For most of his life, San Francisco has been Chuck Prophet’s muse…or more accurately, his drug of choice. “It can suck you under. That first hit. It really does a whammy to you. And if you’re like me you can find yourself chasing the San Francisco dragon for the rest of your life. That’s what the record is about.”
Named for the ill-fated rock club of the same name, Temple Beautiful was “made in San Francisco, by San Franciscans about San Francisco.” Roy Loney, vocalist and wildman in legendary Bay Area band The Flamin’ Groovies contributes guest vocals to the title track.
One of the driving forces behind cult heroes Green on Red and the influential L.A. Paisley Underground scene in the 1980s, Prophet’s creative mold was actually cast in San Francisco. Recalls Prophet, “Temple Beautifulis the name of a long closed rock and roll club which was between Bill Graham’s iconic Fillmore Ballroom and the tragic storefront church founded by the Reverend Jim Jones. It’s where I saw my first gigs.”
Inspired by current San Francisco artists, Prophet felt compelled to pay tribute to the history and weirdness that brought him to the city nearly 30 years ago. “There’s a kind of rock and roll psych renaissance going on in this town at the moment with bands like Thee Oh Sees, Girls, The Fresh and Onlys, Kelley Stoltz and Sonny and the Sunset’s. I’m very encouraged by all this stuff going on here.”
Part love letter and part unsentimental tour, Temple Beautiful attempts to capture San Francisco in all it’s forms: romantic port-of-call, bohemian utopia, but even more so, an often unforgiving pioneer outpost filled with the freaks and characters not welcome in America’s heartland. And musically, there is no doubt that San Francisco is one of the country’s most enduring scenes, home to decade after decade of classic artists and albums. Temple Beautiful is at once a look back at the inspirations that spawned them and the next installment in its discography.
In addition to releasing two amazing albums in Soap & Water and ¡Let Freedom Ring! over the past several years, Chuck’s music has been heard in hit television series True Blood (HBO), Californication (Showtime) and Sons of Anarchy (FX). Prophet also co-wrote all the songs on Alejandro Escovedo’s critically-acclaimed album Real Animal.