VOLUME 123, sent February 23, 1998

Topics in this issue:
  1 - 7. Re: JC & DM tour
  8. Re: Low Spark
  9. I met Winwood
 10. BBC reply re Radio Broadcast of Steve Winwood Show
 11. Blues Bros. 2000
 12. SP administrivia

From:             vankirks@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu
Date sent:        Sat, 21 Feb 1998 16:18:29 -0600
Subject:          Re: JC & DM tour

I don't usually comment on other posts in SP--unless it is to bug special pals
Bobbie & Les!  I, the quiet behind-the-scenes Co-goddess, am usually content
to enjoy the comments of others, especially the reports of concerts.  This was
wonderful during Steve's recent tour because he DID NOT (ahem) manage to
make an appearance here in his second hometown, Nashville. (Seeing him do
one song at the Nashville Music Awards was not adequate compensation for
not experiencing his new songs live.)

But I am moved to write because of the disturbing nature of the reports coming
in from faithful fans like Berkin, Dawn and Robert who have attended
appearances by Jim Capaldi & Dave Mason on their current tour.

I would like to know if anyone else is uncomfortable that the tour is being
referred to officially as "Traffic Revisited" and the "Traffic Reunion Tour?"  Is
anyone else uncomfortable to read comments by JC such as, "Yeah, we're back
now," or the reported statement by DM, "Except for the songs I wrote, Jim
wrote the songs that Traffic did.  Steve might have sung them, but here's [JC]
the writer and the inspiration for Traffic?"  I am extremely upset, and here is

Co-goddesses don't usually reveal their ages, but I am so disturbed by this, that
I am going to confess that I was already a "Little Stevie Winwood" fan when he
left SDG and formed Traffic.  I was one of many who waited breathlessly (we
were quite young then, and could be breathless for longer than we can now) for
word to filter out from The Cottage about The Group.  I bought the first Traffic
album 30 seconds after it was released, and every one after that, too.

Let me tell you first hand something about those times and Traffic:  The group
was always referred to in the press and, more importantly, by us, the fans, as
"Steve Winwood's group."  I even have European picture sleeves from that time
that hail "Stevie Winwood's New Group."  Further, when DM left the group, it
remained Traffic.  Whether DM came or went, the group remained Traffic.
BUT  when Steve Winwood left the group (1969), Traffic ceased to be.  When
he returned (1970), Traffic was able to form again. When he (he = SW, and no
one else) dissolved the group, Traffic once again ceased to be.

This might have been an annoyance (or worse) to the remaining members, and
I suspect it was, but it was reality.  There is no Traffic without Steve Winwood.
There are other, or ex-, members of Traffic, but there is no Traffic.  When
Steve reformed Traffic in 1994, he did not tour as a solo and call himself
Traffic; he joined up with JC and used samples of Chris Wood's playing to re-
form Traffic as best they could.  (Please take note that JC did not seem to mind
touring as Traffic without DM.)

However Dave thinks he has been treated in the past by Steve W., or whatever
is going on now on a personal level among the three of them, is irrelevant to
me.  The point that is important to make here, is that:

**There is no Traffic without Steve Winwood.**

I did not make that up.  It has always been the fact, and it remains the fact

--Shannon (who is proud to share Co-goddess status with BobbieG)

Date sent:        Fri, 20 Feb 1998 23:18:44 -0500
From:             Dawn 
Subject:          Traffic Tempest

What the HELL is going on between these guys? After reading Berkin's post in
SP122, I couldn't decide if I was more angry or sad.

