Barry broke into the music biz in his hometown of Montreal at age 10 when he signed a binding legal contract that stipulated in exchange for his parents buying him a green two wheel bicycle, he would agree to take piano lessons once a week for a year. Mom and Dad told him he would become a famous musician one day, or at the very least find a low paying job within the music industry. Barry gleefully signed without legal representation.

  The bike was fun but the piano lessons were painful (and who mentioned anything about practicing?) as they cut deeply into his play time. Discovering newfound powers from his Superman costume, he pleaded to be let out of the contract after only a few months. He wrote a passionate letter to his folks informing them of his decision to become either a professional football or baseball player. They caved and let him out of the contract AND he kept the bike.

Karma being what it is, Barry would not become a professional athlete, ending up instead... in the music industry!
At 15 and sporting the thickest hair he would ever know, Barry journeyed off to prep school in Vermont where he majored in hockey and football with a minor in studies. In 1964 he started to learn how to play guitar, as he wanted to become the sixth Beatle. It was a lovely three years in a great school and it readied him for college.

  It was 1966 when Barry entered the freshman class at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. He joined his first band, Sico and the Cmen playing rhythm and blues. By his second year he was playing on the school's varsity hockey team and had formed the successful band, Abraxas. When not busy with these activities, he studied a little business administration.
One of the first progressive rock bands in the area, Abraxas played many gigs throughout upper New York State and for college fraternities. Band mate Larry Hoppen went on to become lead singer, co-lead guitarist and bassist for Orleans, a popular 70's group that had many top ten Billboard hits that are still heard on radio, such as "Dance With Me", and "Still The One".

In his spare time, Barry rummaged through music store basements and pawnshops across North America eyeing and buying some great guitars, which he restored. All these fine instruments were sold profitably but very prematurely, as today the Les Pauls, Firebirds, Flying V's, Strats, Teles and such would be highly sought after as collector's items.

Barry's dad frequently went to England on business, and was always thoughtful enough to bring home the latest Jeff Beck or Jimi Hendrix record, thus ensuring Barry was one of the first in North America to discover these great guitarists. He found it utterly awkward to tell people about this incredible guitarist Jimi Hendrix when no one else had yet heard of him!



In the summer of 1969 Barry trekked to Woodstock, New York along with half a million other would be cool dudes. After lying in a muddy sleeping bag and sleeping under the stars with a misty rain coming down, he and his buddies decided to leave a bit early - the next morning in fact, thus ensuring they would miss many of the finest acts at the most famous music festival ever.

Nonetheless, during that era he saw all the greats live in person, Hendrix from the 4th row in Syracuse, NY, The Beatles from the 1rst row in Boston, the Stones, Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Yardbirds, Spirit and his favourite, Procul Harum.



Returning to Montreal in 1970, he worked at a desk job in the family's collection agency business. A year later at 23, he picked up and moved to Hartford, Connecticut for more than a year as manager of an office and then on to Washington, DC for six months where he opened and ran another office. Little did he know that the collecting talents developed during this period would come in handy many years later whilst owning a recording studio.

At the end of this two-year stint Barry returned to Montreal but by 1976 he decided to make Toronto his permanent home and packed his bags. He continued to work in the family business for a while, tried his hand in real estate and wasn't quite certain what to do next.


By 1983 Barry started messing around with his guitar again and soon after had his first experience recording songs he had written. He was introduced to local recording studios such as Kensington Sound and Wellesley Sound. Although non-technical at the time, he knew that recording music was something he felt very comfortable about.

In 1982 he purchased his first Tascam 4 track Portastudio but couldn't figure out how to work all the knobs and buttons. When a year later it was stolen from his apartment he was overwhelmed with joy and was only too happy to collect the insurance money. When the cheque arrived, he fell to his knees shouting "Thank god I'm out of the recording business!"

However, two years later the music bug struck again and he bought an even simpler 4-track machine, which he eventually mastered. Thus began his love affair with the art of recording music and his home studio continued to grow in size and equipment over the next seven years.


In 1991 Barry opened his first commercial studio in the west end of Toronto called Pizazzudio, which became known for it's quality equipment and fine attention to detail. For ten years Pizazzudio succeeded as a commercial recording facility during a difficult business climate. By the end of the 90's Barry wanted to expand and looked at many options before he came upon the one that seemed right.


In 2000, after 26 years as the original owner of Phase One Recording Studios, Paul Gross had wanted a change. Paul and Barry struck a deal whereby Barry purchased the assets of Phase One. The facility needed a major update and thus began a four-month renovation and remodeling. Upon completion, Phase One quickly regained its reputation as one of the premier recording studios in Canada. Since then, multiple improvements and upgrades continue to keep Phase One at the highest level.

The recording industry has evolved between 2000 and 2011 and there are many new challenges for all commercial studios. There have been adjustments and new realities to deal with. Still, Phase One continues to make quality of work and service it’s highest priority. The equipment is well maintained as is the facility. The staff has undergone some changes over the years but overall, turnover is small.

Barry is very proud of Phase One and most appreciative of the dedicated and hardworking staff that works extremely hard at the studio. We are also appreciative of the many interns who have spent time with us. He wishes to use this last paragraph to thank each and every one of our employees for their incredible effort and for helping make Phase One the great studio and Canadian icon that it is.


Barry has another side to him that not everyone is aware of. He's not afraid to let people know that he is "well connected", or as he likes to brag,"I have friends in high places".

And it's all true because he has befriended just about every squirrel within Toronto's city limits.

At home he feeds a roving band of squirrels that arrive at daybreak every morning, squirrels that are possibly the fattest in the city. And at work, he overfeeds another crew with roughly the same dimensions.

Moreover, Barry owns what could be the largest squirrel collection in the free world, more than 300 pieces and counting. It's been a hobby for more than thirty years and makes otherwise dull forays into antique stores a rather interesting experience.

Here you get to see some of that prized collection, which if broken up and sold separately, piece by piece on the thriving squirrel figurine open market, might possibly fetch $10 or thereabouts, assuming a buyer could be found.




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