• Vale Wendy Saddington

      Vale Wendy Saddington
      (1949 – 2013)

      There might be some debate about who was the ‘Queen” of Australian music from it’s halcyon days in the late 1960’s, through to the 1980’s. In my mind there is no debate – it was Wendy Saddington.

      It is with a heavy heart and a profound sense of loss that we farewell the ‘Diva of the Blues’. This was not to say that Wendy did not master a plethora of styles including Soul and Jazz, because she did, and she was known to belt of some hot reggae as well.

      She started singing back in 1967 in a Melbourne band called Revolution, before fronting the well-known Adelaide based band, James Taylor Move. Her meteoric rise can be tracked through her fronting such iconic and fantastic bands as Chain, and although not having any hits with that group, she certainly established her credentials as a leading female singer, and I for one remember her clearly from her appearances in the just as iconic Melbourne disco/club, the Thumping Tum.

      By the early 1970’s she was co-lead singer with Jeff St John in Copperwine.

      Wendy and Jeff

      In January 1971 with St John missing, Wendy took the lead in the band when they played at the Wallacia festival in New South Wales. A live recording of the group there resulted in the album “Wendy Saddington and Copperwine”.

      In 1973 she won the part of the nurse in the live performance of the Rock Opera, Tommy. Then she took a marked change of direction. Wendy had her demons and on the outside appeared to have dealt with them. In one famous interview she confronted her critics of the advice she was giving teens in a magazine she was writing for, by declaring, “Some people can’t face reality.”

      So when she joined the “International Society for Krishna Consciousness” in the early 1970’s and her career faltered, once again the critics were quick to jump on her.

      Wendy with the Krishna’s

      She answered them, and did it in the usual Wendy Saddington style, when in the early 1980’s she formed the “Wendy Saddington band”, with such musical greats as Harvey James, Chris Sweeny and Bobby Gebert. But for me, it was the Mark II version of this band where she 'clobbered' her critics. Supporting her were she was really highly acclaimed musicians and with their backing, a change of musical direction. With Mick Liber (ex-Python Lee Jackson) on guitar, female Bass guitar maestro Angelica Booth, Rose Bygrave on organ, Javier Fredis on Congas, and, top drummer Dezzy Mckenna on drums – this group really cooked.

      However the direction Wendy took the band in was that of Reggae and although she took this music to some unusual places where it wasn’t really appreciated, like the Lightning Ridge RSL, gigs in other locations raised the roof. Unfortunately an album recorded at this time was ‘stuffed’ due to a demagnetisation of the tapes issue, and was never released.

      Wendy continued playing and in 1999, a track, “Later One Night Jam”, recorded by Kevin Borich and the Express was released, with Wendy and Ross Wilson on guest vocals.

      Over the remaining years Wendy went back to singing Jazz and in 2002 a recording of Wendy singing with bass player Jacky Orzascky, drummer Peter Figures, Hammond organist Lachlan Doley and with Peter Head on piano, was made at a concert organised by Head. To my knowledge that album was never released.

      In 2003, Wendy provided three tracks for the album, Women 'n Blues, with other tracks by Kate Dunbar, Sally King, Jeannie Lewis and Margret RoadKnight.

      As recent as 2012, she was still performing and wowing her audience.

      Wendy 2012

      Wendy singing in 2012

      There is so much more to the story of this legend, including gigs with the also legendary Geof Krozier, in the USA, her fantastic shows at the fantastic T.F Much Ballroom, the great performance with Jeff St John at the Myponga festival, and her work with Company Cain and many, many fine Australian musicians. She accomplished much, and won just as much respect and love from her peers and her audiences.

      The following is the track featuring Wendy,"I Who Have Nothing", supplied by one of those many fine musicians that played with her, drummer Dezzy McKenna. I think it is a very appropriate track, for someone who was a strong follower of the Krishna faith. On one hand Wendy had so very, very much, but on the other she recognised how transitory it all was according to her close friends who kept her Facebook page, when they wrote:

      "Gandharvika (Wendy's given Krishna name) has accepted the fact that she is soon to be free of this body and make no mistake, she is leaving with joy."

      To listen, click here: "I Who Have Nothing"

      (1986) - Wendy 'Gandharvika' Saddington
      Harvey Fredes on congas
      Angelika Booth - bass
      Dezzy McKenna - drums
      Rose 'Goanna Band' Bygraves - piano & 2nd vocal
      Mick 'Python Lee' Liber - guitar

      Wendy eventually succumbed to esophageal cancer and passed away at her home with those who she cared most about, around her.

      We have lost many treasured artists over the past few years, and non-will be missed more than Wendy Saddington! She has left a hole in our treasured gallery of artists, but more than that, she has left a hole in our hearts.

      Sing on Wendy, while your shows on this planet are over, may you now headline in a greater place.

