Boston member involved: Gary Pihl

AllianceWhat does it take to form a great rock band? When do friendship, musicianship and life experiences meld together and become one? A synergy of content and style, if you will.

In 1985 one such band, Sammy Hagar's, lost its leader to Van Halen. As Sammy began a journey that would take him to new heights, his long time band, Jesse Harms (keyboards), David Lauser (drums), and Gary Pihl (guitar) started looking for that missing ingrediant. A way to continue together but also do something fresh. Geffen A/R guru John Kalodner gave them a tape of Robert Berry, a new artist being groomed by Geffen. Phone calls were exchanged, tapes were traded. Harms and Lauser traveled to see Berry's band perform. But as with most things timing is everything. They didn't get that first chance to play together. Harms hooked up with REO Speedwagon, Gary Pihl was asked to join Boston, Berry was off to England to work with Steve Howe in GTR and Lauser was touring non-stop and recording with Hagar. For the next few years history ran its course. But Pihl and Lauser still had the desire to do something of their own.

Something original.

Early in 1993 Berry again received a call from David Lauser. They wanted to try again and form this new band and had recruited Alan (Fitz) Fitzgerald. Alan's band, Night Ranger had just broken up and he to was looking for something new. The timing was finally right. David, Gary, Robert and Fitz gathered together at Hagar's basement studio in Mill Valley and plowed through a few tunes. The vibe was powerful. Everybody in the room could feel it. They immediatly knew that there was a common thread that would feed the demand for creativity in this new band. A bond between their musical styles and their background.

So it all began. Initially recording demos at Sammy's house and then on to Boston to work in Pihl's studio. The band was searching for a style and musical unity that most bands get from growing up together or playing in rival bands. Though this band was spread geographically throughout the country, with Pihl in Boston, Fitz in Texas, Lauser in Northern California and Berry in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, they were commited to this long distance, sonic relationship. To complicate things even further Pihl was still working with Boston, Fitz was the behind the scenes keyboard player for Van Halen, Lauser was still touring and helping Hagar with his "Unboxed" release and Berry, after finishing an album and tour with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer (in the band 3) was busy producing other artist as well as keeping his solo career rolling. Writing and releaseing several Cd's. Over the next four years they continued to build their long distance affair by sending each other tapes and ideas and meeting at Berry's Soundtek Studio to write and record together.

The first album simply titled "Alliance" is the sum of those four years. Some songs are the original demos from Hagar's basement and Pihl's studio. Some are from the bands 1996 Japanese release "Bond of Union". With the success of their first album in Europe, and the desire to keep creating new music, they immediately started to write and record their next CD. The scheduling was still an obstacle to overcome but the musical standard had been set and they wanted to acceed their first release. The second album "Missing Piece" would turn out to be the total fusion of these four musical talents. It shows the incredible growth and maturity the band was searching for. They broke new ground with the combined debth of lyrics and musical arrangements.

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