VOLUME 42, sent October 11, 1996

[Like volume 41, this is a VERY LONG issue!  Give me some feedback here:
do you like longer volumes less often, or would you like me to send shorter
volumes more often?  It's up to you readers, it doesn't matter much to me. - BG]

Topics in this issue:
  1. Re: Style and instrument considerations
  2. Songwriting on Last Exit
  3. Shootout At The Fantasy Factory
  4. Traffic CD Releases and Voices
  5. Mr Winwood's Autograph
  6. Re: Instrument Changing (from Jefferson Starship list)
  7. Re: Song Memories
  8. alternate version of GSL?
  9. Re: Traffic and the Beatles
 10. Concert on Oct 16th


Date: Wed, 2 Oct 96 23:01 EST
From: Tim Messer (0002096380@mcimail.com)
Subject: Re: Style and instrument considerations

" In case nobody's noticed all anybody talks about is Steve Winwood's older
stuff. .. If only he'd stop trying so hard in the studio and just sit back, grab the
guitar... and start rocking. Neil Young and Eric Clapton are still at it. So is
Tom Petty and John Mellencamp. Winwood's talent eclipses them all. I'd like to
see him show it."

I totally agree here.  I'm a fan of all of Steve Winwood's music, mostly his 80's
sound.  But it's still out of date, and I would like to see him do some harder
rock songs (like he did in his older stuff) on his next album.  Then maybe the
radio stations I listen to the most will start playing it.

Winwood *does* have a lot more talent than any of the people mentioned in
the post I'm replying to.  Since they're still at it, I'd like to see Winwood back
out there rocking hard with them.

Tim Messer

Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 23:08:23 -0700
From: woontner@sirius.com
Subject: Songwriting on Last Exit

It seems odd to me that Jimmy Miller is credited with three song contributions
on Last Exit. I wonder if this could be because Last Exit was an afterthought of
Traffic's first breakup. Perhaps Jimmy came in and added some touches to these
songs and took some credit. Another odd songwriting credit on this album is
Fallon on Shanghai Noodle Factory. Does anybody have any idea who Mr/Ms.
Fallon is?

I also want to bring your attention to the original recording of Feeling
Good which can be heard on the CD of the soundtrack to "Roar of the
Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd", and was written by Anthony Newley, the
darling of the London stage scene in the 60s, the Bert Bacharach of the UK.
The soundtrack version of Feeling Good is quite evocative and powerful,
begging comparison to Winwood's performance. I heard this same song played
at a college graduation here in kookie San Francisco, where everyone in the
graduating class could express how they felt as they got their diploma. This one
lady sang Feeling Good accompanied by herself on a kalimba (African thumb
piano). It was terribly moving for me, since I have always had a very reverent
feeling associated with this song.

 As for Blind Man, I have never heard any other versions of the song, nor am I
familiar with the songwriters, Malone and Scott.

Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 23:12:36 -0700
From: woontner@sirius.com
Subject: Shootout At The Fantasy Factory

The most mumbled song I have ever heard Steve sing is Shoot Out At The
Fantasy Factory. I have no  clear idea what this song is about. It seems like its
some kind of surreal crime story.  I'm open to anyone's interpretation of this
song's story line.

Date: Sun, 6 Oct 1996 22:51:57 -0400
From: dss162@psu.edu (Scott Smedley)
Subject: Traffic CD Releases and Voices

Has "When the Eagle Flies" ever been released on CD? I have only seen it on
record and I would like to hear that album without the scratching and popping
of an old record.  Also is Stomu Yamashta's 'Go' album and 'Go Live from
Paris' available on CD? I have only heard the songs on the boxset and the Al
DiMeola solo on 'Crossing the Line' is one of the most powerful guitar solos

Also, after 'Tragic Magic,' from the '73 live album 'On the Road,'  several of the
people in the crowd are repeatedly yelling out something that I've never been
able to understand.  I believe the recordings were made on tour in Germany and
I don't speak German, but a friend of mine says it sounds like "Low Spark" but
I can only hear "Swans" or "Schwanz" or something like that.  It would be
much appreciated if anyone could clear this up for me, Thank You.