      [This tribute is provided on behalf of the Publisher, staff and contributors of the Toorak Times]
      Comments 3 Comments
      1. dezzymckenna's Avatar
        dezzymckenna -
      1. dezzymckenna's Avatar
        dezzymckenna -
        FEBRUARY! 1986 Mick 'Python Lee' Liber and Bassie Angelika Booth approached me to form yet another band.
        I said "No thanx, I am in four bands". They said 'It's Reggae"
        I and I said "I and I in 4 reggae bands Marn, mee's a Reggaemylitis, But I'ze in too many bands''.
        ''Were playing with Wendy Saddington''.
        I said ''Tomorrow! my place --- midday!!"
      1. dezzymckenna's Avatar
        dezzymckenna -
        WENDY 'GARNDARVIKAR' SADDINGTON was easily the best singer in Australia ever, Even HER DEAR FRIEND the Mighty Renee Geyer paid homage to "THE WITCH OF PITCH" ..

        and dig we must my favorite drummer---ME!
    • Featured and member's Blogs
    • Most Popular Blogs

      Marion Miller

      Self Care Sunday: Mindful Colouring Sheets

      Want to find a way to calm yourself with a clear focus? Colouring in allow your mind to focus on a simple task that is relaxing and therapeutic. Colouring sheets for adults are really popular these...

      10 Hours Ago 08:52 AM
      Pation Pics

      Tim Mckew Australian Cabaret Legend

      Tim Mckew at St Kilda's Tolarno Galleries in 1979. I first met with Tim Mckew for a one on one, in his locale at the Abbotsford Convent the other day. I had heard about his forth coming Dadaist...

      1 Day Ago 04:19 PM
      Rob Greaves

      Cream of The Crate: Album # 144 - Madonna: Ray Of Light

      "Ray of Light is her maternity album as well as her avant-dance album.” (Rolling Stone April 1998) "I think this album is the best written lyrically; it’s very colorful and brilliant, like a "Ray of...

      1 Day Ago 08:30 AM
      Rob Greaves

      Ruminations From My Veranda #38: Racism - Is it about race, is it about perceptions, is it more?

      Racism - Is it about race, is it about perceptions, is it about more? - Am I a racist in fact? Hi, I'm Rob Greaves. This is the thirty eighth posting in this ongoing, if not somewhat ad-hoc...

      2 Days Ago 05:25 PM
      Isobel Blackthorn

      Don’t stop the boats, stop the injustice

      I tried to watch Go Back to Where You Came From on SBS last night, but when they got to the border camp in Jordan, where 200 of the 4 million-and-rising refugees fleeing Syria arrive by the day, I...

      3 Days Ago 09:41 AM
      Judy Taylor

      Happy Birthdays ...  Mixed Emotions ...

      In 30 days I will turn 60. I am aware I plan to celebrate my 60th birthday. I am yet to decide how. I love birthdays however I'm not sure what that means. I google it and Wikipedia says,...

      3 Days Ago 10:33 PM

      CCTT Gaming's intro video

      Here's a little taste of what is to come from my Aussie gaming community .... " CC's Team Tactical " ! Using a little footage from Battlefield4 CC's Team Tactical was founded, by its...

      5 Days Ago 04:58 PM
    • Reviews on events and products
    • TAGG Magg News


      Bosques Interview

      Thread Starter: Editor


      Last Post By: Editor 5 Hours Ago Go to last post

      Marlon Williams and the Yarra Benders

      Thread Starter: Admin

      Last Post By: Admin 1 Day Ago Go to last post

      Artists in Residence

      Thread Starter: Editor

      Last Post By: Editor 1 Day Ago Go to last post

      Peter Drew

      Thread Starter: Editor

      Last Post By: Editor 1 Day Ago Go to last post

      50 years of MCG memories: Michael Roach’s remarkable mark in 1979

      Thread Starter: Editor

      In a special richmondfc.com.au nostalgic series celebrating Richmond’s 50 years at home at the MCG, Tony Greenberg leaps back to May 1979 when Michael

      Last Post By: Editor 1 Day Ago Go to last post

      Reece ready to roll again

      Thread Starter: Editor

      Richmond’s midfield will receive a timely boost with the return of Reece Conca for tonight’s clash with Hawthorn at the MCG.


      Last Post By: Editor 1 Day Ago Go to last post
    • Place your FREE Gig listings here OR create your own Gig Guide or Calendar - Join our creative community

    • Add your Weather Location Code to show your weather forecast in this block.
    • #Public Polls

      My Lady Grange Experience (Votes: 1)

      1. Great experience (Votes: 1)

      2. Good time (Votes: 0)

      3. Average (Votes: 0)

      4. Forget about it (Votes: 0)

    • Scene@

      pepper please
      pepper please by Rob Greaves
    • Cartoonists

      Todays Lesson Lying 01 2140729
      Todays Lesson Lying 01 2140729 by John Taylor
    • TOOT Pix Gallery

      Closing Ceremony
      Closing Ceremony by CarlD

    • Daily Digest

      August   2015
      Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
      2 3 4 5 6 7 8
      9 10 11 12 13 14 15
      16 17 18 19 20 21 22
      23 24 25 26 27 28 29
      30 31
    • Site Stats

      Number of Members: 576
      Total Threads: 20,858
      Total Posts: 20,854
      Currently Online: 2009

      Newest Member: andyphillips
    Single Sign On provided by vBSSO