The story of Ramones and the Krush began in 1977 when Yemun Chung, one of the top talent managers and booking agents of the day, took several members of a marginally successful cover band named New Experience, added dynamic Bobby Gonzales of Glass Candle, and announced the debut of a new show band, the Fabulous Krush.
Chung ran a tight ship. Members came and went -- not always leaving on good terms with Chung and the group -- but careerwise, the Fabulous Krush went straight up.
Their self-titled debut album won three Na Hoku Hanohano Awards back in 1981. It took them less than five years to go from nothing to being a headliner attraction at the Outrigger Hotel's main showroom, where they split the year with the SOS.
THINGS changed after Chung resigned as manager and announced he was retiring from show business. Free for the first time to chart their own destiny, the group moved away from light pop material and got into a louder and more rock-oriented sound that eventually didn't fit the showroom formula perfected for the Outrigger.
The now-named Krush ("Fabulous" had been dropped several years earlier) lost the steady Outrigger gig and had to spend more time touring on the mainland. Ramones quit the group in 1987, saying that he planned to remain on the mainland with his wife and sons. The group subsequently dissolved without public announcement.
By the middle of 1991, however, Ramones was back in Hawaii. He resurrected the Krush around a core group of veterans -- founding member Gonzales, plus two of the guys who had come and gone between 1977 and 1985, Hal Bradbury and Jesse Gamiao. Wes Aoki, Hemingway Jasmin and Lucky Salvador completed the new Krush. The group worked with Don Ho at the Polynesian Palace but disbanded after Ho moved to the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel.
Ramones resurrected the group for a third time in 1997 and the band opened as the headliners at the then-named Esprit Lounge. Ramones, Gamiao and Salvador were the veterans this time, joined by new members Darryl Anguay, William Daquioag, Tino Ibach and Richard Natto.
The Krush headlined the Esprit for several years, with Ibach emerging as the charismatic front man of the group, but eventually broke up after Natto was invited to join the SOS Las Vegas band. Ibach and Salvador then founded Tino & The Rhythm Klub and stayed on at the Esprit for several years.
And now, Ramones is back with a new version of the Krush for 2005. As some of our readers may remember, Ramones sang lead on the Krush's popular cover of the Rascals' "My Hawaii" back in the day.
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