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VOLUME 127, sent March 31, 1998

Topics in this issue:
  1. E.C. meets Puff Daddy
  2. Re: Red Lobster
  3. Re: Gimme Some Lovin' bass line
  4. Peanuts from the Gallery...
  5. "Traffic" reunion tour
  6. Steve Who?
  7. A 'newbie' introduction
  8. Virgin Records gossip and Shopping for Steve Stuff at a "Beatlefest"
  9. Los Lobos
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1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 14:47:28 -0600
From: Steven Robert Seim 
Subject: E.C. meets Puff Daddy

Some of you might remember my criticism of Junction 7 as straying too far
from traditional R&B towards modern R&B/pop.  Eric Clapton's new release,
Pilgrim, suffers from the same musical disease.  Only this time, the patient's
condition appears critical.  The similarities between the two albums are almost
eerie.  Stop me if you've heard this one:

1. A new guy (Simon Climie--anyone heard of him?) is brought in to co-
produce the album and co-write almost half of the songs.
2. Unnecessary string arrangements.
3. Annoying female back-up singers.
4. Above all, over-produced, pre-programmed, "smooth jazz" style percussion
that seems to overwhelm the music.

At least with Junction 7, our hero's true sound somehow manages to shine
through.  SW was wading knee deep in overproduced musical muck.  EC is up
to his chin in it.  Only a handful of the 14 tracks (e.g. River of Tears, Fall Like
Rain, Sick and Tired) are recognizable Clapton.  EC may only rate a far distant
second to SW on my list, but it's still sad.

Expect Boyz II Men to co-produce the next Stones album.

Steve Seim


2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 15:52:17 -0800 (PST)
From: jfw 
Subject: Re: Red Lobster

Yeah, I've seen this commercial, and it certainly does sound a lot like "GSL", to
me anyway. They sorta mess around with the melody toward the end, but it's
still that distinctive beat!

Just a thought...

Jeanie


3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 12:42:01 -0500
From: Paul Rosano 
Subject: Re: Gimme Some Lovin' bass line

Hi everyone,

    We shouldn't get too upset about the bass line from "Gimme Some Lovin' "
being lifted because Muff Winwood lifted it from a tune called "Ain't That A
Lot Of Love." The original artist escapes me at the moment, but there was a
cover version in about 1967 or '68 by Taj Mahal. I originally thought he swiped
it from the Spencer Davis Group, but he was actually covering the original.

All the best,
Paul


4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4
From: "Fischler, Sol (NBC)" 
Subject: Peanuts from the Gallery...
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 10:26:00 -0500

Here's my two cents worth:

I've been reading,  with dispair,  the latest issues of SP,  and a number of
personal E-'s as well,  and I have a couple of thoughts in general about the
ongoing tour/name dispute.

First,   I think I'll tell a small story of my own,  which at first glance may
appear to have nothing to do with anything.

I'm a film editor,  and I used to be involved in the advertising industry.  I used
to cut TV commercials for some of the highest rollers in advertising --  Coke,
Pepsi,  etc.,  and I was involved in some of the heaviest campaigns  ever -- the
Cola Wars,  the Burger Wars (Burger King and McD's...),  and the Auto Wars -
- (GM,  Ford,  and Chrysler).

As you could imagine,  I needed a little diversion to keep my sanity. So I picked
back up with an old childhood hobby,  and started to sell baseball  cards.  Had
some fun and made some money for about a year.  At that point I started to pick
up my "hobby shows" schedule,  doing more shows on more weekends and
being in contact with more people to try to expand my business.  As I did,  I
became more & more aware of the little battles between dealers,  and between
show promoters,  and even between customers.  One weekend, at one show,  I
was approached to buy a table at one show,  and I had to turn it  down because I
had already committed to a different show on the same day.  I was then met
with all sorts of threats of never being able to do a show with him or any of his
cohorts again,  and I looked him in the eye and said,  "You know what -- I'm in
advertising 70 hours a week.  I get enough politics and bullshit there to last me
a lifetime,  and I come here to get AWAY from it!  Now get out of my face and
leave me the fuck alone!"

My "take-away" from that,  the more I thought about it,  was that there's
politics in everything,  regardless of how small the issue or petty the concern.

