Hush - Robert Berry

Hush - Robert Berry

Hush - Robert Berry

Paul Keller, Eugene Perault, Robert BerryAfter high school Robert Berry entered San Jose State University as a music major and again carefully balanced his academic and professional interests. It was around this time that Joe Camarata, a resourceful talent agent at the NBC booking agency, came up with a plan to create a 'local super group' by combining members from several recently disbanded outfits. Berry had remained close with drummer Mike Dimock. The agent had a bass player named Gene Perrault and a guitar player named Joey Cannizaro that were interested in joinging forces. They met for the first time in Berry's parents garage where many of his younger bands had practiced. Joe, Gene, Mike and Robert hit it off immediately. What resulted from that meeting came to be known as Hush.

The band put together a showcase for local talent buyers and without even having a full
set of material, swept up bookings for over 6 months. After the initial 6 months Joey
decided to leave for his own solo project. But Perrault and Berry had formed a solid
musical and personal friendship. Together with Mike Dimock they auditioned guitar
players from all around the bay area. But only one stood out from all the rest. He
was, at the time, an unknown musician that had never been in a band before.
But his personality and playing style was just what Hush was looking for. He
played everything from the most complicated progressive pieces to the
staight forward rock riffs with ease. With the addition of guitarist Paul
Keller, Hush shifted into high gear.

If you check out the future of Berry's career you will
see that Paul Keller was a key player in all that was
to come. He even eventually toured with 3 in the late
80's. Robert's long time friend and drummer Mike
Dimock left soon after Joey, for similar reasons. Hush was
developing its own style and that style was a combination
of demanding musicianship mixed with progressive and hard rock. Not everybody was heading the same way. After putting the word out they got a call from a drummer that was just looking for part time work. Reluctantly the band auditioned Roger Bonesera knowing that they were looking for someone with more of a commitment. Everybody that heard that audition knew that Bonesera was the right guy for the job. The musical chemistry at that first meeting even made Roger changed his mind about the part time thing. With the addition of Bonasera, Hush now had its core solidly in place. . . .

At the same time group manager Carol Shupp had been talking with the band about their future. Carol was well connected with the college circuit and had ties with Monterey Pennisula Artist, a major artist representation firm. With this new energy, a solid musical and business foundation had been formed to build their new assault upon. All the members of Hush were songwriters and highly proficient musicians. It didn't take long before Berry moved this new unit into the recording studio. Berry's initial recordings with Hush appeared in the form of a single distributed on the band's own label. That recording was also used as their entry in a battle of the bands contest conducted by the country's number one FM radio station at the time KSAN. The San Francisco station received thousands of entries from all over Northern California.

the debut albumAfter trimming the field, five finalists , including Hush, performed live before a panel of judges consisting of several Bay Area music heavy weights. On the strength of their songs and live performance, Hush came home victorious. With the distinction as ' Northern California's best unsigned band' , Berry and the boys realized that this was the time to make their move. They burnt the midnight oil and came up with solid material for the first Hush album. This album, produced by Berry, found it's way into the hands of the A and R department at ASI Records. This Midwestern label liked what they heard so much they made Hush an irresistible offer. Although Shupp had other offers for the band, Hush signed with ASI hoping that they would be afforded the promotion and attention a new act deserves. The first full length album simply titled HUSH was released in 1978. Everything went great; airplay was growing, sales were strong, and the band was on a cross country tour in support of the album. There was even a hit song in Japan.

Not bad for a band that had been together for only 2 years. Then overnight something happened. Just as the first single was catching on in the states, the economic crunch hit. ASI was in deep financial troubles and eventually ceased all operations. Berry and his band were stranded, on tour, in the bitter cold of the Midwestern winter. Their band truck had blown an engine and their record company had abandon them. After returning home they started recording the demos for a new album.

Hot TonightAfter a year of shopping record companies and regional touring, drummer Roger Bonasera decided it was too much and decided to call it quits. Without hesitation, the band set their sights on their favorite drummers, Peter Adams. In 1981 with the addition of Adam's agressive drumming. Hush picked up once again and resumed work on their second LP. Red tape with their ASI contract and a lengthy litigation prevented the second album from being released. However, during this time Berry opened his state of the art recording facility Soundtek Studios. Wasting no time he mapped out plans and wrote new material along with Keller and Perrault for the band's comeback attack. The timing couldn't have been better as San Jose's FM powerhouse KSJO was sponsoring a Best of the Bay album contest. Hush's song written by Berry , "Gotta Get Back to You" , was the winner and became one of the station's most requested cuts.

Hush - threeAs in the past, the band wasted no time and released "Hot Tonight". Good fortune shined again as Hot Tonight was nominated and won the Bay Area music Archive's Bammie Award for the year's Best Independent Album in March of 1984. Although this was a high point in the bands career, it seemed the future held few posibilities for Hush to continue. A good 10 year run had taken the band from the garage to recording three albums and touring across the US. But it had run its course. Berry had decided to release his first solo album, Back to Back, Perrault left to get married, Keller had lost interest in the band and drummer Peter Adams had an offer from another band that was starting to do well in the area. Hush held it's farewell concerts in June of 1985. Two sold out nights dedicated to the local fans that helped make them a sucess. Those were unforgetable shows. But it was time for Berry to move on.