BTW, the best 'Traffic' album, the most diverse (Rock, Jazz, Visionary
Psychedelic, etc.), and the one that made me a Traffic fan is 'Mr. Fantasy'
"don't look around to find the sound that's right beneath your feet"

[Scott - 'Yes' on "Eagle" and 'No' (afaik) on both "Go's".  - BG]

From: MHargre586@aol.com
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 13:11:08 -0400
Subject: Mr Winwood's Autograph

Regarding Vol 38 of Smiling Phases, Point 5:

I do have Steve's autograph, but don't need any authentication! I had been to
see the ORIGINAL performance of "GO" at the Royal Albert Hall in London (I
actually live in Warrington, England) in 1976 (ish). After the show, a friend
and I went to the stage door waiting for celebrities.  Before anybody came out,
one Chris Wood turned up (from where ???) to go into the RAH. We got his
autograph.  Later, Steve (+Stomu+Shrieve+Rosko+DiMeola etc.) came out. We
had an interesting chat, before he signed the evening's programme.

In 1974, Island Records sent me an autographed photo of Traffic (signed only
by Steve). This was of all FIVE then members - Reebop, Capaldi, Rosko, Wood
& Winwood. Reebop was at the far left of the picture. The pose of this photo is
EXACTLY the same as the cover of "When The Eagle Flies". Whoever did the
cover drawing simply deleted poor Reebop !!  This reminds me of a concert in
1974 at Manchester (UK) (we had front row seats !!!) : all of Reebop's "Stage
Obscuring" drums, congas etc. were setup on stage, but he never turned up.
And this reminds me of Traffic's last ever REAL concert. It was at the UK
Reading Festival in August 1974. I was there - right at the front !

Mike Hargreaves

Date: Tue, 08 Oct 1996 13:29:35 +1000
From: John McPharlin (johnmc@sb.com.au)
Subject: Re: Instrument Changing

On the Jefferson Airplane/Starship/Whatever list group, there was a thread
recently about musicians who play a variety of instruments, so I took the
opportunity to wave the flag for our chap and I got some interesting responses.

John McPharlin

Date:    Mon, 30 Sep 1996 14:16:16 +1000
From:    John McPharlin (johnmc@SB.COM.AU)
Subject: Instrument Changing

Since we seem to have strayed away from 60's San Francisco, may I nominate
Steve Winwood as one of rock's more talented multi-instrumentalists? In the
early Spencer Davis days, Winwood was generally considered to be the better
guitarist when he and Eric Clapton jammed together (this was before Clapton
became God) and I remember hearing of a Traffic concert in the early 70's
when he took a turn on every instrument during the night and was considered
by many to have been the best on each instrument...


Date:    Tue, 1 Oct 1996 11:31:50 -0700
From:    K Grant (kgrant62@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Subject: Re: Instrument Changing

Right on! As Jim Capaldi said at Woodstock II, Winwood is pound for pound
the best musician on the planet.  In support of this, I suggest that you check out
the liner notes to John Barleycorn Must Die, which reveal that Winwood played
nearly every instrument on the entire album (on the under-rated classic Every
Mother's Son, he did play them all) -- which is clearly one of the best records of
the whole era.


Date:    Tue, 1 Oct 1996 12:37:37 -0500
From:    John Browning (jbrowning@ATTMAIL.COM)
Subject: Re: Instrument Changing

IMO  Steve Winwood is also one of the most frustrating artists on the planet.
Like, what happened to this guy? At ages 18-25 he was playing and writing
some just insanely good music. He might as well have changed his name to
Perry Como (an RCA artist) after that.  He played with Hendrix and Clapton
for God's sake! His Traffic albums stood up with / exceeded anything in their
day. (I wore out Mr Fantasy AND Traffic).  His guitar / keyboard work with
Blind Faith qualify him as master multi instrumentalist. Anybody have any
theories on wha' happened?

Dear Mr Fantasy, play me a tune PLEASE!


Date:    Tue, 1 Oct 1996 12:58:03 -0400
From:    James Benson (Benson_James_C@BNS.ATTMAIL.COM)
Subject: Re: Instrument Changing (was: 'Grace on bass' (was: "Re: Bass in

IMO, Traffic did the jazzy "When the Eagle Flies".  Then Winwood did his
own jazzy/pop "Arc of A Diver".  I remember reading at the time that if that
record did fly he was going to retire.  He had a 'hit' or two and decided he liked
selling records.  I still buy his stuff, but his best seems to have happened long

 [I believe James meant to say, if the record DIDN'T fly.  I read the same thing;
SW said he would go into producing full-time if the record didn't make it.  He
was pretty bummed-out by the terrible reception of the first solo album, "Steve
Winwood". - BG]


Date:    Tue, 1 Oct 1996 12:23:44 PDT
From:    Elliot.Sowadsky@AMD.COM
Subject: Re: No JA content, Steve Winwood

"Anybody have any theories on wha' happened?"