(In order to follow my train of thought here, you may want to reference the last
few SP's, and read the Interview w/ Steve on the Official Page. OK? Here we

I'm certain that it's no surprise to anyone here that Dave Mason is a
curmudgeon from way back (sorry, Alan!), and seems to have had a love/hate,
mostly hate, relationship with Steve for a long time. IMHO, anything Dave has
to say about Steve has to be taken with a grain of salt.  But JIM talking trash
about Steve?? What the hell is happening here?  That little dig about the Ray-
Ban ad as evidence that Steve is "losing it"?  Now, I don't need to repeat my
rant about how Steve's business decisions are nobody's damn business (see
SP118), but when did Jim get on his high-horse about this subject?  No
disrespect to you, Berkin dear, but I just couldn't believe what I was reading.

Now, everyone has a cranky day, and even old friends have arguments where
everyone says something they regret later.  And much as I love Steve, SP does
NOT stand for SycoPhant, and I would be remiss not pointing out that our
stubborn Taurus boy has had his occasional moments, too.  Who hasn't? But in
light of recent events, and if the SP posts and message boards are to be
believed,  I think Steve has every right to be upset.

My last post, the over-long concert "review" of Jim & Dave at Club Bene, NJ,
(see SP121) was  written on Feb. 8th, well before all this negativity came to
light (indeed, maybe even before Steve stumbled upon the tour dates on the
Smiling Phases page). You may remember the exchange between Jim and Dave
about how Jim wrote the songs and he was the inspiration for Traffic, etc.
Now, I was taking notes for SP during the concert (I know, Super Nerd!), and
I'm no journalist, but I'm fairly sure that I was accurate in quoting them. At the
time, I took Dave's comments to mean that Jim deserves recognition, not that
he was necessarily knocking Steve when he said, "Steve may have sung the
songs, but...".  Now, I'm feeling that there was something more sinister meant
by that exchange, and frankly, I feel a little stupid for not picking that up at the

The thing which concerns me most is that Dave and Jim are going out claiming
that they two alone can constitute Traffic.  I thought that they were going out as
a "Dave with Special Guest Jim" kind of tour, to gauge public interest in a
project together, and covering a few Traffic songs along the way (mostly
Dave's). But the promotional material saying "Traffic Revisited"???  Sorry
guys, you may be covering Traffic songs in concert, but you are NOT Traffic
without Steve.  And I find it strange, mysterious, shocking and rude that
neither Dave nor especially JIM said a word to Steve about the tour
beforehand!!!  (See Steve's comments at the end of "Interview with Steve
Winwood" on the Official page.)  I mean, Jim probably knew about this when
he was in Italy over the summer visiting Steve on tour.  You saw the pictures,
right on Bobbie's site, of Steve, Jim and Stephanie Wood having a good time
together backstage, for heaven's sake! Not a word about it, as in, "Hey, this is
what we're thinking about doing, interested?"???  This sheds an entirely
different light, or a cloud of darkness I should say, on that concert for me.

Nor do I feel that Steve on his own would be Traffic without Jim! Sure, he
plays Traffic songs in concert, but he doesn't bill the show as "Traffic". And
wouldn't Jim be put out if Steve tried that without him!  Oh, you betcha, and
with good reason!  (There's nothing we can do to remedy Chris Wood's absence
in any Traffic reunion, which would be similarly inexcusable were he still with
us.)  But MOST of all, Dave has a TREMENDOUS amount of chutzpah trying
to claim Traffic as his own. He quit, quit, quit and quit Traffic!  Yes, Dave was
a founding member, okay, that is very true.  The four of them share the
"Beginning of Traffic" legacy in that respect.  And he did write some pretty
good songs when he was with them.  But just picture George Harrison and
Ringo Starr going on tour as "The Beatles", especially if George had quit the
band before, say, Sgt. Pepper! (Not the perfect analogy, since Jim's role in
Traffic is much greater in my estimation than Ringo's role in the Beatles, but
I'm certain you get the drift.)

