• 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

      Pation Pics

      Come Down With Us review by Marian Webb

      Performing 'Tuna - Full Sirena TIM MCKEW's performance art extravaganza 'Come Down With Us', at William Mora Gallery in Richmond, reprises shows held at Tolarno Galleries in St Kilda, 1979. On...

      10 Minutes Ago 12:51 AM
      Marion Miller

      Business Blooms

      Happy first day of Spring! Before we get too busy with the second half of the year, ask yourself this. Have you got your business systems into a good working order so it can flourish into Summer?...

      15 Hours Ago 09:52 AM
      Pation Pics

      Support Independent Australian filmmakers

      Only $11,000 is needed to put this film on the world stage where it belongs. "I was hooked from the very beginning of this touching, revealing, voyeuristic and transforming film.. Less than "...

      1 Day Ago 05:28 PM
      Rob Greaves

      Listen To Older Voices - Doug and Margaret Dickenson: Part 2

      Welcome to Listen To Older Voices, a program produced Rob Greaves for Wesley Mission Victoria and podcast through the Toorak Times. Listen To Older Voices presents the stories, views and...

      1 Day Ago 08:30 AM
      Isobel Blackthorn

      Deliria – book review

      Initially, with paperback in hand, I hadn’t anticipated that I would review Deliria by Chris Heffernan. Two pages in, I was excited by the fresh, lively voice, and by the way Heffernan, through the...

      3 Days Ago 11:41 AM
      Rob Greaves

      Cream of The Crate: Album # 148 - Moody Blues: In Search Of The Lost Chord

      "At its core In Search of the Lost Chord is still a rock album, accented by the same mix of British pop, psychedelia, and spoken-word poetry" (Classic Rock Review) "In Search Of The Lost Chord, the...

      3 Days Ago 08:30 AM
      Isobel Blackthorn

      The Drago Tree cover reveal

      Probably one of the most exciting and apprehensive times in the long process of writing and publishing a book is the reveal of its cover. The Drago Tree is no exception. And choosing the cover proved...

      5 Days Ago 10:11 AM
    • Reviews on events and products
    • TAGG Magg News


      Listen: ‘Tigersapp’ interview with Szymon’s family and EMI’s Mark Holland

      Thread Starter: Editor

      “He wanted to play the saxophone but he wasn’t big enough to play on the saxophone yet, so he started on the clarinet.”

      In a very special departure

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

      Light towers erected at Tigerland

      Thread Starter: Editor

      Richmond will have the capacity to host night VFL night matches from next season, with light towers recently installed around Punt Road Oval.

      Last Post By: Editor 13 Hours Ago Go to last post

      Kamdyn keeps on running

      Thread Starter: Editor

      Memo AFL Rising Star selectors . . . don’t forget Kamdyn McIntosh when it comes time for you to pick your top five young players in the prestigious award

      Last Post By: Editor 13 Hours Ago Go to last post

      Vickery’s century celebration

      Thread Starter: Editor

      Talented tall forward Ty Vickery continued his impressive progress this season with another valuable contribution for Richmond in last Saturday night’s

      Last Post By: Editor 13 Hours Ago Go to last post

      Jack Dyer Medal tickets on sale

      Thread Starter: Editor

      Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the biggest and most celebrated night on Richmond’s calendar – the Jack Dyer Medal – on Tuesday, October 6.

      Last Post By: Editor 13 Hours Ago Go to last post

      Tigers make finals history

      Thread Starter: Editor

      For the first time since Richmond entered the league football competition (the then VFL) back in 1908, the Club will compete in a finals series without

      Last Post By: Editor 13 Hours 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.
    • Scene@

      Maureen Andrew & Kelly Auty
      Maureen Andrew & Kelly Auty by Mick Pacholli
    • Cartoonists

      abbott 203
      abbott 203 by John Graham
    • TOOT Pix Gallery

      Vassos Tseslemis Ned Kelly (18)
      Vassos Tseslemis Ned Kelly (18) by Mick Pacholli

    • Daily Digest

      September   2015
      Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
      1 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
    • Site Stats

      Number of Members: 577
      Total Threads: 21,126
      Total Posts: 21,118
      Currently Online: 1840

      Newest Member: Meredith Fuller
    Single Sign On provided by vBSSO