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VOLUME 69, sent April 24, 1997

Topics in this issue:
  1. First Winwood US club tour concert setup
  2. Club dates in the UK this week
  3. Re: post # 8, SP 68
  4. Chronicles
  5. Re: Which Traffic album to get?
  6. In defense of Mason
  7. Replies to #68
  8. Re: Which Traffic album to get?
  9. Re: old guard vs young

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From: Winwoodie@aol.com
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 00:55:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: First Winwood US club tour concert setup

Word from Ron Weisner's office is that the first US club date setup so far will
be June 3rd the same day the CD is released.  The gig will be at the Roxy
Theater, 9009 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.  Other dates have not
yet been set but we might get more info in a week or so.  No ticket info is
available as of yet.  I am willing to try to get tickets for anyone who will
be in LA at that time.

Craig


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From: "BobbieG." 
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 16:05:30 -0700
Subject: Club dates in the UK this week

I talked with Paul Minkkinen in England about the UK club dates  coming up,
and here's the list:

Saturday, April 26 - Zodiac Club in Oxford
Tuesday, April 29 - Hanover Grand, a hotel in London
Thursday, May 1 - Irish Center in Birmingham
Friday, May 2 - in Glasgow, not sure of the venue

Paul has tickets to both the Oxford and London gigs and will be writing a
review for us.

ALSO - On Wednesday, April 30, in London, SW will be filming a concert for
VH1.  This MAY BE broadcast live in Europe!  So you Subscribers over there,
look at your telly listings and set up the VCR!  The concert will probably be
aired in the US at some undetermined date.

Other news from Paul: The release date for "Spy" is May 19 in Europe as well
as here.  He confirmed that SW will be performing  at the Wembley concert on
August 16.

--------------

I also heard from someone who wishes to remain anonymous, that  Virgin's
first choice for first single was "Plenty of Lovin" but Des'ree's label, Sony,
nixed that because she also has a new release coming out, and they didn't want
the recordings 'competing'.  For what it's worth ...

Bobbie


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From: "Elena Iglio" 
Subject: Re: post # 8, SP 68
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 10:22:11 +0200

I would like to point out the sources from where I got the Traffic sidemen
"collaboration to a certain extent" but not really being responsible for the
Traffic project came from: "SOUNDS" interview with Chris Wood, May 1973,
where he admits he quarreled for hours about the "hiring" of people like Hood
and Hawkins, who were sight-readers and panicking whenever improvising.
Chris told that the Traffic trio was the most spontaneous and satisfying form of
collaboration and live performance. Steve Winwood has told in many
interviews that "there were two parties in the same studio, me and Chris and
Jim collaborating and writing together and Dave who came with his songs
ready and said "Right, this is the song, now you do this and you do that, and it
must be like that because it is MY song".  Chris Wood on "Sound", May 1974
also admitted there were problems with Jim Gordon who walked offstage one
night, and another report about work in progress during "Low Spark", Alan
Clayson's "Back in The High Life", talked of people filling in for Grech and
Gordon during the "Low Spark" Sessions" for they were too f...up to turn up. In
Sounds, September 1974, Chris Wood, again, talks about Rebop's demise as
"It's certainly no handicap not having him...". And Steve, again in his official
biography "Roll with it" says "Traffic must belong to Chris Wood...Jim and I
could sing and play, but he was the force beyond it".

Excuse me if some quotes are not exact but I' m quoting by memory. If this is
not enough to you to disclose who were The Original Traffic Core.... They
hired Grech first because Steve could not endlessly play bass pedals live and the
trio limited their live performances, then Gordon filled in for Capaldi when Jim
started with his "my drumming is inhibiting my writing". They collaborated in
writing Rock 'n Roll Stew, the less significant number on Low Spark. Gordon
had written Layla, so something better could be expected. (BTW, do you know
he killed his mother and went in a mental institution?)  So all in all they were
hired mostly because Traffic was a LIVE band and needed a more conspicuous
sound. They were session-men, they came and went. To me the best was Rosko.
They always needed a good bass player and they found him too late.
CANTEEN is somewhat lame, the Mason numbers belonged to very old solo
albums dated 1970-71, but there is atmosphere and joy  in the dueling guitars
in "Fantasy", and happy vibes in both "Goo" and GSL.

WELL, YOU WANTED IT, YOU CAN'T STOP ME WHEN I START
ABOUT TRAFFIC......

FORGIVE ME FOR WRITING A NOVEL

Yours,
 Ellie


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From: Madbotyou@aol.com
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 09:41:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Chronicles

Hey everyone. For those of you that subscribe to Chronicles, the snail mail
newsletter on Steve Winwood, I wanted to let you know the next issue will be
in the mail in about two weeks. Let's just say personal changes have caused
the delay.