I have a theory about this, and I would be very interested in hearing what the
rest of you SPers think.  A comment Jim made a looong time ago has stuck
with me.  He'd said that when Traffic broke up when Steve went off to do Blind
Faith, Jim didn't know what to do with himself, and he sort of "hid out" in
Birmingham.     For some reason, this has always bothered me. I wondered if
he was feeling rather abandoned by Steve?  And if that is true, has that feeling
lingered throughout the years, whenever Steve has gone on to projects without
him?  When Traffic broke up for the final time? When Steve decided to work
more with Will Jennings? After the Traffic tour ended in '94? Other times? Just
for the moment, humor me, and let's suppose that is so.

Now, let's say that when Steve was touring, supporting J7, Jim was considering
what to do as his next project.  Maybe even threw around the idea of another
Traffic summer with Steve?  But Steve is talking about going out with some
South American jazz musicians, or so we hear, and that would pretty much
preclude Traffic for perhaps the rest of 1998.

Just about now old buddy Dave shows up, they have a couple of beers, and
throw around the idea of working together again.  Hey, sure, why not,
calendar's free.  And as Dave and Jim spend some time together, Steve of
course comes up in conversation.  My feeling is that Dave is harboring some
pretty serious resentments about Steve, and managed to get Jim into a really
foul mood, perhaps stirring up some of those old abandonment issues? So, the
idea of touring as the Traffic Twosome arises, and they may have left Steve out
of the whole project because of a mutual, "Yeah, hell with Steve anyway, what's
he done for me lately?" kind of mood.

Now, Steve hears about the tour, is really hurt and mad about not being told
about it, and goes to see for himself what exactly is going on.  He shows up in
the audience at the Bottom Line in NY, and is, from accounts on the message
boards, called up onstage to play with the guys in a rather begrudging way.
Maybe they made up afterwards, maybe not.  If they did make up, why are we
hearing about Jim sniping about him with fans the very next day?  And if they
didn't make up, what does this all mean for their friendship/potential future

If I knew these guys personally, I would make them go out for a beer together
and sort all this crap out.  They have known each other for way too long to let
this degenerate like this.  And selfishly, I am just sick about the idea that this
feud could possibly preclude Steve and Jim working together in the future.  I
will certainly go on being a fan of both, but I am decidedly unhappy about this
ugly little episode.  I hate it when the boys fight. :-(

"Why can't we try to make amends? We used to be good friends...."


From:             RRopek@aol.com
Date sent:        Sun, 22 Feb 1998 17:11:24 EST
Subject:          Traffic Lite

Getting straight to the point, re: Mason/Capaldi, and Traffic Lite, comments on
Winwood, etc. -

I do think we'd better be careful here, as I remember Ellie was dead set against
a "Traffic" without Chris Wood.  I AGREE that there is no Winwoodless
Traffic, but Mason has always been a bit of an asshole, wanting and claiming
way more credit than he is due.  I would think the less attention any of his
comments get, the better. I don't know of Jim's current intentions, but as of his
past track record, they have always been the best.  Without Jim's efforts I doubt
there would have been a "Far From Home" Traffic in '94.

My concern here, is that as we choose up 'sides' nothing really positive can
come out of it.  The choices to tour, as what, and to comment about whom is in
the power of the people involved, and has little to do with us. Other than voting
with our money, we may as well keep out of it.  This is a 'little' tour, and the
world will probably yawn - so, lets 'keep cool' for the real thing.


From:             "Elena Iglio" 
Subject:          R: JC and DM tour
Date sent:        Sat, 21 Feb 1998 20:04:32 +0100

I am not irritated or annoyed  - ANYONE CAN HAVE AN OPINION ON





From:             woontner@sirius.com
Subject:          Re: DM and JC tour
Date sent:        Sat, 21 Feb 1998 20:43:13 +0100

