Alembic guitars and basses are beginning to arrive!
At age 14, Dan Salomon went to Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony with his parents at the wheel as chaperones, where he was to enjoy the most influential musical experience of his lifetime; BB King sharing the ticket the Who and The Jefferson Airplane. Jack Casady, the bassist in the Airplane, became one of Dan's greatest musical influences.
Later, in 1974, Dan was hanging with friends listening to "Blows Against the Empire" and someone told him that Jack Casady was using an Alembic, #1, to get that bass sound and that they cost $1200 dollars.
Alembic was founded by the Grateful Dead’s manager, the legendary Owsley Stanley as a workshop in the Dead’s rehearsal room near San Francisco to help improve the entire sound chain for the band's live recordings, from instruments to PA.
By 1970, Alembic was incorporated with three equal shareholders: Ron Wickersham, an electronics expert; Rick Turner, a guitarist and luthier; and Bob Matthews, a recording engineer. San Francisco artist Robert Thomas painted the logo which had multiple elements that represented the mankind and energy as values that Alembic aimed to show to the public.
In 1974, Dan was a 19 year old student at Franconia College a small alternative college in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he was studying music and specifically and naturally, bass guitar.
Dan sold off his prized Rickenbacker 4001 bass and saved and earned his way to his goal of acquiring an Alembic bass guitar. When he reached his goal, he got on the school's pay phone in the main lobby of what was once the luxurious Forest Hills Hotel, got Alembic’s phone number from information and dialed them up.
Luthier Rick Turner answered the phone. “I have the money”! Dan said, “I want one of your basses”. "Oh, what do you think they cost”? asked Rick. “$1200, I’ve got it,” Dan said. Rick said, “No, they’re $1600” and then there was dead silence on Dan's end of the line. Rick could feel Dan’s disappointment over the 3000 miles of phone line and told him, "Wait, I think that I have a 22-fret prototype sitting in a closet that we can put some electronics in if you'd like. If you send me the $1200, I'll send you the bass in 6 months."
Exactly six months later, a 22 fret, Series I model with book matched walnut front and back, oak center and bird’s eye maple inlaid pick guard arrived at Dan's house in Worcester, Ma...and when it arrived every bass player in town came to see it. He still uses it on all his bass gigs to this day.
Now another lifelong dream is coming to fruition and Northern Lights Music will be showcasing Alembic basses and guitars.