Over the last few weeks,  it seems that this "tour wars" issue has divided  our
members,  and has so upset a few,  that some,  including a number who I've
become close with and whose opinions I respected dearly,  (whether I agreed or
not)  have "unsubscribed".

I'm saddened by the fact that politics appears to have once again soiled a thing
that I found and relied on to escape my everyday bullshit,  helped keep me
informed and teach me more about something that I've cared about for a long
time,  and even gave me a place to rant & rave & speak my mind without
caring what anyone else thought.

And now,  just one step further up the ol' soap box,  I want to remind  everyone,
or enlighten the ill-informed,  about what happened to another  favorite band of
mine - Creedence Clearwater Revival - over exactly the same concept.  You
know,  the band with such bad feelings that they wouldn't even play together at
their own induction to the R&R Hall of Fame.  The difference is,  Creedence
was much more John Fogerty and his band,  with the other players not
producing nearly as much material as Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi did,
during or after Traffic.  But the crap and torment that grew out of their name-
ownership dispute robbed us of a lot of great music from Fogerty over more
than 10 years - even he admits that two interim albums were filled with nothing
but venom at other people - band mates,  studio heads,  etc.  I'm hoping that,
whatever this current rift,  or dispute,  or momentary pissing-match between
the Traffic-mates, doesn't also cost us any future music or collaborations.

And from where I sit,  any heated debate and bad feelings between US, the
fans,  is silly,  sort of like children trying to choose sides when mommy &
daddy fight.  (God forbid they get divorced...)

And one last thought.  I went to the third show on their tour,  and I didn't
see any advertising referring to them as Traffic reformed,  revisited, or
otherwise.  It was "Dave Mason & Jim Capaldi".  A small poster I saw after
the show did say "co- founders of Traffic",  and from where I sit,  they were.
Now,  that was early on,  and I don't know how the advertising changed later,
but I didn't see any attempts to misinform or bait-and-switch. And during the
show,  I didn't feel any dissing of anyone else,  just  banter and other
information.  Yes,  Winwood wrote Gimme Some Lovin. Finding  out that it
was Mason's arrangement on Welcome to the Canteen only added to my trivia
edification and enjoyment.  By the way -- he also stole a little of his own
thunder when he tipped his hat on stage to Joe Cocker and admitted that
Cocker's version of Feelin Alright is more popular than his own. And then did
a very Cocker-esque version of it.  (That's ego?)  And I don't want to hear
anyone diss Capaldi's version of Low Spark.  He co-wrote the tune and is
entitled to reinterpret it anyway he wants.  And the version he performed is the
one he recorded back in 1980 on Sweet Smell of Success -- not something he
just trotted out now to blow off his past.  It was beautiful then;  it's welcome
rendition now.  (And didn't Roger Daltry redo some of his Who material solo?
How much of it did HE write?)  I don't know what happened at the Bottom
Line,  so I can't comment.  (Although I can't see how a working,  loving
relationship of over 30 years can go from  "pound for pound the best musician
on the planet"  to a public on-stage slap in the face in just 3 and a half years).

I refuse to take sides.  I like and respect them all,  and hope they work this out,
because I'm really selfish and want to hear more from them -- all of them.

And it'd be such a damn shame to lose my friends over it...

-- Sol


5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 13:14:14 +1000
From: PETER NUTTALL 
Subject: "Traffic" reunion tour

Well, after weeks of reading other people's comments on the 'Traffic'
re-union tour, I thought I'd put my bit in.

1. Jim and Dave were co-founders of Traffic and no one can deny that. So, on
the one hand they can feel justified in using the name, whether this contravenes
any legal issues is another matter, though most people associate Traffic with
Steve Winwood and in this sense it is misrepresentation. On the other hand
Traffic went through various line-ups, with Steve, Jim and Chris being the
nucleus and in this sense Far From Home is not a Traffic album either, to me
this was always a Winwood/Capaldi album, though it was not marketed that
way. For those who are sticklers about the name, Traffic became defunct in
1974 and will never reform in any of it's former configurations.

Anyway, what would people think if Steve went out and put a band together
and called it Traffic (seeing as how he's bought the name), without any of the
previous band members included. (reactions please)

2. As for performing Traffic songs, I don't see the problem. Jim co-wrote most
of the stuff so he can feel entitled to perform these songs, no matter who sings
them.

