REZ got started in a small Berlin cafe when Glenn and Stu bumped into each other over a root beer fizz. (They were both after the same girl at the time, and they were trying for the same seat next to her at the counter.) They were about to exchange words when Stu noticed the "fish" symbol around Glenn's neck and said, "You're not one of THOSE, are you?" Glenn admitted that yes, he was, and the friendship was born.
The two evidently forgot about the girl and made their way out to the docks where Stu brought out his guitar and they began singing "Kum Ba Yah" (German for "Give Me Fish") until they were apprehended by the Polizia at around 4 AM for disturbing the peace. After a light reprimand, the two decided to form a band.
The first incarnation of the group later to be known as "REZ" was horrendous. All they had was Stu on a guitar with 4 strings (E, A, G, and E) and Glenn on accordion (not the American version, but those little hand thingies that you find in France.) They called themselves "Red Hot Tuna", but because that sounds like a vague German curse (and they also sang in Swahili), their first venture onto vinyl flopped miserably. There were 6 songs on that EP -- "I'm Just About Happy", "The 4-Stringed Guitar Song", "Too Many Sodas", a pre-cursor of "Military Man", "Cherry Surprise", and a "My Bible Ain't Too Heavy". Very few of these recordings are still available, since only 19 copies were printed and Napster refused to carry the rest.
After spending about 2 months trying to get something going in Germany, Glenn and Stu moved to Chicago and started working at a childcare center as nurse/custodians. The director of this center was none other than John Herrin, who at that time had shoulder-length blonde hair and a nose ring. Wendi also worked at the center as a pre-school teacher, majoring in Parent Relations (a good thing, what with John's nose ring). Glenn and Wendi immediately fell in love the moment Glenn fell into her lap in the bleachers during a heated game of Kickball. They soon married and began writing songs together, using Glenn's accordian and Wendi's tuba.
During this time the Jesus People USA were looking for a ministry outreach, and the idea of a German polka band sounded great to them. So Glenn, Stu, and Wendi (and 3 weeks later, John) showed up at the auditions and blew everyone away with their version of "Blessed Assurance Polka". They were immediately signed by the community to a 5-year contract involving prayer, bible study, song-writing, outdoor concerts, and general custodial work. They were about to release their second album when the music community shifted and suddenly German polkas were no longer drawing crowds -- this "rock and roll music" was the new thing. Immediately the group threw themselves into learning this avant-garde sound. Knowing that they needed to add something to their sound that couldn't be handled by Wendi's tuba, Roy Montrose was approached by Stu (who had been deskmates together in the third grade). Roy readily agreed to the gig, and even gave up a lucrative career in home dentistry to join the band.
Although Glenn occasionally would try to sneak his accordian into rehearsals, over all the band sounded tight. They entered -- and won -- the Chicago-wide rock festival and were signed by Elephant records and the rest, as they say, is history.