Simple. Music turned to shit and he followed it.


Date:    Tue, 1 Oct 1996 17:24:04 -0700
From:    K Grant (kgrant62@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Subject: Re: Instrument Changing

John Browning wrote:
" Anybody have any theories on wha' happened?"

I do.  I believe that he more or less ran out of ideas (at least for a while), as has
happened to virtually every musical artist who has lived long enough to outlast
his or her original creative burst.  Take Clapton, for instance (as you reference
in your note).  Is there crap worse than songs like rock n' roll heart? or some of
this from the cradle stuff? or the shamelessly exploitative tears in heaven
(which was written well before the death of his son, Connor, but which was
nevertheless sold to the world as a tribute to the unfortunate boy)?
JA/JS/HT is another example, as they clearly have gone through creative
valleys of mind-boggling depths over the course of their otherwise outstanding

All of this, in my opinion, is simply an artifact of our imperfect compositions,
which often fail to allow us to live up to our greatest triumphs once they are
past history.  I think that it is only fair to judge artists, or human toilers in
general by the greatest of their efforts, not the least.  Let's be thankful for the
richness they offer, and not criticize if after creating such great gifts for us all,
they continue to practice their crafts at more earthbound levels.

Remember, the same guy who gave us Hey Jude, Blackbird and Penny Lane,
went on to record Silly Love Songs.  I'll take the latter as a small price to pay
for the former, any day of the week.


Date:    Wed, 2 Oct 1996 12:19:27 -0600
Subject: Winwood

I think Steve Winwood was in a place in his life where he was getting
recognition, selling lots of records and making some bucks. So he decided to
play it safe and be a "pop singer" for a while. I didn't get to see the Traffic
"reunion" of a couple of years ago but I heard that they jammed like crazy. I
saw them on Letterman and liked what I heard. The album they made wasn't
half bad either. I hope he'll continue to take risks and create some good music.
There's still some fire left in the boy! Has anyone heard the project he worked
on called "GO"? (Late 70's early 80s I believe) Some fine stuff.


Date:    Wed, 2 Oct 1996 13:26:10 GMT
From:    "Mark B. Weber" (garage_sale@JUNO.COM)
Subject:  just Steve Winwood

SW was and still is a great musician. That he's produced nothing but drivel in
the past 10 years is his choice. And he is appealing to a much different
audience than in the days of Traffic's hey day in the late 60's early 70's. But just
like others who've changed their tune, (George Benson for instance), he's going
to have a very nice and easy retirement.


Date:    Wed, 2 Oct 1996 16:08:39 -0400
From:    abbot@FTP.COM
Subject: Re: Winwood

Go is awesome!  If you like jazz fusion type of stuff this is great. You usually
find Go filed under Stomu Yamashta, since it was his band.  They did 3 albums
that I know of, "Go", "Go Too" and a double live album.  I think only the
second is on CD.

Other members of Go:  Al DiMeola, Michael Shrieve, and a few that I
can't think of, but are outstanding musicians.

The music is kind of like Mahavishnu Orchestra or spacy Traffic jams.


Date:    Wed, 2 Oct 1996 14:13:21 -0500
From:    Alan Friedman (friedman@HEART.MED.UTH.TMC.EDU)
Subject: Winwood

 "I think Steve Winwood was in a place in his life where he was getting
recognition, selling lots of records and making some bucks. So he decided to
play it safe and be a "pop singer" for a while. I didn't get to see the Traffic
"reunion" of a couple of years ago but I heard that they jammed like crazy. I
saw them on Letterman and liked what I heard. The album they made wasn't
half bad either. I hope he'll continue to take risks and create some good music.
There's still some fire left in the boy! Has anyone heard the project he worked
on called "GO"? (Late 70's early)80s I believe) Some fine stuff."

Saw the tour and he smoked!  Extended, exposed guitar solos and rockin'
keyboards.  I should point out that they played all Traffic tunes and no (not
one) "popped out" Winwood solo career hit.  Total of over 2 hours of music.  I
agree that he took the safe money for a while, but am a bit concerned with the
lack of recent creativity despite continued instrumental and vocal prowess.  I
thought the new Traffic album was fair, but not up to 70's magic.  Perhaps we
ARE asking to much, as was proposed in an earlier post.