I dont really feel that what we have here is Dave and Jim trying to denigrate
Steve's role in Traffic as much as it is them giving each other some extra credit
for something that they have long felt overlooked about. I mean, this is their
chance to shine in the limelight, for Jim, the first time he has been up front in a
band and for Dave, a chance to reclaim his well earned contribution to Traffic.
I always thought it was tremendously unfair that he was not credited on the
original American version of Mr. Fantasy. I really dont think there is any thing
that anybody can say that can discount Steve Winwood's leadership and vast
contributions and talents in Traffic and that his career and place in rock music
far exceeds what Mason and Capaldi can ever hope to claim. That said, the
original Traffic was envisioned as an organic unit of four multi-talented
musicians. As time has gone by, it is usually described as Steve Winwood's
group. So let Jim and Dave have their day in the sun and pat each other on the
back a bit. My hope is that their efforts and any well  intentioned criticism of
Steve may prompt our hero to write and perform the same type of innovative
music that may his work with Traffic such a wonder and joy for us all.

Alan Woontner

Date sent:        Sun, 22 Feb 1998 13:25:53 -0600
From:             Steven Robert Seim 
Subject: 		Traffic trouble

I was a little concerned by some of the hostile comments Berkin attributes to
Jim in his recent post.  Has something happened to the close working
relationship I thought he had developed with Steve over the last few years?  (I
was hoping for another Traffic album in the next couple of years.)

I had bad feelings about the DM/JC tour to begin with, but the thought of them
putting out a pseudo "Traffic" album without SW makes my skin crawl.  For
now, though, I'll reserve my comments until we hear from the others and I get
more details.


From:             "BobbieG." 
Date sent:        Sun, 22 Feb 1998 14:43:42 -0700
Subject:          Jim and Dave Tour

Last week, I phoned the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix to get tickets for the
Capaldi/Mason tour. The gal who answered the phone was very business-like;
when I told her which show I wanted tickets for, I could hear her tapping away
at her computer, and then she said, "Oh, the Traffic reunion."

Very carefully, I said, "No, the Capaldi/Mason tour. It's not Traffic, because
Steve Winwood isn't joining it."

Her tone of voice changed from business-like to almost worried as she said,
"Well, you know, that's what *I* thought, but we were told by the tour
promoter that that's what we HAVE to say."

Okay, so someone in Capaldi and Mason's organization is deliberately trying to
mislead the ticket-buying public into thinking this is a true Traffic reunion. Do
Capaldi and Mason know? Do they approve? If not, they have got to get control
of the organization.  If so, I think it's pathetic that even they feel the only way
to get public recognition is through a transparent subterfuge.


Date sent:        Thu, 19 Feb 1998 22:14:28 -0600
From:             Steven Robert Seim 
Subject:          Re: Low Spark

First, a reply to Mark and other SPers who love Low Spark: I really should
have known better than to make that remark without explaining myself.  So,
here are the reasons I don't care for the album:

1. Rock & Roll Stew:  this is the best song on the album, but suffers from Jim's
vocal.  This straight-ahead classic rock number needs Steve's bluesy voice.  Not
that Jim's is bad; it's just not the best of the available alternatives.

2. Light Up...  Catchy, but I can't get past the dumb lyrics.

3. The fundamentally weak sound of the other 4 songs.  There's some good
guitar work on Hidden Treasure and Many a Mile..., and of course the good
piano work on Low Spark, but none of these songs have the power and energy
of most of the truly great Traffic numbers.

4. Steve's vocal on the same 4 songs.  This I believe is the key weakness of the
Low Spark album.  For some reason, Steve did a few Traffic songs (including
these 4) in that high-pitched, whiny, effeminate voice.  It's almost as though he
was afraid of his own natural voice, or was trying to sound like Dave Mason, or
trying to affect some type of other-worldly sound. It somehow works on a
couple of songs (e.g. No Face..., Who Knows What Tomorrow...), but just
accentuates the lifelessness of these numbers.  The live versions of Low Spark
he's done in the 80's and 90's are much better, because he sings it in his usual
powerful, full-bodied voice (and generally picks up the tempo a little).

In conclusion, let me say I certainly don't hate the album, but I do think it's the
weakest one Traffic did.