And the next few issues promise some very good, very informative articles.
Enjoy and take care. And thank Bobbie while you all are at it. She's been a
big help with almost every issue.

Ken aka Sting


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From: Rick Kilcoyne 
Subject: Re: Which Traffic album to get?
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 12:40:22 -0400

This is a response to the following message from Aaron Price:
"I want to ask what would be a good old Winwood/Traffic album for me to pick
up knowing my tastes?"

I was hooked on Winwood with Back in the High Life. I'll never forget the first
time I heard Freedom Overspill. After listening to the entire album, I couldn't
believe that one album had so many great songs! I was in the 8th grade at the
time, so I too am on the younger side  of the Winwood fan base.

Soon after Back in the High Life, I was digging through some of my fathers old
albums and I came across this old album that looked as if it was made of barley.
My father indicated that this was by far his favorite Winwood album, and one
of his all time favorites. This album was of course John Barleycorn Must Die -
by far my favorite traffic album. If you are going to step into Traffic, based on
your musical interests, I would suggest John Barleycorn Must Die.

I pulled traffic albums such as Heavy Traffic,  Best of Traffic, Canteen, Low
Spark, Shoot Out,  and yes, even When the Eagle Flies from my  Uncle's record
collection (He obviously was a  huge Traffic fan back in the day). These albums
only reaffirmed my love of Winwood's music. It was strange in High School,
because while most of my friends were listening to Def Leopard, Whitesnake,
MC Hammer, and Vanilla Ice, I was into good old Traffic and Winwood. My
loyalty never wavered. I agree with you about the Traffic concert - I thought it
was unbelievable. I felt so lucky to see Traffic live - never in my wildest dreams
did I think this would be possible.

I am also an avid keyboardist. I started on the organ and eventually moved to
synthesizers. As you can imagine, Steve's style had a profound  effect on me.
My friends who are not as familiar with Winwood are always  surprised when I
inform them that growing up to Winwood music is what provided me with my
musical backbone.

I'd be interested in hearing from other Winwood-inspired keyboardists out
there.

~Rick Kilcoyne


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From: "Stephen MacDougall" 
Subject: In defense of Mason
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 13:52:31 -0400

I've been reading lots of posts that seem to put Dave Mason down.  As some of
you know, I run a Mason page, and I'd like to offer a defense in his name.

1) Dave wasn't a real member of Traffic.
This is a popular statement, especially since it came from SW and Capaldi.
Well, why would any band let a guest write and sing lead vocals on half of an
album and not list it as "Traffic with special guest Dave Mason"?  Maybe Dave
was independent from the others, but he was still an official, contributing
member of Traffic. However, it wasn't really meant to be.  Why not just say that
"he was in, it didn't work, and he left" and leave it at that?  Listen to the first
disc of Smiling Phases and it's obvious that he was a real member of Traffic.

2) Who influenced who?
Frankly, this is a bad argument.  Traffic was Dave's first real project. Obviously
it would have been hard for him to influence, and not be influenced by, Steve
Winwood. Steve was a major name in the business at the time, Dave was just
starting out. I think if you pick up Certified Live, you can tell that Dave was
more influenced (he does Pearly Queen and Gimme Some Lovin'). The only
Traffic influence that I can tell is that Jim Capaldi sounded like he had been
influenced, at least vocally, by Delaney Bramlett, on Low Spark, but that's
another story.

3) Dave had an ego problem.
Wouldn't YOU get an ego if the first song you ever wrote sold over a million
copies?  Remember, Dave hadn't dealt with success until then.  Steve already
had a hit.  I often wonder if Spencer Davis ever felt the same way about Steve
at one time.

Also, in the last SP, someone asked about "It's Like You Never Left" and all of
those Dave compilations. "It's Like You Never Left", released in 1974, was
Dave's first, full solo album since Alone Together and his first album on
Columbia records. The title was a play on words.  (It was reissued on One Way
Records in 1995, hence the copyright date.)  It was totally new.  Regarding
Headkeeper (the album), Dave got fed-up with Blue Thumb and stole the
master track tapes.  Blue Thumb released the two-track mixed tapes, which
Dave has always considered to be demo tapes.  That's why the song Headkeeper
was released on It's Like You Never Left.  Ironically, 1987's Some Assembly
Required was also released without Dave's consent.  He seems to have lots of
management problems.  BTW, most of the compilation albums that have been
released are from his Blue Thumb years, and do not have the blessing of Dave.
In fact, almost all of these compilations have a picture of Dave with his eyes
closed.


