Roger Lewis

Junior to the rest of the Lonesome Heroes, Roger Lewis was just a teen amid the cultural revolution that inspired most of their songs. Born in 1960 in Santa Barbara, California, Lewis slung a guitar as early as the fourth grade. The private Laguna Blanca School’s confines roped Lewis into kinship with Wade Vesey—one of only 17 students in his 1978 graduating class. Despite the academy’s meager population, the hillside school proved to be fertile ground. Much of Lewis and Vesey’s songwriting fruit was performed for friends in intimate settings, exchanged and advanced by a loose collective. One alumnus operated a rudimentary studio and gave the duo a shot at cutting a few compositions. They’d dipped toes into the deep end of recording, but college was of higher priority than fully tracking any material out.

In fall 1978, Roger Lewis headed north to Stanford. William Ackerman and George Winston had found in this patch of farmland a source of inspiration, but Lewis was only intimidated. He trained his attentions on science, but summers put him back in the comfort of familiar surroundings, and Lewis emerged from his shell, writing and recording a number of songs with Vesey over several years. “Autumn” is a fragile gem about the bittersweet nature of getting older, Lewis’ only solo piece on the duo’s Breaking Camouflage LP. None of the 300 pressed copies were ever sold; every one was given away to friends and family, as a yearbook-style memento of their decade-spanning friendship. Roger Lewis and Wade Vesey remain friends to this day.

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