Album dedicated to: God and Satan together, Col. McHarg, Bill Varni, Pope, Mel Bay and Bobbie J. Hug, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, The Ritz Brothers, The Marx Brothers, Rudolf Valentino, Jean Harlow, Doc, Crusader Rabbit, Prof. Irwin Corey, John Puckingham, Pedro, The Beast from Haight Street, Jim Marshall, All English Groups in General, Mrs. Bob Dylan, Dali, Barbie Busby, Krispi and Angie, Sound Spectrum, Red Shepard, Frank’s Klan, Will Kramer, Leny Bruce, Father Flotsky, Bela Lugosi, Ironhead, Joe Yapps, Hatchethead, Tiger, Frank Zappa, Sandy Margolis, God and Satan, Libby, Bill Parsons, Soupy Sales, Captain Marvel, Albert Hotel • The Purpose of the Album as quoted by Al Linde on behalf of the group: “To manifest the greatest pleasure possible for the porpose of enjoying the fullest extent that life has to offer for one’s self.”
That there is something unique about the San Francisco music scene has been obvious for some time now.
One after another, a succession of great bands—the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Country Joe & the Fish, Big Brother & the Holding Co.—have emerged from what the Rock generation has called “the Liverpool of the U.S.” and more are coming.
“Music IS different here,” says Joe Tate, lead guitarist of Salvation, latest in the succession of San Francisco bands to emerge on the national scene. “Tastefully, it’s different. It has a flavor that hasn’t been beard before.” “I would use the word ‘pure,’” interjected Al Linde, his songwriting-singing associate in Salvation. “Music is purer here. If you’re shucking, they know it!”
Salvation emerged this past year in San Francisco. For weeks the band was a feature at the free concerts in Golden Gate Park given every Sunday by local bands under the wing of The Diggers, the Monks of the Haight/Ashbury who provided free food and concerts all summer.
Salvation loved the concerts in the park. “It’s our business to entertain,” Linde says. “We’d play for Ed Sullivan, President Johnson’s press party, any place, if they’d ask us. It’s good for music to be there where people are and it’s good for them for us to be there.”
Salvation began when Al Linde, a former harpoon sharpener and garbage collector at the University of Washington in Seattle, met Joe Tate, a cesspool driver and former student at the School of Mining & Minerology of the University of Missouri.
“Al and I were running around with a tape we had made and we got a call for a job at the Roaring 20s that started in 9 days. So we learned 20 songs and went to work and stayed there three months.” Teddy Stewart, the group’s drummer, met Joe outside a bar in Sausalito and U.S. of Arthur (his real name is Art Resnick and he went to the University of Minnesota with Bob Dylan) and bassist Artie McLean joined later.
“We’re growing,” says Linde, “but we change all the time. the thing to do is to all grow at the same pace. We have depth and we’re growing with each other. We haven’t really even delved into what we COULD do yet. We haven’t even scratched the surface of each other’s talent.”
“I’m surprised all the time,” Joe Tate says, wonderment at the band’s capabilities lighting his face.
Joe and Al are dedicated to joy as firmly as the Ritz Brothers are to chaos. As far as he can see into the future, Joe just wants to be playing music and Al says that he is determined to be happy. “It’s a hard job staying happy! All I want to do is entertain and I hope I am entertaining. It makes me feel good.”
The music on the album is a good cross-section of what Salvation does. Al Linde refers to it as “the music we’ve listened to all our lives. Super product. Super square.” It took them three days in three four-hour sessions to cut the album and all the songs were written by Al and Joe. The music, Al says, “is earthy, commercial, what just comes out of our mouths and souls. How hammy can you get?”
Al, the harpoon sharpener (he was with the Seattle fishing fleet for a while) says he was raised on Jimmy Reed. “He was my first influence. I ran into him in a friend’s house on records. I picked up a guitar and learned those little runs. then Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino. I was listening to him in high school. I even dig Perry Como, man! My influences? Bob Dylan. Pat Boone. Woody Guthrie. John Coltrane. Lawrence Welk…”
Joe Tate, who is a firm believer in spontaneity (“When I feel I know exactly what we’re doing, I don’t want to play the song any more, it’s dull and boring.”) says he has been influenced by Julian Bream, Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian, Tal Farlow and Charlie Byrd but also says he is “radio taught!”
Of the songs in the album, Al wrote Love Comes in Funny Packages on “a riverboat in Seattle. It’s in B-flat. it’s just a horny cat digging a chick on the street.” Cinderella (one of the group’s most successful songs in performance) is “a true rock ‘n roll song,” Al says. “The lyrics are cute,” Joe Tate adds, “it’s a knock-out rock ‘n roll song.” More Than it Seems “is our answer to Motown,” Joe says. “This shows another side of Joe’s guitar playing,” Al adds.
Getting My Hat “is a kind of rhythm and blues variation of everything we’ve ever heard. It’s one of our true songs and it has ‘fours’ in it and is dedicated to all those groups that have ever done fours in jazz.” All says G.I. Joe “is a rock-and-roll-ee! It is good time music. I was talking to myself. I didn’t write it or anything. I just sat down and played the whole song through once and I knew it! I never had to do anything to it after that.” Think Twice “is a very free song. Every musician gets a chance to express himself in it and it ends in a jam.” Joe points out that Al plays harmonica on this one.
She Said Yeah! “is real hard rock, it’s really fun.” The Village Shuck is “a good time song, a happy go lucky song. Joe plays electric mandolin on it. It’s bizarre,” Al says. And adds, “I sing it in an English-Western accent, like something out of the 30s, the Victorian times.” What Does an Indian Look Like is a fun song, too. “It’s the next thing between rock ‘n roll and Village Shuck,” Joe says.
As this album was being released, Salvation was in New York and planning on driving back to San Francisco in their bus, “a 24 passenger 1963 Ford school bus.” It used to belong to a church and the band has transformed it from its original image quite successfully. Joe designed the big metal hand which is one of its salient features. Some of the pictures Jim Marshall took of the group followed a mad bus ride in Los Angeles. The deepest conviction of Salvation is that they are guarded by the mighty hand of God in all driving adventures. Like their music, the bus is impromptu and joyous.
— RALPH J. GLEASON, Contributing Editor, JAZZ & POP Magazine, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle
Al Linde, vocal
Artie McLean, bass
U.S. of Arthur, organ & harpsichord
Joe Tate, guitar
Teddy Stewart, drums
Auxiliary members: Tom scott, tenor sax and flute—Bill Plummer, sitar
- Love Comes in Funny Packages (2:51)
- Cinderella (2:48)
- More Than it Seems (3:19)
- Getting My Hat (3:59)
- G.I. Joe (4:35)
- Think Twice (7:05)
- She Said Yeah (3:41)
- The Village Shuck (2:20)
- What Does an Indian Look Like? (3:40)
ABC Records ABC-623
(This one was part of the collection we got from Prairie’s family. She’s guessing that it was her dad’s at some point in the past, though nobody’s really sure one way or another. Apparently a mostly forgotten piece of the late 60’s San Francisco music scene.)