When they first began, the thing that set Hello People apart from other bands was their whiteface makeup and use of mime onstage.
Onstage, the band sang but otherwise did not speak, using face and body gestures to communicate its wry, often politically pointed music.
Hello People’s debut, The Hello People, was released in 1967, and while it failed to dent the Billboard album chart, such cuts as the good-time Monday Kind of Tuesday and the Bo Diddley-ish (As I Went Down to) Jerusalem enjoyed some airplay on the then-emerging FM-rock radio stations.
Fusion followed, in 1968, by which time the group had begun performing on network TV, guesting on shows such as The Smothers Brothers Show.
One of their more controversial songs, Anthem, was written by Sonny Tongue in reference to his earlier imprisonment for draft evasion.
Fusion was followed by six more albums and one charting single – Future Shock – from the band’s 1975 album The Handsome Devils, which was produced by Todd Rundgren, who also used the Hello People as his backing band during the early ’70s.
Bobby ‘Tuffy’ Sedita
Vocals, bass, guitar
Greg ‘Ajax’ Geddes
Guitar, bass, soprano sax, vocals
Laurence ‘Willie’ Tasse
Norman ‘Captain Thump’ Smart II
W.S. ‘Sonny’ Tongue