Monday, May 20, 2013

Hush - Rough, Tough 'N' Ready (1975) - REPOST -

(Australian 1971-1977)
Hush's most succesful line-up included Keith Lamb (vocals), Les Gock (guitar), Rick Lum (bass) and Chris Paithorpe (drums). The band came to public notice when they made the final of the 1972 'Battle Of The Bands' and won a recording contract with WEA. But their careers didn't immediately take off and it was only with 'Loud'n' Live' in 1973 that they began to move up the charts. In 1974 they moved to Wizard Records and charted with the single "Walking". Then in 1975 they did a heavy cover of "Bony Maroney", which went to No.1 and their album 'Rough Tough 'n' Ready' went platinum (see picture with Molly presenting the award to Hush)
Countdown changed the career of Hush by exposing them to a much wider audience than they had ever played to while touring. Hush were perfect for television and perfect for Countdown - glitz, glamour, spectacle and catchy riffs. 
Interview with Hush (RAM Magazine - Jan 2, 1976)
"The Further Dragon Flight Adventures of Hush"

 - Rough 'n' Ready Road Crews and Bad Thoughts for Tasmanian Politicians -

As you know, one of the legends about Chinese restaurants is that the food they serve up to their countrymen is different, richer, more succulent and delicious.
In the kitchens (so the legend goes), there are two pots. One boils and bubbles with rich, secret aromas. This is The Real Thing.
The other contains but a taste test of The Real Thing, this is the stuff they give to Australian diners.
So anyway, there we were in a Chinese restaurant and Les Gock of Hush is ordering in actual, Chinese. He is conversing with the waiter at some length about every dish being ordered. The waiter, his head bent over the menu is shaking his head at some entries, guiding Us through, the maze of listings — pointing to where the secret taste delights are concealed from western eyes.
Keith Lamb who has stepped off a return flight from London a few hours before is sitting back, re-gathering his vitality. And Hush manager Peter Rix, wearing an incongruous denim hat Lamb had brought him as a present, casts an avuncular, friendly eye over the proceedings.
The restaurant, which some years ago used to be a student hang-out with laminex tables and lino floor, but which of recent times has changed over to carpet, piped musak and higher prices, takes some time to deliver the specialities to the table. And ... mmmmmm ... munch, chew, swallow ... jeeze, it's no different from the stuff you get if you order in English,
Ah well, another Oriental Legend hits the scrap heap.
By the way Les 'n' Keith, are the Chinese and Occidental factions in Hush still struggling for supremacy?   
"I'm sick of 'avin' all those bloody dragons and Chinese symbols on stage," mutters Lamb. "The only thing is, Smiley (Pailthorpe, Hush's drummer) and me can't get it together to get something happening".
"Like he wants an Australian flag on stage, but ah'm British mate, an' I want the Union Jack."
"These Westerners are too disorganised to even get close to superior Chinese intelligence," grins Les Gock.
"They're crafty bastards,admits Lamb. "We try not to stay at the same motel with them any more ...."
"Mind you," he adds, "that especially applies to Queensland, where they sometimes try and run Les and Rick (Rick Lum, Hush bass player) out of town at 2.00am in the morning."
"Nothing personal, he assures us. "But I'm a growing pop star with a reputation for wild behaviour to maintain. And I need me sleep."
"The elected member for Bass in the Tasmanian parliament got up in the House and asked why this pop group Hush were allowed into Tasmania since their sexual behaviour on stage had caused them to be banned in many mainland states of Australia," says Peter Rix.
"That's great," says Lamb. "I love all that.., they're such fools aren't they ....
"Nah, I confess all ... I've gotta dirty mind, that's wot it's all about... everything I do on stage is planned to give policemen and Tasmanian politicians bad thoughts.
"'But the group hasn't been banned, has it? I mean, we've got this new album to promote y'see ....
"By the way," he asks. "How do I explain to me old mum in England about that press clipping in the album with me masturbating on stage in Adelaide? She'll come over 'ere and drag me back 'ome to England."
Hush On Countdown
"Anyway, Merry Christmas to all politicians in Tasmania and all policemen in Queensland and Adelaide.'
"The Chinese people don't really have Christmas," says Les. "We save on presents to each other. Though sometimes we have to give something to these Westerners, to keep them happy."
"The new Hush album is a good Christmas present," he adds.
Ok lads, tell us about the new album. Try not to be bashful now.
"It represents a return to form for Hush," says Les seriously.
"We really put a lot work into it. It's really a whole different direction to 'We're Taking Over' which is where we tried to experiment in the studio.
"This time we tried to get the band's stage sound onto record and it's worked pretty well I think. Like it's lot more straightforward than 'We're Taking Over'. But on the other hand, the playing is a lot more controlled and better judged.
"And it's much better recorded than the 'Get Rocked' album."
"I'd buy the album," opines Keith Lamb. "I only heard how it finished for the first time this morning, and I really liked it."
"Like I wasn't so hot for 'We're Taking Over' in the end, but this one's hot, and saucy and juicy ... cor!! ...."
Yeah, but everyone says that about their new album.
"Yeah, but not everyone's had the ups and downs we've had over the past year," offers Les. "Like this is our first album for nearly a year and we knew it had to be something special. We really sweated over every detail of it. We worked out exactly what we wanted to do on it, how we wanted it to sound, what sort of energy level we wanted on it."
"And we spent a lot of time getting what we were after. It's a positive direction for the group ...."
Getting down to specifics, the album showcases a strong Hush obsession with life on the road and other forms of rock and roll existences.
"Like Grand Prix," says Les. "That was written watching the Bathurst 500 Motor Race on TV. We had the riff some time before, but that's how we got the words. There's no storyline really, it's a collection of racing images thrown together for a speed kind of effect. We reckoned the life racing car drivers lead is pretty much what happens with rock bands. Lots of moving from one place to another, lots of gearing up for the main event ... a stage show or a big race or whatever.
Les Gock
"The racing circuit has its own groupies too ... women that are really turned on by the idea of speed and the atmosphere ....
'The title track. Rough Tough 'N' Ready is about the road too ... "but it's about our road crew. People think pop groups are rough 'n' ready but we're pampered softies compared to the road crews... if you ever want to find out what really happens on the road ... they're who you should speak to ...."
Hmmmm. That's the Hush road crew whose more boisterous moments on the Tasmanian tour caused official, wrath to fall on the next group coming through ... which just happened to be Sherbet ....
"Yeah, that's them," admits Les.
"What's that?" says Lamb who, having being in England for the past month or so, hadn't heard about that sequence of events in Tas.
"Cor blimey," he gasps when all has been explained. "Can we get back to something a bit lighter now?"
"Anyway," finishes Les. "A road crew lives rougher and tougher than anyone I've ever come across, and we thought it was worth writing about"
And the road theme keeps on featuring throughout the album. Another track, China Doll was written on a stretch of road in the furtherest northern reaches of Queensland.
"It's a fantasy," explains Les. "We were doing about 400 miles a day on that tour and you just don't want to know about reality. It's all flogging down dust roads at 80 mph and running cars into the ground. So you fantasize like mad about something more pleasant. That's the difference between us and the road crew. They handle the reality."
It turns out that another song. Spitfire, is about a recent New Zealand trip.
"New Zealand's very into the 60's and all that psychedelic music," says Keith. "It's our peace, love and light show song ...."

