Roger & Wendy
Love Rog + Wem
Formerly of 1960’s U.S. psych-folk band Euphoria (MGM/Heritage), not to mention veterans of the late 1960’s Greenwich Village coffee-house scene that spawned many a career, Roger & Wendy made this private press album for family and friends in 1971, in an edition of 50 copies. They later renamed themselves Bermuda Triangle; their recently reissued 1977 album under that name has garnered terrific reviews throughout the years. “It started in New York City with the guy across the hall, who was missing two fingers, saying he earned money playing flamenco guitar in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse. Roger and Wendy (we two, the two of us) exchanged glances. Could it be that easy to get paid for making music? We put together some songs which featured our vocals and Roger’s autoharp, and headed from our 5th floor walk-up slum tenement, where the holes through the ancient brick wall were big enough for snow to blow in, across town to the BASEMENT coffeehouse on MacDougal St. (in the Village) to audition. Hired after one song, we played our first sets that night and every night thereafter ’til 4 A.M., seven nights a week, 365 days a year. At the time, the coffeehouses were called basket houses, since the only pay you got was what was collected in a straw basket passed around at the end of each twenty minute set. Stephen Stills said, ‘I love your guys’ music,’ and dropped $20 in, which more than half covered our $35 a month rent.” So begins the tale. With strong roots in folk music, Roger & Wendy have electric and often unconventional arrangements. The lyrics are complex and symbolic, the instrumentation very unusual. Roger is also the inventor of much of the technology required to create multiple effects that achieve a multidimensional quality: passages that listeners mistake for electric guitar are actually autoharp. Roger redesigned the autoharp’s chord structure to facilitate switching between keys; now all major autoharp manufacturers worldwide make autoharps using his design. And as for Wendy, women bass players were a rarity in the 60’s, and still are today. Consequently, their groups (then and now) have always been far out there beyond the leading edge. The Roger & Wendy “Love Rog & Wem” album is a alluring collection of shimmering psych-folk gems, and is the rarest of the duo’s records (fetching $900+). A superb artifact from the early 1970’s underground psych folk scene, taken from the original master tapes, and using the original sleeve artwork for this deluxe mini-LP sleeve reissue. Booklet has photos, great stories, and five bonus tracks, too!