3. Musicians are notoriously fickle. Whether Steve and Jim and Dave have been
slagging each other off is trivial. As most of us diehards should know, these
guys have been at it for thirty years, their friendships wax and wane and this is
probably one of those down periods.

4. As for Dave Mason, I've always liked his music but, in my opinion he's never
made anything that approaches the quality of what he did with Traffic. He was
certainly a disruptive influence in the sense he wanted to do HIS songs HIS
way, so much for the 'group concept'.

Peter


6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6
From: Stevsmith1 
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 21:07:40 EST
Subject: Steve Who?

Sessions Update

Hi everyone!  I've been away from Smiling Phases on an extended leave of
absence, and now return to the fray.  Thanks for all the e-mails, and don't think
I've forgotten you!  I have quite a bit of catching up to do on SP matters, but
will respond to everyone as time permits.

Most immediately, Makoto Hamabe has again provided info on a previously
unknown session.  On Jo-El Sonnier's _Come On Joe_ (1987), Steve played
organ on "Rainin' In My Heart".  Sonnier is a cajun accordionist.  An interview
with Winwood in Timothy White's book _Rock Lives_ refers to Steve having
played with him.  I found that information on Sonnier was nonexistent, so I
posted a question about it in Smiling Phases (a long long time ago), but
received no response.  Well, here's the answer!

Check the Session page soon for other updates on James Brown, Fania All
Stars, Sutherland Brothers, and Howlin' Wolf.  Makoto contributed some of
these, as well.

Take care,
Steve


7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7
From: ImInStars 
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 18:02:21 EST
Subject: A 'newbie' introduction

Hello all,
I am new to the SP List, and I just wanted to say it is great to know there is a
forum where I can exchange thoughts with other Winwood fans.  His music is a
great source of inspiration to me, but not all of my friends can relate to it like I
do.  The first time I saw Steve in concert was in 1986, when he was touring in
support of the Back in the High Life album.  Since then, I have compiled a CD
collection including SDG, Traffic, Blind Faith, and, of course, Steve's solo
efforts.  I've seen him live about five times, but unfortunately, I missed him this
last time he was in the Philadelphia area.  I still haven't recovered from the
disappointment!  I was interested, and a little disappointed, to read about the
"Traffic" tour sans Steve.  I hadn't checked my e-mail for about 10 days, so that
was a surprise.  When Steve and Jim were at the Mann Music Center as Traffic
(great show--about 2 years ago--the Subdudes opened), they were incredible.
Even my disbelieving friends were blown away.  Hope that rift is resolved soon.

Anxiously awaiting May 12!
Lisa


8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 02:02:32 -0500
From: Dawn 
Subject: Virgin Records gossip and Shopping for Steve Stuff at a "Beatlefest"

I just got the new issue of "Rolling Stone" (yes, I still subscribe, though most
issues I am at a loss as to WHY, lol) and there are 3 things in there that got my
attention.

1. 	"Industry" gossip column talking about Nancy Berry, Virgin Music's
vice chairman.  Apparently, industry people have been gossiping about her for
a while:  super short skirts, married to the boss for 20 years, hmmm, wonder
how she got that plum position, is she sleeping with the artists, etc. etc.  She
counters in the column by saying, yeah, they have been gossiping about her, but
it's all besides the point, Virgin is having their biggest year in 25 years, and
that "the big reason for this success is Virgin's artist-centric culture.  Our focus
right now is entirely on Virgin's artists."

The thing that got me is the bit about focusing on their artists.  Yeah, well, on
SOME of them, maybe!  But they sure didn't kill themselves promoting J7, for
example.  Oh boy, would I LOVE to get a few beers into Steve and hear his
commentary on THIS!! Hey, even more, I'd love to get a few beers into GENIA
and hear HER comments! ;-)  (Hell, who'm I foolin'? I'd love to get a few beers
into either of them and listen to them comment on ANYTHING! LOL!)

