Saturday, September 3, 2011

Classic Traffic [Steve Winwood]

Music has always been an important part of my life. Some would say too much so, but I don't think so. No matter how you call it, it's been there every step of the way.

Both my mother and aunt Pat were (at one time), professional backup singers for the top Country & Western bands, performers, whatever, when I was a young child. That did nothing to attract me to music in any way though. Even at age 8, 9 or 10 I could see right through the phoney accents, the bullshit drama and the freakin costumes were so bad that just calling them bad would be complimenting them. I hated sitting in the corner of the bar with my baby brother, younger brother & sister when I was 10 and staying quiet and out of the way until 1 or 2:00 AM. Worse than that was sitting out in the car on other nights, parked on the side of the bar or in the rear. Call it what you want, but I don't see much in Country music that I don't just want to spit at. There are a few greats and I admire them greatly, still this post isn't about that. It's about the music of my life. Not theirs.

Rock, Blues, Jazz, Soul, tiny bit of Disco (maybe), Gospel, those are the sounds more agreeable to me. Most of those I hate too though. I just hate cookie-cutter anything. I Love talent though and this post is about talent.

I could go 1,000 directions with this post. I'm just going to stick with Steve Winwood. I'll share from Wiki's page on him, rather than share the lies and rumors that I had heard in my younger days. I'll do that after I have my say though.

I was 15 years old and in my first real apartment when I got a copy of Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. I wasn't even sure I was allowed to like it publicly then, so I asked a few friends if they liked it. One friend that I admired asked me to play it for him because he loved it and we got stoned listening to it over and over and on that day I became a fan.

It had a Middle Earth feeling to it, sort of dreamy, sort of like the British meadow-lands even before England. Had some electric sounds too, but the horns, flutes were all new to me then.

Later when I got married (just a few years later) I got a copy of Welcome to the Canteen. I think I ruined it listening to it (8-track tapes only last so long). I couldn't even order another copy now, because (they all said..) it was just an event type recording. It had been made to raise money for The Oz Benefit Concert. I was pissed! I called everyone and tried everything. I even offered $250 for a decent quality recorded copy of that album, because it reminded me so much of those early days with my wife.

Steve Winwood also looked exactly like my brother Larry and Larry picked right up on it. We would party our asses o0ff and he would air guitar to the music. I can't even tell you how beautiful he was. Later he was struck by a car and he lives now, but has no memory of anything except before the accident.

Soo, Traffic, Steve Winwood have been with me through some of the best times in my life.
I hear the music now, I have to be careful with it. I don't "just" play it, because I don't want to ever trade off those memories for new ones I might make.

I usually only listen a little and listen alone and Love my Brother again, and Love my Wife again and remember that age when I was still young and green and actually needed a friends acceptance before I could break out of the top 40 mold and go my own way into my own damn music (where I fukkin Belonged!).

Please read a little from Wiki's page below, visit it yourself [here] and read the rest and check out some of the vids I'm sharing with you.


Early years: 1960s

While he was still a pupil at the Great Barr School,[5] Winwood was a part of the Birmingham rhythm and blues scene, playing the Hammond B-3 organ and guitar, backing blues singers such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Howlin' Wolf, B. B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Eddie Boyd, Otis Spann, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley on their United Kingdom tours, the custom at that time being for US singers to travel solo and be backed by pickup bands. At this time, Winwood was living on Atlantic Road in Great Barr, close to the Birmingham music halls where he played. Winwood had modelled himself on Ray Charles.[4]
At the age of 14 Winwood joined the Spencer Davis Group,[6] along with his older brother Muff, who later had success as a record producer. Steve's distinctive high tenor singing voice and vocal style drew comparisons to Ray Charles.[7] At the end of 1965 the group had their first number one single with "Keep On Running"[8] and the money from this success allowed Winwood to buy his own Hammond B-3 organ.[4]
During this time Winwood joined forces with guitarist Eric Clapton as part of the one-off group Eric Clapton's Powerhouse. Songs were recorded for the Elektra label, but only three tracks were released on the compilation album, What's Shakin'.
Winwood co-wrote and recorded the hits "Gimme Some Loving" and "I'm a Man" before leaving the Spencer Davis Group. Winwood met drummer Jim Capaldi, guitarist Dave Mason, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Wood, when they jammed together at The Elbow Room, a club in Aston, Birmingham.[9] After Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in April 1967, the quartet formed Traffic.[10] Soon thereafter, they rented a cottage near the rural village of Aston Tirrold, Berkshire to write and rehearse new music.[9] The period at the cottage would prove important in the development of the band.[11]
In 1968 Winwood played the organ on the song "Voodoo Chile" on the Jimi Hendrix album Electric Ladyland. The following year he played keyboards on albums as diverse as Toots & the Maytals' Reggae Got Soul and Howlin' Wolf's The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions.
 Dear Mr. Fantasy
Traffic at the Santa Monica, CA Civic Center 
February 21, 1972

Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Looks like same show

As always, best for last,,,
40,000 Headmen

*Thinkin: "I shoulda just got the whole damn concert an posted it.."

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