1994 BUFFALO MUSIC AWARDS
10,000 Maniacs from early 1985
HONORED AT MUSIC AWARDS
Reprint: Buffalo News
by Anthony Violanti
The 14th Annual Buffalo Music Awards Wednesday at Blind Mellons was a night filled with joy, recognition and some bittersweet emotion.
Nationally known acts the 10,000 Maniacs of Jamestown and Kristen Pfaff of Amherst were inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Local bass players Nick Veltri, Kent Weber and drummer Bruce Morgan also joined the Hall of Fame…
Sue Kincaid captured the honor as top female vocalist and her band, The Need, won for top original pop group. “This is a wonderful night because it brings together the music community in Buffalo,” Kincaid said. George Puleo, also a member of The Need, was struck by the sense of family at the event. “When you’re in a band it’s like being in a family,” he said. “This seems to be the one night of the year when we can all get together and we can all feel for each other.”
The most poignant moment of the evening came when Janet Pfaff, mother of Kristen Pfaff who played in the band Hole, accepted the Hall of Fame honor for her daughter. Kristen Pfaff died in June at the age of 27. “I’m proud to accept this award for Kristen and I know she would be happy to receive it,” Mrs. Pfaff said.
Puleo was moved by the ceremony. “It’s sad because Kristen wasn’t here herself to enjoy the moment. You work so hard in the business to make it at the national level, and that’s what Kristen did. I just wish she were here to enjoy it, and see how her hometown feels about her.”
Jerry Augustyniak, drummer of the 10,000 Maniacs, accepted the Hall of Fame award for his fellow bandmates Natalie Merchant, Dennis Drew, Steve Gustafson, Rob Buck and John Lombardo.
“I’m not here as an individual but for the whole band,” said Augustyniak, a Sloan native whose family was in attendance and went up to the stage with him. “This means a lot t me because I remember starting out playing in bars in Buffalo. I feel right at home in a smoke-filled room soaked with beer.”
Merchant left the immensely successful band last year but Lombardo and Mary Ramsey have joined the remaining Maniacs and they are at work in a studio on a possible new recording.
“Without Natalie, it’s like we’re starting out at ground zero,” Augustyniak said. “We know deep down we have something to prove, but we’re comfortable with each other. This time it’s a real democracy.”
Fellow Hall of Famers Veltri and Weber also were pleased, “I idolized Stan Szelest and just to be in the Hall of Fame with him is a great honor,” Veltri said. “And I just can’t forget to thank my wife, Fran, without her I wouldn’t be here tonight.”
Weber estimated he has played in 16 bands in his career. “It’s all worthwhile when you get this kind of recognition,” he said. “I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I think I deserve it. It makes me feel good; I’m 36, I’m still playing and still having fun. And now I’m in the Hall of Fame. Can you beat that?”
Blind Mellons was completely sold out and the jampacked audience was treated to energetic performances by Taylor Made Jazz, Ladyfire, The Need, Terry Sullivan and Friends, Cadence, Phonkbutt and Wunderland.
“This is one of the best awards we’ve ever had,” said Rick Falkowski who founded the awards 14 years ago. “The turnout and the caliber of performers and winners is tremendous.”…
A list of winners:
HARD ROCK GROUP
TOP 40 GROUP
CLASSIC ROCK GROUP
CLASSIC TOP 40
NEW ROCK GROUP
ROCK MALE VOCALIST
ROCK FEMALE VOCALIST
WORLD BEAT GROUP
R&B MALE VOCALIST
NEW ORIGINAL GROUP
Ace In The Hole
ORIGINAL HARD ROCK
ORIGINAL MALE VOCALIST
ORIGINAL FEMALE VOCALIST