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Personalitys in the revolution of hair design in the 60s 70s | all galleries >> Galleries >> roger_thompson_gallery > Havington. and A story about The great Roger Thompson under the photo.
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Havington. and A story about The great Roger Thompson under the photo.

BY Bruce Farrell........ Hi john.its bruce again,i think that during the first year on our own roger was relieved, to be on his own, without checking on everybody else to see how they were doing,i also think that his last year with vidal ,with its constant traveling wore him down, even though the first year was really week to week, little by little as his clients found him, they started to seep in,and he always had a number of drumbeaters, Mary Ann Crenshaw who covered beaty and fashion for the NY Times wrote a book called Super Beauty, and gave him a chapter,in a sort of under groud way he started to attract the editorial writers of the mags,he became like a secret that no one wanted to share, he set the bar for the industry in many important ways his putting in the consultation policy was first, I would set up 2 a day the client liked it ,there was now a relaxed air when they ,he liked because he could just get into it, and the seminars picked up to ever other month he was always kind and asked me come along, if we worked Sat, Sun.and Mon,we would take a couple of days off and i would come back to NY later, even though he was on his own ,I thought his work was very avant-garde ,I knew who everyone was ,I was always going through English,French,and Italian vogues plus a couple of dozen more, his standards were so high ,he always looked good he would do things that required great patience, like over directing the front panels on a very short bob, just the front, so that when he was done he had imprinted a sixteenth of graduation, so that when you ran a brush through it opened up like a parachute to be continued
let me back up just a little bit ,when you entered our salon just before going into the main room, was a little alcove where Roger had set up a little studio where he could sculpt, and later Mark Pippino as well,when you came into the main room and saw the size of the of the mirror 9 by 20 it was breathtaking at both ends were a plant or two plus into a empty plant holder he had placed a large amber bulb there were three or four around the room. that was the only lighting it was like walking onto a Hollywood set, perhaps set in brazil, it was very tropical, clients eyes opened wide, He was like a great 20s film star he radiated a aura, now that I had my star in place, I started to add a soundtrack, if a great beauty walked in ,I would perhaps put on a Yves Montand ballad, if a London client had tracked him down, it might be brightens a kings carol, if some out of town seminar clients had popped in ,then it might be tangerine dream, he loved it, everyone who came into the salon fell in love, with it, I remember watching one day as he started to graduate a shoulder length haircut he started with a 30 degree graduation then on the third section turned his fingers toward the head, increasing the graduation by a another 30 percent and so on up the head, it was so subtle, and so beautiful, a lttle bit past the first year, I was late in getting over to dry hia hair cut off, and he said “Bruce wait ,take a towel and just dry it off a bit” ,which I did ,I ran a vent brush through it ,it looked great, we did that for the rest of the week, and then he said why don’t you go to the supply store and some lights, and within a week we were drying everything off with the lamps, he was just so aware by using the lights, a major revolution, was put into effect, now he began graduating in great leap, opening everything up, shapes changed, softer, less structured, it was a major leap, now it was really wash and wear, other hairdressers coming into the salon were startled, they cried “but were is the finish,were is the finish!” The finish off course is always in the air ,you just have to pluck it out, he was responsible for so many innovations, he was the quiet revolutionary, to be continued
On to 55st ,very often during the consultation process he would also say, and lets tone down those highlights which usually too lite,and to many, of course they would say, I knew a little about color, enough so that i could run a rinse through, or a lite perm ,which i had down, he was taking control, another first, he asked me a thin strip like a eight of a inch and bring it up a shade, we would go from a dark brown to beige lite brown, it meant just 3or 4 minutes, they were so fine and soft, he loved them, we did loads for three or four months, then after about a year Charles Fremolaro and Mark Pipino came aboard, Charles and I became great friends, the amazing thing about Mark was that at the age of 26 he was completely formed, there was no trace of Sassoon,in a few weeks he settled in and then began to spin out these one of kind hair cuts ,he was a ultra professional soft spoken, I admired him very much, one day as I was watching he took his client a very attractive lady about 31 or 32 and gave this rather conservative client a beautiful short hair cut, however just above her left ear he left a curl, he had made her look like a Romany gypsy, he had such confidence, he was do editorial looks on his clients, he cut a lip length little bob, and then layered the top thru, we had never seen that before, he was layering everything, and i mean everything, he was skipping over conventions,Roger that he was just superb, as good as he was, and that’s a quote, Mark thought Roger was perfection, and that's another quote, through out all this Charles held his own ,the air in the salon, and now it was a salon with Mark and Charles, before it had been a painting by Gainsborough,the air in the salon became electric, Mark would do one ,as if to say, check this out, then Roger would counter, then Mark would do a hair cut and Roger would copy it, One day Mark said to me “Bruce you know those fine hi;lites you like to do,welli?”

Hi its Bruce into the last chapter, being between Roger and Mark ,was like being between two fiery Meteor’s crashing thru space, sparks were flying thru space and the heat was intense, we did, not have a big P.R., machine, so many of the thing’s they were doing went unreported, but there was a great rivalry going on, Mark belonged to the next great group of emissary's,and there was another element rather heard and felt, but not really seen, since I was the music freak, I began laying in tracks, perhaps in the morning it might be a soft ballad, by Bill Evans ,Chris Connor,Lonnie Liston Smith,by noon we were ready for senor blues by Horace silver,cannonballs,dat dere,as the late after noon shadows began to appear, there was a report in from the ghettos, from Gil Scott heron, Marvin Gaye,Benny King,the moans of Muddy Waters about the Thrill is Gone,the music wasen,t a afterthought it was a primal force, have you ever herd Roger sing ?he would after i put on Chet Bakers ,My Funny Valentine! It was a magical place to work, after about a year Mark left and with his friend Richard, and a great artistic team, which dominated the editorial pages, became the hottest salon in NYC,Roger and Mark were the two great forces in NYC in the 80s,the second rank of Sassoon hairdressers were making themselves felt, with Mark, Louis Alonzo, Richard, Charles with Roger, Howard Fugler doing mag’,s covers ,it was a Sassoon Decade

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Peg Cribari27-Jul-2010 18:49
Bruce, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of Roger and that magical time!! Peg Cribari
bruce farrell 26-Jul-2010 18:35
Of course,William remember You,I hope you are well,where are you working,so i can drop by and say hellow
Ian Gavet 26-Jul-2010 04:04
Such a wonderful recollection , you could almost be a voyeur reading this.......
William Scott 16-Apr-2010 15:24
I worked with Roger at this time on 55th street doing color. i remember you, do you remember me? Wiiliam Scott
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