2.	There is an article on innovative marketing of music, selling CD's in
supermarkets in conjunction with specific products, in stores that sell
something somehow related to the artist or the theme of the CD, and playing
the songs on TV programs.  Now, why didn't Virgin use any of the above sort
of innovative strategy with J7?  Besides just a teeny soundbite during the
Olympics, which is probably more the doing of someone at the network rather
than Virgin, we hardly heard from the boy.  What, one or two plays of the
videos on VH-1? Pathetic! The only other times we heard from Steve were his
tv appearances, but they weren't really announced anywhere ahead of time, so
only the most nimble and lucky fan could catch them. Alright, how about
getting Steve to record some of that Jazz this summer, and sell it in Starbucks
coffee shops, for example?  That is just the sort of thing they market there, and
that would really be a cool tie-in for Steve.  (Hey, why am *I* working on
Steve's marketing?  Where the hell is VIRGIN?  HELLO? Anyone out there,
Virgin?)

BTW,someone just recently commented in SP about whether or not Steve's deal
with Virgin may be up soon, because it was supposed to be a three-album deal,
and they speculated further that Virgin may not be happy with Steve after the
last 2 albums.  You know, I wouldn't worry about Steve.  If they aren't happy
with him,  I really don't see him having trouble hooking up with another
company, do you?  Everyone in the industry knows that record sales, even for
real talents like Steve, are fickle as hell.  And you just never know why one
sells big, the other doesn't.  But if the company knows that the artist has the
talent, as is the case here, they should just stick with them and ride out the
fickle tide.

3.	This has nothing at all to do with Virgin, but it was in RS and got my
interest....There was a big advertisement showing how Lexus will be sponsor on
Eric Clapton's next tour.  Bet HE doesn't catch any s**t about his corporate
sponsorship! Harumph!  Why IS that, do you suppose?

On to "Beatlefest".

Even if you are not and never were a Beatles fan, their dealer rooms are an
alternative source of Traffic and Winwood collectables that you may not have
thought of. There is a concentrated group of record, tape, CD, book, t-shirt,
tour memorabilia, you name it, dealers in that room, of course specializing in
Beatles' stuff, but some of them have general 60's merchandise too.  And there
is recent tour stuff floating around in those rooms, too.

I decided to go there today (3/28) to see the guest speakers, and to sniff around
the dealer room for Steve "stuff".  I haven't been to one of these things for 10
years or so, but I decided that I might find some cool things in the dealer room.
Did I!  Found a Shootout & Low Spark songbook w/ many pictures, an
autographed photo of Steve (and it happened to be one of my favorite photos of
him),  and (SHHHH!)  four Traffic bootleg CDs, (haven't listened to them yet,
they just might be crap, but I was willing to take the gamble, since I don't have
very much besides the official releases and a few magazine articles.)  One of the
CDs was worth it for the cover photo alone, this hysterical picture of Steve, Jim
and Chris standing behind a dried flower arrangement, all with their tongues
stuck out!  They look insane! LOL  Another CD was called "A group, a dog, a
ghost", and has an inside photo of what I suppose is the infamous white
alsatian, with some unnamed man.

Also managed to make some contacts with dealers who didn't bring their "other
than Beatles" stuff with them, but who just may have some Steve "stuff" lurking
about.

I passed on the large signed photo of Steve with freckles from the Blind Faith
era ($50!).  Also passed on a Japanese bootleg vinyl album called "Winwood",
with a pink and white picture of Steve from around the time of the first solo
album or thereabouts, all written in Japanese character, for $75!, and a J7 CD
going for $25 for reasons which escaped me.  But, that kind of stuff/that price
range just may be *your* cup of tea, and if so, this would be another place to
investigate for Steve "stuff".

So, maybe I'll see you at the next one.  Only, you'll have to be prepared to
wrestle me for the good stuff. ;-)

Peace,
Dawn


9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9
From: "BobbieG." 
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 10:11:53 -0700
Subject: Los Lobos

On Friday, March 27, Los Lobos played at the Rialto Theatre here in Tucson.
Since I had other commitments,  I was unable to attend, but here is an excerpt
from a review in today's (Sunday's) Arizona Daily Star:

"David Hidalgo, on lead guitar, then escorted the band through a smooth segue
into the Traffic classic 'Dear Mr Fantasy', on which his high vocals uncannily
recalled those of that 60s group's singer, Steve Winwood."

Cool!
Bobbie   (bobbieg@azstarnet.com)
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END OF SMILING PHASES, VOL 127