As for Go, we briefly touched on this a year or so ago.  Awesome collection of
talent assembled by Stomu Yamashta with both a studio and a live (from Paris)
album. I recommend the live album if you only want one.  The tune Winner
Loser is the musical highlight (can't get it out of my head for days after I listen
to it).  Al DiMeola on guitar, Mike Shrieve on drums, Yamashta on keyboards
(and who knows what else), Klaus Schultze (maybe wrong spelling) on "the
space machine" (a synthesizer, I believe) and another guitarist whose name
escapes me at present.  Winwood has also played reggae (for lack of a better
term) with a wonderful band called Third World (album is called Aiye Keta--
spelling probably wrong) and, of course, has played with Mayall, Traffic, Blind
Faith, Jimi and Jack :-) (JA content?) and
presumably MANY others.  His versatility and ability to make others
play/sound better is truly remarkable.

I'm clearly still a fan.

Date:    Wed, 2 Oct 1996 20:50:59 -0400
From:    RobertPy@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: just Steve Winwood

One of my fondest memories of Winterland was seeing Traffic and Fairport
Convention at a show there once. Winwood wrote, played, and sang some of
the best music of the time. However, going in a more 'pop' direction doesn't
necessarily mean it's no good (i.e.; Beatles, Pet Sounds, etc.). As a matter of
fact, I think 'Higher Love' is a decent pop song along with one of the other
songs he released ('The Finer Things' I think it's called).  Compared to the
usual bs you hear on commercial radio, Michael Bolton for instance, it's a
pleasure to hear THAT voice again, even if it's one of those superficial love



Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 22:48:28 -0500
From: Andrea Dyche (justus@oz.sunflower.org)
Subject: Re: Song Memories

It was the day of the Kansas City FFH concert and I had gone over to my mom's
house that day to wait for her. (My mom, her cousin, a friend of hers and
myself where all going to the concert together.  My mom's house was the
central meeting point.)  Well, the night before when I talked to her finalizing
the plans, she had failed to mention that the air conditioning had gone out.  It
was the middle of July (the 22nd) and very hot.  I spend most of the day sitting
over there, listening to "Far From Home".  Her neighbors were having a garage
sale, and I had all the windows opened, so basically, the entire neighborhood
was listening to FFH.  I listen to FFH now and that's the first thing that comes
to mind.

"Talking Back To The Night" reminds me of my freshman year in high school.
It was the first time that I had ever come into contact with the drug crowd.
(The elementary school and middle school I went to were very small and, if
anything, people smoked or drank.  That was it.)  I was extremely shy and
really had a hard time fitting in most of my classes.  My speech class was far
and away the one that I had the most trouble fitting into.  The only reason
people took speech was because it was a blow off class, I'm sure that's why I
took it, but I don't really remember.  I was in honors classes and classes that the
upperclassmen took, so I did not fit in with the crowd in a blow off class.  Most
of the class was into drinking and drugs, I wasn't.  There was one girl in there
who I will never forget.  Her name was Michelle, but she went by Kitti.  She
had shaved her head and wore the most bizarre clothing.  During class one day
she said "So, Andrea, you wanna come and get high with us later on?"
Without even thinking, I said, "No, I don't think so."  She accepted that, so I
was lucky.  At the time, I didn't even realize what I had done.  It didn't click
until later that day.  I got home and turned on "Talking Back..." and just sat
down and thought about what had happened and what could have happened.

I listen to "Talking Back To The Night" now and wonder where that
speech class is now.

I was out walking in a park one day in the fall, there was a cool breeze, the
leaves were changing and some were falling, it was beautiful out.  Out of
nowhere, I started humming "Holy Ground."  It really made me appreciate what
I was looking at.  Then someone yelled, "Bruce Springsteen rock on!" and
destroyed the moment. :-)  Oh, well.  It was nice while it lasted.

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 96 12:15:01 GMT
From: (LESAGE Melissa) (lesage@monza.u-strasbg.fr)
Subject: alternate version of GSL?

