The Purple Gang during the Prohibition. In the early '40s, Licavoli moved to Tucson to widen his base and set up local gambling and land deals. In 1944, Licavoli purchased a 72-acre parcel of land in the area, which included a ranch, an airstrip, and an art gallery. One of his three children, Theodore, aka Ted "Teddy" Licavoli, fronted the Michigan-based band The Human Beings (not to be confused with The Human Beinz who had the hit "Nobody but Me") on guitar and vocals, along with bassist Steve Fava, lead guitarist Ronnie Blight and drummer John Ruff. The group released four fantastic 45s between 1965 and 1967, three on the Michigan-based Impact Records and one on Warner Brothers. "I Can Tell"/"An Inside Look" was their first on Impact, released in November '65. "An Inside Look" is an instant mid-'60s garage classic with plenty of folk influence on the guitars and vocals, while "I Can't Tell" is a bit more on the poppy side of the garage. Ted Licavoli, unfortunately, passed away in 2000. Check out all the other Human Beings tracks on YouTube.

Lee Joseph grew up in Tucson. He's a DJ (, marketer of cool shit (Reverberations Media) and founder/CEO of internationally respected Dionysus Records, an indie that has long specialized in releasing super-rare music, and more. He came of age in the first wave of Tucson punk rock and is an expert on Tucson music. He now lives in California. Vintage Vinyl is a recurring column in the Tucson Weekly.

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