Hush: a funny name for a rock band that turned thousands of teenies on to hysterical weeping and screaming and which was once barred from entering a country town by the mayor who did not want them "interfering" with the local girls.
Band members were loud in every way: from their satiny costumes and fluffy mullets to their thrusting and wiggling, and their songs, which were mainly a celebration of sex, including "Glad All Over", "Get the Feeling" and their No.1 hit, "Boney Moroney".
Hush started as a 5-piece local dance group in Sydney in '71. Musically they just weren't very good. But they were enthusiastic and their repertoire mostly consisted of instantly recognisable, very danceable rock classics (Rolling Stones, Free, and Who numbers). This early line-up of the group contained vocalist Keith Lamb, bassist Rick Lum and drummer Smiley Pailthorpe. They recorded one single for the Phonogram record company, a Keith Lamb original called "You". The flip side was a Neil-Sedaka song "Rainy Day Bells".
Guitarist Les Gock joined the group in August 1972 and the group made the NSW State Finals of a National Battle Of The Sounds competition. Another Sydney group, Sherbet, went on to win the NSW and National finals of that competition. — but Hush were mightily chuffed at even reaching a State final and just 2 years later they would release a single "C'mon We're Taking Over" that was specifically directed at Sherbet, who had gone on to consolidate their own position as Most Popular Group in Australia.
But back to '72. As soon as Les Gock joined the band and they'd made the State final, some internal chemistry within the band started working. Inside a few months the group were suddenly the biggest crowd drawers on the Sydney dance circuit. They certainly poured every erg of collective energy into every performance and large groups of young rock 'n' roll consumers suddenly found something better to do than loll around home on Friday and Saturday nights waiting for their parents to come back from the RSL - they went out to scream and dance and sweat to Hush.
But while promoters were only too anxious to book the group, the prevailing feeling was that Hush were a group of thrashers who were pulling the crowds but that the whole thing would pass away within the next six months.
They were in fact treated much as a novelty — a popular band with no lasting power. This attitude was pretty much reflected when the group signed to the Warner Bros. Record Company which put them in the studios to record an uptempo version of "White Christmas".
Bing Crosby's version of White Christmas is of course the biggest selling record ever made, it's something like 10,000,000 copies in various forms since its its release in late '49.
When set against this standard, Hush's version did particularly dismal business. It sold about 200 copies and got absolutely no airplay.
Well it was a pretty dire record anyway. The sort of record that, on reflection; a band hopes its fans never get to hear.
"Untouched by human hand — all by herself," remembers Keith Lamb fondly.
In October of '73 the band went back into the studio to record their most popular original song, "Get The Feeling". They didn't adapt to studio conditions any better than on previous efforts, and in an attempt to get their on-stage energy onto record they next put down a live album in front of a few hundred selected fans packed into a Sydney studio. The album Aloud 'n' Alive, was released in December of '73, on the Warner Bros. label.
|Hush 1973 Promo Shot|
The success of the album and the band's vast popularity in country areas around NSW finally inspired airplay of the "Get The Feeling" single in 1974. Hush hit the road with a vengeance, extending their touring schedules to take in country areas throughout Australia. The move extended the concert popularity and got further airplay for "Get The Feeling". In March of '74 Hush moved to the Wizard Record Company and recorded the "Get Rocked album. On every level it was better than anything else they'd ever done in a studio. A single called "Walking" from the album scored them their first national hit and the album sold over 45,000 copies.
The band's third album, 'Cmon We're Taking Over' was made in the euphoria of having scored heavily with 'Get Rocked'.
As already related, the title track of C'mon was a calculated challenge to every other Australian band — especially the most popular, Sherbet.
The album and the single was also a calculated move towards musical sophistication. The band experimented with horn and string arrangements and threw in a couple of ballads for extra artistic effect.
They were still regarded as a local dance band who could put on a good stage show and who had somehow fluked a hit record and brief national popularity. The group's attempts to update this image with an artistically credible album, i.e. C'num We're Taking Over, didn't work out as planned and the last straw was that their popularity in their home town at Sydney suddenly plummeted. A Sydney Hordern Pavilion concert in early '75 drew only a few-thousand instead of an expected 4,000.
At this time the band were also not having any joy with a new single, "Boney Moroney". It had been recorded under the direction of producer Robbie Porter but the band didn't like the song very much and when radio stations didn't play it the group felt very frustrated indeed.
They left Australia for a while, touring New Zealand and Noumea for six weeks. The tour on the whole was successful and spirit were further uplifted upon their return to find a few radio stations were actually playing Boney.
And then "Boney Moroney" took off. It gained airplay and high chart positions in state after state and ended up selling over 50,000 copies. It spread slowly all around Australia, staying on most national charts for most of '75 and it ended up being No.1 National Hit for '75 on the Countdown TV series pop charts.
The follow up single, "Glad All Over" was not as highly successful but it was successful enough, and it was also the single that attracted most interest from record companies in England and America — an interest that has resulted in the band being offered a tour of England in late '76. Hush's most recent album, Rough Tough 'N' Ready (released Dec '75) contained both Boney and Glad All Over singles and was a return to the raunchy rock format of the get Rocked era. It was also the closest yet studio approximation to the band's on stage excitement level. [extract from RAM magazine 1976]
|Molly handing over a Platinum Single for Boney Moroney on Countdown|
01 - Take Us Home
02 - Three Blind Mice
03 - Make luv to You
04 - Honky Tonk Woman
05 - Come On Up
06 - Summer Time Blues
07 - Green Skin Girl From Mars
08 - Come On Everybody
09 - Get The Feelin'
10 - Morning Dew
11 - Johnny B. Goode
12 - Long Tall Sally
13 - Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys
14 - Get The Feelin' (Bonus single)
15 - Get Flaired (Bonus Colonial Jeans Promo Single 1974)
16 - White Christmas (Bonus Single)
Keith Lamb (vocals)
Les Gock (guitar)
Rick Lum (bass)
Chris Paithorpe (drums)
Hush Live Link (138Mb)