I recently bought the Spencer Davis Group compilation "Eight Gigs a Week"
(and now like the Spencer Davis Group more than ever), and I have a question
about it that I figure someone on this list will be able to answer. The version of
"Gimme Some Lovin'" on it is slightly different from the version I'm used to.
It's not just a different mix, it's a different  recording.  The background vocals
are a lot less (there's no one singing "gimme gimme some lovin'" during the
choruses) and Steve's vocals are  different too.  It even seems like some of the
words in the second verse are  different--I still can't understand any of them,
but they definitely seem different than the words I can't understand in the
version I'm familiar  with. :)  The liner notes don't say anything about it being
an alternate take or unreleased version.  So what is it?

Melissa LeSage

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 08:22:53 -0700
From: woontner@sirius.com
Subject: Re: Traffic and the Beatles

Here is an email from Stephen MacDougal (webmaster of the Dave Mason
home page) and myself:

Hi Allen,

This is Steve MacDougall. I have just discovered Smiling Phases, the Winwood
mailing list, and I found your comparison of Traffic and the Beatles.  What's
weird is just this week I made a similar connection

"On one hand, I'd say that John and Steve are counterparts because their talents
dominated, but Steve dominated Traffic much more than John, and Steve is
much closer to the musical talents of Paul, although I would have to say he is
far superior. Perhaps Steve is more like George, the quite loner and
consummate musician, no that's not right either. Then there's Ringo, Jim
Capaldi is much more multi-talented than Ringo. I would have to guess that
Traffic's Ringo equivalent is Dave Mason - both child-like. And Traffic's
George Harrison's equivalent is Chris Wood, the lyrical musician that blended
with everyone. Now that doesn't mean that Jim Capaldi equates
lyrically with John Lennon's talents or that Paul and Steve are the same, but....
its a fun exercise."

Here's how I see it.  First off, don't compare them in terms of talent.  That can
be a very subjective comparison.  Instead, look at the beginnings of each band
and the contributions the individual musicians made in the band.

John Lennon was the spiritual leader of The Beatles, as was Steve Winwood
with Traffic.  Both men were the ones who initiated their perspective bands.
Paul McCartney was only second in command, as was Jim Capaldi.  Paul saw
John, who was in the beginning much more popular, and the two talked and
decided to join forces.  The same is true with Capaldi.   Paul then brought in
his friend George Harrison into The Beatles, and Jim Capaldi brought his
friend Dave Mason into Traffic.  So the beginnings of both bands are quite
similar.  As for the Ringo/Chris factor, both musicians were the last to officially
join, and were brought in because of the other musicians admiration for the
respective player.

Now in terms of contributions:
When we talk about The Beatles, we cannot say John Lennon without saying
Paul McCartney.  Both co-wrote a great majority of the band's material. George
Harrison also wrote songs, but most of it was seen as being quite different from
the Lennon-McCartney stuff.  Ringo really didn't write at all.  He made several
lyrical contributions here and there (the phrase Hard Day's Night for example),
but that was the extent of his writing.

In Traffic, we cannot say Steve Winwood without saying Jim Capaldi. Both co-
wrote a great majority of the band's material.  Dave Mason also wrote songs,
but most of it was seen as being quite different from the Winwood-Capaldi
compositions.  Chris Wood played a somewhat stronger role in the band's
writing, but I really question how great his involvement was.  My impression
was that Steve wrote the music while Jim wrote the lyrics, while Chris probably
wrote a horn line.  But that wouldn't have happened without Steve's melody.
So in that sense, I see Wood's contribution to the band as being very similar to
that of Ringo Starr's

Lennon-McCartney = Winwood-Capaldi
Harrison = Mason
Starr = Wood

From: "BobbieG." (bobbieg@azstarnet.com)
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 10:18:04 -0700
Subject: Concert on Oct 16th

I copied the following from the VH-1 Online area on AOL:

On October 16, Eddie Van Halen, Me'shell Ndegeocello, and the rest of the
amazing City of Hope All-Star Garage Band will convene at CityWalk in
Universal City, CA, for an award benefit honoring VH1 President John Sykes.
The band, led by "The Late Show"'s Paul Shaffer, will perform some of the
early hits of rock n' roll and R&B, in an effort to raise money for City of Hope,
a non-profit medical and research center dedicated to the prevention, treatment
and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

All-Star Garage Band members include Don Henley, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl
Crow, Bryan Adams, John Mellencamp, Steve Winwood, Tony Rich, and
additional surprise guests! Bill Maher, of "Politically Incorrect," will host the
event, and designers Todd Oldham and Tommy Hilfiger will contribute to the

The concert will not be televised, but tickets (starting at $500 each) are
available by calling (213) 626-4611 ext. 6540.