Greenwich Village in the 1960s was home to the American folk music renaissance. ?It cost $5 to get in to the Bitter End Caf? and Caf? Wha? and the Gymnasium if you didn't plan on playing or singing on stage,? Bruno Giet recalls1. It was in the caf?s where he met Guy Duris and Farshid Golesorkhi, two other struggling musicians looking for something to happen. Things were happening. Their contemporaries: Richie Havens, Buffy Sainte-Marie, John Philips and Holly Gilliam, and Bob Dylan to name a few.
But this isn't where the Orient Express' sound came from. ?We were foreigners?bored with the music going on in New York. We wanted to create something different.?
Cruising up and down uptown sidewalks one afternoon, the three new friends stepped into a music store to eye some new Indian imports on display. The experimentation with droning Indian sounds and recent exposure of the sitar in Western pop/rock music was no doubt due to the Yardbirds, the Kinks, and the Beatles as early as 19652, but Golesorkhi, having grown up in Iran, was no stranger to Indian and Persian instruments. He showed Duris and Giet ? guitar players both ? the gist of the oud and the minitar. Golesorkhi then sat down to the dumbek, and the threesome was soon jamming. Giet recounts, ?A crowd gathered round, spilling onto the sidewalk?.and the staff let us play for hours.? The Orient Express was born.
The self-titled LP was released in 1968 by now defunct Mainstream Records.