Our warmest congratulations to SayNoMore, a frequent contributor to Smiling Phases and a "regular" in the AOL chatroom, who this week graduated from high school! She plans to attend university this autumn.

I will be away from my computer until June 7; please email me as usual, but don't expect a reply until then. :-) --BG

Volume 155, sent May 29, 1999:
1. SDG query
2. VH1 History
3. Live Traffic '94 on CD singles
4. Re: Winwood on the radio
5. Walfredo
6. Career Ebb
7. Chic
8. Traffic/Winwood on radio
9. Spencer Davis CD suggestions?
10. Ahead of his time, on tour

Date sent: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 03:28:11 +0000
Subject: SDG query


seeking a bit of info if you can help

Trying to find out exactly what songs were performed by SDG in two british films

I note from your site refs to the two

1965 SDG - My Babe from "pop Gear"

1966 SDG - When I come home - From The Ghost Goes Gear

I know Pop Gear (Go Go Mania in USA) is 'concert; style movie

Ghost Goes Gear is cheesy pop movie in which SDG are central to the 'plot' !

so - any notion of the other songs they did?

Any help much appreciated!


From: "Timothy Arthur"
Subject: VH1 History
Date sent: Sun, 16 May 1999 16:16:02 -0700

Did you happen to see Steve this weekend on ''VH1's History of Rock and Roll' ? In case you didn't see it, it was a small interview with Spencer Davis and a short clip of "Stevie Winwood" (he looked sooo cute!) singing "Keep On Running" when he was with SDG. Got that on tape. And his voice, just unreal for someone that age! I almost jumped out of my skin when it first came on Fri. night...and I missed getting the VCR ready..they ran it again last night and today. Bye, *Lani*

Date sent: Tue, 18 May 1999 12:54:49 -0400
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.) ftg3plus4@cs.com
Subject: Live Traffic '94 on CD singles

I recently acquired the Here Comes A Man single with the live version of Glad, and an awaiting a copy of the Some Kinda Woman single with live versions of 40,000 Headmen & Low Spark.

Does anyone know who the musicians are on these live trax? I ask this because on the live Glad, someone (not Steve or Jim) yells to the crowd that the percussionist (who has just jammed for 2 minutes straight) is Luis Conte. Everything I've seen about Traffic's '94 tour says the percussionist was Walfredo Reyes (Jr.). What's the scoop?

From: RKrell1021@aol.com
Date sent: Thu, 20 May 1999 00:24:19 EDT
Subject: Re: Winwood on the radio

I've been trying to get them to play more of Steve's music. I have been successful in getting them to play more music on one station out here. Another station said it did fit into their format.


From: Marc
Subject: Walfredo
Date sent: Thu, 20 May 1999 13:53:51 -0700

I live in Manhattan Beach, CA. Last night, I attended a "Spring Sing" that my 8 year old daughter was participating in at her school. When I sat down, I recognized one of the parents sitting next to me. His daughter was on my daughter's soccer team 2 years ago. I remembered that he was a musician and that he had played on a tour with Traffic a couple of years ago. Anyway, her dad is Walfredo (Wally) Reyes Jr. He's a great person. Warm, pleasant and down-to-earth. He loves his kids. He told me that he had flown in on a 'red eye" from England and had spent the last week recording at Stevie Winwood's house. Very cool, indeed.

I happen to be a big Traffic fan. I thought I would never ever hear them play in concert - but I got to see them 2 summers ago when they reunited at the Universal Amphitheatre. More importantly, I got to see and hear them play "40,000 Headmen". It may sound silly, but that was a dream fulfilled.

I'm 39 years old and happen to work in the entertainment industry. I have literally been to over 200 concerts in my life. I'm much more selective these days - age and priorities. However, I continue to love contemporary music. I'm constantly exploring what's new and continue to embrace my past favorites. Traffic is easily one of my FAVORITE groups of all time. So sacred. So special. As a teenager, I couldn't begin to count the times that I listened to "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory" on headphones in my room with the lights off. When I listen to Traffic there is a very unique feeling comes over me that I can't explain.

Anyway, that's about it. I see that they are re-mastering some of the old records. That's great news.

Oh yeah, I also found out that I share the same birth date as Jim Capaldi (August 2nd).


