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VOLUME 50, sent February 10, 1997

Topics in this issue:
  1. Re: Birken and Clapton, and Steve in drag
  2. VH-1 Special ; Paul Carrack
  3. Re: Clapton?  Wise guy - and  Steve in drag?!
  4. All Time Top 1000 Albums
  5. Milk carton
  6. New Page
  7. Tee-shirt vote deadline!
  8. Re: Berkin's remarks on Clapton
  9. Earliest versions of songs

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1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1
From: GOlson2710@aol.com
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 03:26:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Birken and Clapton, and Steve in drag

Birkin is not that far off - he has some very good points.  Clapton is not
bad - just Winwood is better.

Did you consider that the girl in the video could be his sister?

[SW doesn't have sisters.  Maybe it's a cousin?  -BG]


2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2
From: "RAMIL & CO." 
Subject: VH-1 Special ; Paul Carrack
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 10:32:24 -0500

I am a professional singer and I am quite influenced by the British soul singers
of the 60's & 70's, Winwood amongst the top of the list.  It is people like him
that made me realize that being a white male I could still sing authentic soul &
blues.  I have sung many concerts in my area (Boston), including a Motown
tribute show at the Berklee Performance Center FEB 25 '97....and I feel
comfortable singing this music with a total confidence among a totally African
American Band and singers.  This is due to the contributions made by those
singers who have used the influence of "authentic" soul and R & B successfully.
Thank you.

I'm looking for a copy of both the VH-1 concert and the Woodstock show from
a couple years back.  I have "Far From Home" and I really like it.....I missed
them live that year but I'd love to get my hands on the video.  Any ideas? Please
let me know.

Also, I saw that people are discussing an opening act for Winwood....Does
anyone remember a fine British soul singer named Paul Carrack?  He has sung
with Squeeze, Mike & The Mechanics, and Roger Waters.  He has an amazing
voice.....Does anyone know what he's up to nowadays?  If he's still active he
would complement SW quite well.   If anyone does know what he's doing
please let me know.   Thanks.


3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3
From: MomeyKate@aol.com
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 17:44:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Clapton?  Wise guy - and  Steve in drag?!

About Berkin Altinok's Clapton observations:

Although I agree with a lot of Berkin's points (Winwood's obvious influence on
Clapton as shown by his switching to Fender Stratocaster, using Will Jennings
and Russ Titelman as colleagues, etc.), I'd like to point out that Eric Clapton is
the first to admit to Steve's influence and raves about him in practically every
article in which he is mentioned.  Yes, Steve is more talented than Eric, and
Eric is again the first to admit it- as in their Blind Faith collaboration.

Eric's wider appeal or adulation may be attributed to his stormy lifestyle and
exceptional genius on one instrument- his guitar.  He has led an extremely
troubled "rock and roll" lifestyle- which adds to his appeal to many (not mine,
however).  I like his music, but prefer Steve Winwood's by far.

And, as a Winwood fan, I'm glad that Steve has a well-balanced , happy life-
one with a family and a great career.  He has given many music fans much to
appreciate over the years and I look forward to more!

Thanks for the opportunity to express this opinion I have held for a long time!

As for the other post (Bobbie- you are something else!) -

SW in drag in Holding On video?  I "paused" a lot on my VH-1 Superstar
Sunday with SW (1990) to look at this one!  Yes, Bobbie, if SW had a sister
she would probably look like this woman.  But if you look closely, the nose is
wrong, and there's no telltale mole on cheek, and the chin is a touch too weak...
We might have to look elsewhere for SW's humor.

As for my favorite videos, I also like Hearts on Fire.  But I'm partial to Freedom
Overspill, the Finer Things and One and Only Man specifically for his
videogenicity! (Is that a word?)

Mary from Minnesota (setting my VCR for March 8th)


4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4
From: LesterJake@aol.com
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 04:46:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: All Time Top 1000 Albums

I just found a great item in the July 1995 Coloured Rain, the Winwood fanzine
put out by Paul Minkkinen in the UK and Jan Inge Sommerseth
(jan.inge.sommerseth@nrk.no) in Norway.  According to contributor Brian
Hunt, a 1994 book entitled ALL TIME TOP 1000 ALBUMS (by Colin Larkin,
Guinness Publishing) lists the second Traffic album at no. 93 of the top 250
Rock & Pop albums, followed by Low Spark at 118 and Arc of a Diver at 174.
The commentary is quite interesting:

"On their second album the cottage dwellers from Berkshire refined their
hippie pop into a looser and vastly mature work.  Evocative tales of nonsense
in the beautiful '40,000 Headmen,' joyful malarkey with Mason's 'You Can All
join in' and one of his finest songs, 'Feelin Alight,' which was a signpost
to Mason's imminent departure.  Throughout the record Capaldi's understated
yet steady drums demonstrate just what a great rock drummer should do and
Chris Wood's sound is everywhere with trills on flute and blasts on
saxophone.  A record that will always be meant for glorious sunny days.
 First released 1968.  UK peak chart position: 9; USA: 17."