And so it goes. Another track, 9 to 5'er is a look back to the band's life of 3 years ago.
"Working 9-5 and leading very boring lives," says Les. "Nowadays when we meet old friends who are still leading boring lives as clerks or whatever, it's sort of sad. 'Cos they sometimes start apologising for the fact they're still working 9 to 5 ... and they've worked themselves into it so they know they'll be doing the same thing for the next 20 years.
"With us, we don't know what'll be happening to us in two years time, which is a different sort of pressure I suppose ...."
Of the three non -originals on the album, Glad All Over and Boney Moroney have already been released as singles. However the album version of Boney Moroney features some changes from the single version. There's a new mix and a new guitar solo.
Glad All Over also features a new guitar solo and a new-improved mix from the first pressing of the single.
The other non-original on the album, the Beatles' song You Really Got A Hold On Me was found by accident. Keith Lamb was looking for a song (he can't remember the title, but he'd know the tune if he ever heard it again) and came across You Really Got A Hold which Smiley Pailthorpe thought would be good for the band to do.
The other Hush original on the album, How Do You Feel? Alright! started off as an intro for Hush shows some years ago. When rehearsing for the Rough 'n' Ready album it was dusted off and developed from a 10-bar opening into something longer.
And for the last word: "I'm still not hot for Boney Moroney" says Les firmly. "It was a successful single all right. But I just don't feel comfortable with the song ... we gave it the, Hush- treatment, but the song has more to do with Robbie Porter, our producer, than the group. 
It just doesn't fit in with anything the band grew up with."
Still slagging your top 10 hits, eh lads?
"We've got an image to maintain," sighs Keith Lamb.
[by Anthony O'Grady, RAM Magazine #22 Jan 2, 1976 p19]

Keith Lamb (Photo thanks to Greg Noakes)
Irrespective of Les Gock's opinion about the single, "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 album (released Dec '75) was a return to the raunch rock format of the get Rocked era. It was also the closest yet studio approximation to the band's on stage excitement level.

This post consists of an MP3 rip (320kps) of my vinyl copy along with full album artwork. In addition, I have included a scan of the interview featured above, published in RAM Vol #22, 1976. Also included are 2 bonus tracks, the first being a non-album track entitled "Get What" (B-Side to Glad All Over) which was often played at live gigs, with the audience altering the lyrics by one word ! Need I say more. The second bonus track "Glad All Over" is a live redition lifted from Mushroom's 1980 Concert of the Decade.
So get ya flairs out, let your hair down, and let yourself be entertained by a band that really knew how to rock. For more information on Hush, why not check out their website.
Track Listing
01 - Grand Prix
02 - Rough Tough 'N' Ready
03 - China Doll
04 - Spitfire
05 - Gladd All Over
06 - 9 to 5'er
07 - You Really Gotta Hold On Me
08 - How Do You Feel? Alright!
09 - Boney Moroney
10 - Get What (Bonus B-Side Single)

11 - Glad All Over (Bonus Live - Evolution Concert)

Band members:

Keith Lamb (vocals)
Les Gock (guitar)

Rick Lum (bass)
Chris Paithorpe (drums)

Hush Link (107MbREPOST


  1. nice one...does like me some HUSH

  2. Great writing and great memories of a remarkable band! tireless tourers, great performers, why on earth are they not in the hall of fame??????