Steve Seim

From:             HAINPD@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu
Date sent:        Sun, 22 Feb 1998 15:38:23 -0600 (CST)
Subject:          I met Winwood

Just wanted to drop a line and tell you that I met Steve Winwood yesterday. He
was leaving a coffee shop I was in when my girlfriend spotted him and
convinced me to go up and say hi. I just walked up and asked to shake his
hand. He was very cordial despite my interrupting his conversation. He just
gave me a big smile and said, "thanks" when I told him that I had all of his

What a great guy. I hope he hangs around Nashville a while longer.

From:             "Eddie" 
Subject:          BBC reply re Radio Broadcast of Steve Winwood Show
Date sent:        Fri, 20 Feb 1998 00:52:40 -0000

Just received from the BBC today:

Thank you for your recent enquiry about the Steve Winwood Story. You were
right in saying that it had been advertised to be broadcast at this time, but
unfortunately due to difficulties in production the programme has had to be
postponed until further notice. Please be reassured that if we do finally
broadcast it, the programme will be readvertised with Radio Times and most
probably on air trails with the date and time.

Thank you for taking the time to write,
Cherilynne Kent, Senior Team Assistant, BBC Radio 2, Commissioning &


Date sent:        Sun, 22 Feb 1998 13:50:29 -0600
From:             Steven Robert Seim 
Subject:          Blues Bros. 2000

Julie and I just saw Blues Brothers 2000 last night.  For those of you who
haven't seen it yet, it comes highly recommended.  IMHO, it was almost as
good as the original.  Only two complaints (other than John Belushi being
gone, of course):

1. Not enough SW (see below).

2. No huge car chase at the end (the only cop car demo derby comes in the
middle). SW appears in a band of orchestral proportions called the Louisianna
Gator Boys near the end of the film.  The BBs are competing with them in a
"battle of the bands" at a voodoo queen's private club.  Unfortunately, SW is
relegated to the far back of the all-star group, and is almost hidden for most of
their scene.  He gets a close-up while he sings his one line in the song (lasting
about 10 seconds).  He does get compensated to an extent however:  as the
Blues Bros. take the stage, SW is shown standing backstage with Eric Clapton
and B.B. King.  The three of them wonder aloud how good this new group
could be.  As might be expected, our hero's no actor, but neither were any of the
other musicians.

Aside from it being a great movie (probably one of my top 5), one gets a certain
feeling of pride from seeing SW in it, if only briefly.  Sure, it's only a movie,
but I think in some ways being in a Blues Bros. movie is sort of like being
inducted into a blues hall of fame, if you will.  I think the Blues Bros. movies
have done more to promote great music than any Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Steve Seim

From:             "BobbieG." 
Date sent:        Mon, 23 Feb 1998 08:17:10 -0700
Subject:          SP administrivia

I have recently received an email accusing me of being 'patronizing' towards
Winwood, which from the context I assume meant 'pandering' or 'toadying' or
something more along those lines. This is not the first accusation, and I know it
won't be the last. :-)

For the information of the newbies, and because it doesn't hurt any of us to hear
the 'ground-rules' every once in a while, let me state this very clearly:

I do not censor posts to SP.

I shorten .sig's in the interests of space; I run the posts through the spell-
checker; I occasionally correct grammar, as many SPers speak English as a
second language, and I know they want to present themselves well.  I try not to
interfere with people's style. If there are protests, I will stop this. Hey, less work
for me, right? ;-)

I have once refused to post a letter that I felt to be a troll and have kept off the
"for sale" posts, instead directing people to appropriate web-sites.

The non-automated status of SP of course leaves me open to questioning of this
sort, but I believe that you who remember the automated-majordomo fiasco of
August '96 are as content as I am to leave well enough alone.

So -- if SP is pandering or toadying to SW - that's *your*  fault! LOL!! Go
ahead, post some rude things! I'll publish 'em all!