Of Low Spark the author says:

"The wandering jazzy music that Traffic gradually flowed into hit a peak with
this exceptional recording.  The title track, with its perplexing lyrics, reaches
numerous musical heights during its 12 minutes as it repeatedly comes back to
Steve Winwood's accomplished vocal.  Equally impressive, though shorter, is
'Hidden Treasure,' highlighting what a good musician the late Chris Wood was.
Finally the band's loyal anchor, 'Gentleman' Jim Capaldi, takes lead on the
cheeky (and sexist) 'Light Up or Leave Me Alone.'  The power of Traffic was in
the atmosphere and space they created, and this captures it. First released 1971.
UK peak chart position: did not chart;  USA: 7."

Of Arc:

"With a glorious voice that sounds as if he's just swallowed something
terminally sticky, Winwood has the advantage of instant recognition.  Add to
this a musicianship which has been employed in sessions for most major
recording artists and the result is a prodigious talent which runs like a vein of
gold through rock music since the mid-60s.  Arc of a Diver, released at the end
of 1980 after a long period of self-imposed retreat, is a triumphant resurgence.
With lyrical contributions by Viv Stanshall (the rich imagery of the title track)
and Will Jennings, Winwood never falls into the trap of shaming the music
with substandard words.  Another musical genius.  UK peak chart position: 13;
USA: 3."

On the top 1000 album list, Traffic ranks 146, Low Spark is 184 and Arc is
278.

While the number system is highly arbitrary (and arguable, as is the omission
of John Barleycorn and some other great Winwood albums), the commentary is
wonderfully apt, I thought.  (I was surprised and glad to see Traffic rank as the
best Winwood album.  It was the first one I ever got into, and will always
remain for me sentimentally as well as musically a peak experience.  But I've
never found anyone else who agreed.)

On another subject of interest, Steve will turn 50 a year from May.  It seems
appropriate to encourage the powers-that-be at his management and record
companies to arrange a tribute concert, along the lines of the Bowie birthday
bash at Madison Square Garden.  I would propose a "career retrospective" that
includes sets devoted to Spencer Davis Group (with the original members),
Traffic early and late (including if possible Dave Mason and other later
participants), Blind Faith (with Clapton), Go (with Stomu Yamashta et al) and
the solo career, supported by selected musicians from the albums (James
Taylor, Joe Walsh and Nile Rodgers, for example) and the previous cast
members.

Since this would be a major undertaking, and it is only 16 months off, can we
circulate a "chain" e-mail petition to Weisner and Virgin?


5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5
From: Madbotyou@aol.com
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 13:50:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Milk carton

While reading the newest copy of Entertainment Weekly (Feb. 14, 97), I came
across a rather to-the-point, biting remark on the status of Steve Winwood.

In the music review section, there is a milk cartoon with a small picture of him.
Above him is the phrase :MISSING-- Have you seen me? Below his picture is
the following caption : Steve Winwood --- Elusive Ubermusician in seminal
'60's Brit band Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, and Blind Faith, Major solo
breakthrough in late 80's with multi-platinum Back In The High Life and Roll
With It. Last seen playing keyboards in all-star jam at VH-1 charity event,
Oct. 16, 1996.

Ken aka Sting


6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 1997 16:54:55 -0500
From: Scott Tribble 
Subject: New Page

Check out what I found today:

http://virginrecords.com/artists/VR.cgi?ARTIST_NAME=Steve_Winwood


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From: "BobbieG." 
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 1997 15:29:39 -0700
Subject: Tee-shirt vote deadline!

On Friday afternoon, Valentine's Day, I will count up all the votes on the tee-
shirt design, so if you want to vote, do it before then!

When I'm done, I'll post the results on the web-site, and we'll start to see who
wants to order one.  I'll have pricing info and a shipping date pretty soon.

Remember, voting doesn't mean you're ordering, it just means you're in on the
decision making process.

Bobbie   (bobbieg@azstarnet.com)


8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8
From: Madbotyou@aol.com
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 08:49:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Berkin's remarks on Clapton

I was going to write a long drwn out response trying to defend Eric Clapton.
However, I will keep my comments to the point.

Winwood has his place in rock history, as does Clapton. Both have "written"
songs (let's face it Clapton and Winwood probably wouldn't admit to having
much lyrical strength). Both obviously love the blues (you mention Clapton
copying Freddie King, that's like saying Winwood deliberately tried to sound
like Ray Charles, which he has stated he didn't). And both are beyond the realm
of talented at their respective instrument (Yes Winwood can play others, but
not nearly as well as he can the keyboard).

My point: They are equals. But Clapton has made it a point to be more active
and keep his name in the spotlight the past few years. NO MATTER WHAT
TYPE OF ALBUM HE HAS MADE. (The blues album is brilliant--deal with
it.)

There is no need to debate over one or the other being a "god". They are just
two men who are brilliant at making some memorable music for fans across the
globe.

Ken

[Ken- I thought Steve DID say he deliberately tried to sound like Ray Charles,
right about the time during his adolescence when his voice was changing.  I
think it's in the bio.  Anyone help me here?  -BG]


9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9
From: "BobbieG." 
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 07:44:01 -0700
Subject: Earliest versions of songs

I made a list back in September, of the earliest known versions of most of the
songs I know Steve has had a part in.  Well, just yesterday, I uploaded that list
onto my web-space for you guys to enjoy and/or correct.  It can be
accessed from the mailing list page, or you can get there directly at

http://www.azstarnet.com/~bobbieg/earliest.htm

Let me know what you think.  And yeah, I know, I need to get a life.  

Bobbie   (bobbieg@azstarnet.com)
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END OF SMILING PHASES, VOL 50