Original Sin

Original Sin 1967 L to R: Rick Bryant, Norm McPherson, Rod Bryant, Aff Fraser, Simon Morris & Bill Lake.

    Simon Morris (Lead Guitar)
    Rick Bryant (Lead Vocals)
    Rod Bryant (Harmonica / Vocals)
    Alastair "Aff" Fraser (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Norm McPherson (Drums)
    Bill Lake (Rhythm Guitar / Harmonica)

Simon Morris formed Original Sin when he arrived at Wellington's Victoria University in 1967. Original Sin was a new group formed after an earlier group, Changing Times, which had been formed while Simon was at Onslow College in 1965, folded. At one of the Changing Times performances, Rick Bryant climbed on stage to sing "Hang On Sloopy". He wasn't invited up again. Changing Times didn't amount to much and when college finished at the end of 1966, so did the group.

With Original Sin, Simon had invited Rick, who had now improved as a singer, to join him. Rick's brother Rod came along to play harmonica. Although enthusiastic, his harmonica abilities were somewhat lacking. After about three months of their formation, Rick met a recently-arrived 20 year old Australian draft dodger named Bill Lake, a guitarist. He was a blues and folk enthusiast, but had never played in an electric band. He joined the band and his immediate role was to relieve Rod of his harmonica duties. Rod banged a tambourine for a few more gigs before departing the music scene.

The group got a residency at the Mystic in Wellington during 1968, playing their blues-based music, but while they never really became a major drawcard, it did prove a good training ground for Bryant, Lake and Morris.

During their time, McPherson was replaced by Peter Kennedy from the Lost Soul, and a number of bass players passed through, including Tony Backhouse, Steve Robinson and Lindsay Field.

Original Sin weren't consistent enough to hit the big time. Rick Bryant had discovered the music of Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding, and soul classics began to sit uneasily alongside the band's long-time blues and R&B repertoire. As a result, Original Sin split up in mid-1969. Even though most of the members had been university students, the group never actually played on campus, even though they had a good reputation as being a 'varsity band'.

Whilst he was playing with Original Sin, Bill Lake formed a trio, with the intention of only doing a one-off performance at the National Folk Festival held in Wellington at Easter 1968. He had fronted a similar outfit named Garden City Strugglers while in Canberra, before leaving Australia. He called this trio, Windy City Strugglers and consisted of himself on mandolin, and the Rashbrooke brothers, Mike on jug and Jeff on piano. Never a full-time outfit and seldom having the same line-up twice, Bill would periodically surface this group over the next ten years.

When Original Sin split up, Rick Bryant joined Gutbucket as their vocalist. Simon Morris and Bill Lake formed another trio, which was the beginning of Mammal, a group that Rick would also soon join.


New Zealand Music