Salvation Navy
Olympia, Washington
1967 ~ 1968


Eric Christopher ~ Vocals
Steve Contris ~ Organ, Piano
Bob Hart ~ Guitar
Mike Kerstetter ~ Drums
Darryl Riffero ~ Bass
Kevin Wyer ~ Guitar

The Train disbanded in August 1967 and then returned with Christopher, Kerstetter, Riffero and Bob Hart as the group 'Light".  Light played their first gig in September 1967 at North Thurston High School in Lacey, Washington.  Soon the group changed its name to “The Salvation Navy" and added two more members Kevin Wyer and Steve Contris.  Kevin Wyer had previously been a member of the highly popular band from Elma, Washington, "The Untouchables".  Hart and Contris had previously been members of "The Rooks", an Olympia band who could play songs by "The Sonics" with equal raw intensity.  This lineup played dances around the Thurston County area from late October 1967 until June 1968 when the group disbanded.

The Salvation Navy recorded four songs in May 1968.  Those songs were "To Love Somebody", "Parchment Farm", "Satisfied" and one untitled song.  Those recording are now preserved on CD today.  The Salvation Navy’s style of music was a mixture of blues, psychedelic, rock and pop.  Eric Christopher was a showman on stage and could be compared to The Doors’ Jim Morrison.

The Salvation Navy's big moment of glory came in June 1968 when the band opened for The Grassroots, the Dunhill recording act from Los Angeles, California.  The Grassroots drummer borrowed Mike Kerstetter’s blanket to use with their drum kit.

After The Salvation Navy disbanded in June 1968, Christopher and Kerstetter started the band "Faith".  Later, Darryl Riffero joined forces with a soul/R&B group "The Psych River Soul Mill" as their lead guitarist.

Darryl Riffero, May 2002

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Last Update:  28 May 2010
Credits:   Darryl Riffero
Band # 402