I am the former leader of the Redlegs, a sort of pirate rock n’ roll band that formed in the houseboat colony of Sausalito, California during the late sixties. We were known as troublemaking outlaws and were shunned by the establishment music industry.
I am writing a book titled “Last Voyage Of The Redlegs,” which recounts our adventures and exploits as we sailed San Francisco Bay, the Delta and the Pacific Ocean.
The tale covers our formation in the drug crazed hippie houseboat scene and subsequent professional music as well as our sailing adventures that took us out across the Pacific and back.
The Last Voyage back from Hawaii brought us all back together in a houseboat community that had been devastated by developers. With our base of operations destroyed, the Redlegs dissolved into a mass of quivering protoplasm.
Posted here is chapter one, Lost World Of Innocence,” which recounts the beginnings of the band from my perspective many thousands of mile away in Costa Rica on the first leg of the Last Voyage.
I was born in Thebes Illinois Sep. 24, 1940 son of Louis and Fanny Tate both evangelists
I Grew up in St. Louis, Mo
Graduated Normandy High School 1959
Attended Kansas Weslyan University on scholarship
Also University of Missouri and Kansas City Conservatory of Music
I Moved to California in 1964 to attend UC Berkeley. When I went to the registrars office at Sproul Hall it was blocked by antiwar demonstrators. Since I couldn’t get into school I watched the demonstration and met some musicians with whom I formed a band called Red Shepard and the Flock.
After a few years with this band I joined a number of other groups including Salvation and finally the Redlegs. Both these groups were popular in the San Francisco Bay area from 1967 to about 1980.
After the Redlegs dissolved I started working in the electrical engineering field where I remain till the present. During this last period I have only worked sporadically as a musician playing mostly with local blues groups.
About 2001 I started singing with gospel choirs, first with the Lighthouse Singers and later with the Northern California Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America under the direction of Dr. Helen J. Stephens. In addition I have formed a gospel quartet which specializes in old time black gospel music which we learn from old recordings.
I am currently employed by Umevoice Inc. of Novato, CA. We manufacture noise canceling headsets for use with cell phones. I hold a number of patents related to this work.