JEFF ST JOHN
Line Up: Jeff St John (lead vocals), Harry Brus (bass), Ross East (guitar, vocals), Peter Figures (drums), Barry Kelly (keyboards, vocals) & Wendy Saddington (co-lead vocals)
Style: Soul, R&B
At the end of 1967, Jeff St John entered hospital for four months of treatments on his legs. He had been afflicted withh congenital spina bifida since birth. The operations were not successful and Jeff St John was confined to a wheel chair for the rest of his career. Previously performing with his band 'The I.D.', St John returned to the live scene in February 1969 when he took his new band to Perth for a few modest bookings. Jeff St John's Copperwine comprised of St John, Peter Figures, Ross East, Barry Kelly and Alan Ingram. Copperwine swiftly developed into an uncompromising rock outfit, and once back in Sydney began to rule over the burgeoning 'head music'/concert circuit along side the likes of Tully and Tamam Shud. Jeff St John's Copperwine played a starring role in Australia's first rock festival, Ourimbah, Pilgrimage for pop in January 1970. Two months later Copperwine released the imaginitvie 'Joint Effort' album. By May 1970 Harry Brus had replaced Ingram on bass and Wendy Saddington had joined as co-lead vocalist. Saddington was Australia's best female blues singer of the day. Her stint in the band lasted 10 months till February 1971 and motivated the change in the band's musical direction. Much of the soul/jazz flavour was abandoned in favour of a more purist blues orientation on stage, as displayed on the album Wendy Saddington And The Copperwine Live (recorded sans St John at the Wallacia Festival in January 1971). The week after they would appear at the Myponga Progressive Pop Festival.