From: LesterJake@aol.com
Date sent: Sat, 22 May 1999 08:29:57 EDT
Subject: Career Ebb

As someone who has loved Steve Winwood's music for 30 years, I am somewhat chagrined and even saddened at the low public esteem that Steve is held in these days. His last album was a complete dud -- commercially and critically one of, if not the, worst-received of his career. News of his summer tour seems to be a non-event. When he does tour, he is relegated to clubs whereas he could once fill stadiums. His music seems to be played less frequently on the radio, and when it is, it's rarely anything less than 10 years old. We could name scores, if not hundreds of artists and bands of lesser talent whose music and tours evoke a far more serious buzz in the music community than Steve's. And for the first time in his career, he is without a label.

I may be overstating the case, but even the most ardent fan among us has to admit that his career is currently at a very low ebb. To what do we owe this deplorable state of affairs? Is it even important, as long as he remains active? Is he finished creatively, relegated to performing Gimme Some Lovin and Roll With It into his grave? And if we were his manager, what would we recommend Steve do to re-energize his career? I throw these (hopefully provocative) questions open for discussion.

Les Jacobson

From: DgStutts84@aol.com
Date sent: Sat, 22 May 1999 21:56:49 EDT
Subject: Chic

Was fascinated to see a live Chic cd where Steve had performed with Chic the R/B band, would love to hear some comment on the event - didn't have budget enough to pick it up. I've always been a closet "La Freak" fan because of Bernard Edwards superb bass guitar,

Doug Stutts

From: Lani
Subject: Traffic/Winwood on radio
Date sent: Sun, 23 May 1999 17:53:14 -0700

Our local classic rock radio station has a program on Sun. at 10 p.m. that they call The Big Concert ( BIG 106 Miami) and tonight they will have 90 min. of Traffic live from 1970 at the Fillmore and Steve's "Back In The High Life" concert from 1986.

Bye, *Lani*

From: "Lindsay Beckman"
Subject: Spencer Davis CD suggestions?
Date sent: Mon, 24 May 1999 23:34:54 -0500

I was interested in buying a good Spencer Davis Group c.d.

While I was at CDNow, I saw that there was an import album entitled "Eight Gigs A Week". It seems to be a fairly complete album (it has 50 songs!), but I'm not sure if it is an anthology of when Steve Winwood was with the group or not. You are not able to listen to any of the tracks.

Thanks! Lindsay

From: Dawn Subject: Ahead of his time, on tour
Date sent: Fri, 28 May 1999 15:29:04 -0400

Hi Everybody!

Quick comment to Ted, our intrepid trafficologist - On "Don't Be Sad", I have always strongly believed that the two parts of the song that start with "There is only one..." And "Mother, father..." respectively, are Steve singing. That just has to be Steve, I can't imagine that is Dave! Anybody else think so too?

Aren't you all excited about our man's upcoming tour? The fact that he chooses to tour AT ALL, when it's plain that he doesn't enjoy the road, is an amazing thing. Even though he loves playing live, if put in his shoes, someone would be hard-pressed to wedge me out of my comfortable home, away from my spouse and four small ones, to travel around on a bumpy bus for months on end! So, each and every time he tours, especially now when there is no record company to ride his back and demand that he do so, is a gift, imho.

Now, (whispering) rumor has it he's been in the studio... God, I hope that's true. What a killer combination this fall: Steve playing live, in those great, intimate spaces where he's at his best, with a combination of old and NEW music, and no one to answer to but his muse! Oooh, baby, how cool is THAT? And if his touring band is nearly as good as the ones from the J7 tour or the Traffic tour, this will be such a treat.

Another thought: Listening to J7 in the car yesterday, I had to laugh. The pop music world is currently going nuts over Ricky Martin, and the buzz is all about Latin music. Of course, no one sees that Steve got there first. The obvious Latin influence on "Gotta Get Back...", and playing with Tito Puente and the whole Latin Crossings gang last year, was way ahead of the trend. Not to mention the Santana-like vibe I heard on the last U.S. Traffic show in '94, playing with Fania All- Stars way, way back, etc.... Similarly, if you think about Aiye Keta, and all the African influences that have shown up in Traffic and his solo music, you have to laugh at all the fuss the press made about Paul Simon seemingly "discovering" African music on his "Graceland" album. Because again, Steve got there first. Maybe he was subtler about mixing in these influences, but the man is often ahead of his time.

I can't wait to see what he's got up his sleeve this time! :-)

Take care, all you good people,
(To the American SPers: Have a great Memorial Day weekend!)

End of Smiling Phases, volume 155