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All Saved Freak Band

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The roots of Jesus rock pioneers the All Saved Freak Band date back to 1963, when aspiring pianist Larry Hill met guitarist Joe Markko on a Chicago street corner while ministering for the Christian youth program Teen Challenge; a few years later, the duo began collaborating as songwriters, first enjoying success when their “There Is Still Hope in Jesus” was selected as the closing theme for the local radio program Time for the Risen Christ. In 1966 Hill broke away from the Assembly of God to found his own independent church, the Church of the Risen Christ, claiming he was the recipient of visions that foretold of a war between Americans and Asians, communism in Australia, impending “enemy advancement,” and God’s plans to send America “into vast and destructive judgment for her sins.” The CRC made its home on a five-acre plot of land in Orwell, OH, raising livestock, stockpiling weapons, and studying martial arts in advance of Communist attack; in the meantime, Hill and Markko continued writing and playing music, with the former convinced rock & roll would serve as the ideal vessel for his spiritual message. With the additions of Markko’s brother Randy on bass and drummer Dana Vandernic, they began performing live as Preacher and the Witness, playing coffeehouses and street corners throughout northeast Ohio; eventually, Hill befriended Glenn Schwartz, a phenomenally gifted Cleveland-area guitarist who previously tasted secular success as a member of the James Gang and later Pacific Gas & Electric, only to denounce the mainstream after he discovered Christianity.

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