Gary Pihl is the lead guitarist for rock trio Alliance consisting of former guest Robert Berry on lead vocals, keyboards and bass, and drummer David Lauser.
Raised in the suburbs of Chicago for the first 12 years of his life, Gary Pihl relocated to the San Francisco Bay area. At 19, Gary had his recording debut with Day Blindness in 1969. He says, “After my time in Day Blindness, I was in a band called Fox with Roy Garcia and Johnny V (Vernazza), who went on to play in Elvin Bishop’s band. We were on shows with Free (with Paul Rogers), Janis Joplin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Eric Burdon and War and Mose Allison.”
Pihl’s first big break in came in 1977, when he joined Sammy Hagar’s band, where he toured and recorded for 8 years. Gary met Tom Scholz when Hagar was opening for BOSTON between ’77 and ’79. In 1985, Sammy joined Van Halen, however, Pihl didn’t miss a beat. He explains, “Tom called me up when he was working on the Third Stage album, he had one more song left to be recorded and asked me if I’d come out to work with him on it. As it turned out, I flew directly from Farm Aid (my last gig with Hagar) to Boston, so I wasn’t out of work for a day. I thought, how lucky could a guy get?”