05/21/19: Alliance – Fire And Grace
Robert Berry (vocals, bass, keyboards)
Gary Pihl (guitar)
David Lauser (drums)
Produced by: Alliance
Engineered by: Robert Berry
Mixed by: Robert Berry
Mastered by: Alan Douches
7 in stock (can be backordered)
It seems people often have differing recollections of important events. Everyone has their perspective or a different point of view. Sometimes it’s hard, even for trained eyes and ears to trace the roots of relationships or find the source of a fire. If you were a serious musical archaeologist or perhaps simply a curious person with a shovel, and you were in San Francisco’s fog shrouded North Beach area, specifically on Columbus Ave. in the late-80s you would have been digging through the ash and sifting through the rubble of Bill Graham’s venue known as Wolfgang’s after the big fire. If you were lucky you might have found crucial evidence, tattered threads or charred clues hinting to the origin of Alliance. It was at Wolfgang’s that long time Sammy Hagar drummer David Lauser and a bandmate, both recently set adrift from the positions they had graced for years until Hagar jumped to join Van Halen, came to see the Robert Berry Band perform. It seems Lauser, along with guitarist Gary Pihl and Gamma / Night Ranger keyboardist Alan ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald were searching for an allusive missing piece for a new project they were plotting. There was a spark for sure. But would it become a flame or a smouldering match?
***“It seems like just yesterday that Gary called me about forming a group for the purpose of having a band outside of our main musical commitments. After several failed attempts with male and female vocalists and bassists, the illustrious A&R man, John Kalodner suggested we contact Robert Berry. Subsequently, Gary, Fitz and I jammed with Robert at Sammy Hagar’s home studio. There was a definite spark. An immediate connection. Was that really 30 years ago? Spanning three decades and an ever changing musical landscape, Alliance has been truly a labor of love for all of us.” – David “Bro” Lauser
***“I grew up thinking that being in a band would be the coolest thing ever. A musical oasis where everybody contributes creative parts to make a new and unique sound. Bands like Cream or Led Zeppelin had terrific guitar players but the other musicians were just as important in creating a style that was easily recognised and different from anyone else. Even different than the bands those players had been in before. The term, “supergroup” was coined to describe how several well-known players could bring their previous experiences to the melting pot of something new. A match, for sure. I’m very fortunate to be a part of what I think of as a supergroup. Fitz, David and Robert all have long histories with successful groups and Alliance has been our opportunity to take the best of what we have as individuals and create a new and unique identity.
One of my proudest moments with the band was arriving at our first gig and instead of addressing us by our individual names or past affiliations, the promoter just said, “Alliance?” … our answer; “Yes, We Are!” – Gary Pihl
***As I look back on this musical journey called Alliance I can’t help but think that my band mates were, and still are, the best musical partnership I could have ever dream of. But, it almost didn’t happen. Timing is always an important ingredient for success. In 1986 Sammy Hagar left his band to join Van Halen. David Lauser, Alan Fitzgerald and Gary Pihl from Hagar’s band, were determined to continue their musical endeavours together. In their search they had come to see my band at Wolfgang’s in San Francisco. It was complicated by the fact that Steve Howe had just invited me to join him in GTR and I had planned to move to England. Gary had been invited to join Boston and David was still performing solo shows with Hagar. Jump ahead to 1989 and Gary, David and FItz still hadn’t come up with the right combination. I had just returned to the U.S. and the timing was perfect to start this new, yet unnamed band. Now, 30 years later, after all the writing and recording, the many miles traveled, and an honest, supportive friendship, we’ve done what I believe is the definitive Alliance album. Creative, non-compromising, and putting our heart and soul into every song. Alliance has all the ingredients of what a band should be. The fire still burns. – Robert Berry