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From: "Les Jacobson"
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 12:52:55 -0500
Subject: Replies to #68

To Ellie's provocative question about how and when we fell in love with Steve's
music:  I actually saw Steve perform a year before I first came under the spell.
I saw Blind Faith in the summer of '69 at the old Chicago Amphitheater and
was frankly disappointed, being more of a Cream than Traffic fan.  Steve's
voice did not sound good--either because of the sound system or because he was
straining to sing too high--and neither Steve nor Eric looked like they wanted
to be there.  A year later a friend, knowing my love of classical music,
encouraged me to listen to Traffic's second album, so one June night I put the
fat old Koss headphones on and settled down for a good listening session
when...it clicked: the incredible voice (especially on Who Knows and 40K
Headmen), the perfect instrumentation, the mysterious melodies, the
astonishing Hammond fills.  This was chamber music of the highest order!
When I checked the credits I found to my astonishment that every brilliant
vocal or instrumental line was credited to SW.  I quickly collected the previous
Traffic and SDG albums and discovered that Traffic II was no fluke: the
brilliance had been there from the beginning.  Fortunately and coincidentally
the band was playing in Chicago within a few weeks, so I had a chance to hear
and see these marvelous qualities live.  I still have the poster from that concert,
which brings back the great memories.

On the other hand, I have to take issue with Ellie about Jim Capaldi's lyrics.
I've always thought they were banal if not outright insipid, and that the lack of
a good lyric partner has prevented Steve from getting as much credit as he
deserves.  But as someone wisely pointed out in a recent SP (with respect to the
R&R Hall of Fame), we shouldn't worry too much about contemporary
recognition.  Steve will eventually be regarded as one of this century's greatest
singer/composers, even if Frank Sinatra hasn't asked him to duet, or the Joffrey
hasn't choreographed his music, or Philip Glass hasn't composed a piece
around his songs.  Yet.

Re: Berkin's dream set list: what song is Oh Lord My Lord?

Re: the debate about the talent level of today's young stars, let's face it, every
generation produces only a handful of real talents, and I doubt too many of us
are listening to the alternative stations where their music is played (just as our
parents had a hard time hearing our music).  The corollary of that principle is
that every generation produces mostly crap, and while I happen to think the
music of the late 60s-early 70s was the creative peak for rock music, I've got
bins and bins of terrible rock albums from that era that I thought was worth
exploring at the time.

Re: Steve's angst-ridden period, I'd say When the Eagle Flies was his most
noirish album, from the cover art to the songs themselves.  Never a whiner, he
did admit a couple of years ago that late Traffic were off base to complain about
the "hardships" of being touring rock musicians, though I'm not sure if he was
referring to specific songs.

Re: Aaron's solicitation for suggestions on good early Winwood: there's a
wonderful double album that United Artists issued about 1970 (called simply,
Winwood) that compiled the best of SDG and early Traffic.  It had wonderful
photos and really outstanding liner notes by Bobby Abrams (anybody know
what happened to him?  He was the first writer to suggest comparisons between
Steve and the greatest classical composers).  Winwood can be hard to find
though, since Steve or his label sued UA (the US distributor for Island) and it
was withdrawnn.  If this is unavailable, my preference for someone who likes
classical piano is the 2nd and 4th Traffic albums: Traffic and John Barleycorn.

Finally, is the Dead/Traffic jam of 1970 worth hearing?  Anybody got a tape?

Les


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From: "Gabb, Anthony A" 
Subject: Re: Which Traffic album to get?
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:43:59 +1000

Aaron wrote:
"With that said I want to ask what would be a good old Winwood/Traffic album
for me to pick up knowing my tastes?"

IMHO if you want to hear some innovative piano and electric piano  work, pick
up a copy of John Barleycorn Must Die.  I got into SW's  solo stuff before
working backwards into Traffic.  John Barleycorn was the first Traffic album I
bought and it is fantastic.  I have about 3 Traffic albums now and John
Barleycorn is still the stand-out for me.

....Anthony


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Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 03:40:51 -0400
From: dss162@psu.edu (Scott Smedley)
Subject: Re: old guard vs young

"It used to be that the musicians, the true TALENT, were well-rounded artists
who could play multiple instruments and not only experiment but also adapt to
multiple styles of music.  Many of today's artists just use gimmicks to build a
following."

What self-respecting band of today or in a 1960's scenario would actually
appear on the unhip, out-of-touch, oldies hits channel VH1? VH1 isn't about
music, it's about business and nostalgia, and (no offense to Steve) so was the
Honors concert. The best bands out there today are probably the ones that aren't
making any videos at all.

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END OF SMILING PHASES, VOL 69