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Fact #105876


Short story:

British weekly music newspaper NME announces that Steve Winwood is to leave the Spencer Davis Group in early April, in order to form a new band with Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason and Chris Wood.

Full article:

Jim Capaldi : Me and Dave hitched up to Birmingham once to see Spencer Davis, and we were totally destroyed by this 16-year-old kid. Steve was the man. He was Number One in America with Gimme Some Lovin' when he was 16 years old; Number One in the black charts as well. Spencer Davis were coming to an end, covering R'n'B stuff. They were good songs, but they weren't writing them - Jackie Edwards wrote quite a few. They came up with Gimme Some Lovin' , but that was a borrowed riff, from a Homer Banks record. Steve wanted to experiment, and I don't think the others wanted to go that way.
(Interview with Patrick Humphries, Record Hunter, June, 1994)

Jim Capaldi : I was playing with this band, Deep Feeling, at the Elbow Room in Birmingham. Having dropped a large capsule of the stuff courtesy of this rich kid from Bromsgrove, we were starting to do 'acid rock'. Steve started to come and jam with us. He was attracted by this weird new energy that was coming out of our group.

Jim Capaldi : I started writing songs like Pretty Colours with strange arrangements and we were suddenly getting avant-garde. I was writing acid rock. This kind of music was just hitting England so we were getting this following just because we were trying to do something different. I have to confess that a strong contributing factor was that in 1965 I had just taken what was probably the first acid ever made.

Steve Winwood used to come and jam with us. I always wondered why, because he was obviously a big star, a huge name. He was one of the biggest music influences in England, incredibly talented. Even though I was four years older than Steve, and that is quite a gap at that age, we started to just hang out together and we became good friends.

Steve Winwood : We used to go and meet at this club called the Elbow Room in Birmingham. We started as friends. With Traffic, we could explore so much more.

We'd been in a coffee bar in Worcester. We came out and we wanted to cross the road and we stood waiting. Suddenly Jim, with the massive burst of enthusiasm he always had when he thought of an idea, said: 'I've got it! That's it! Traf-fic!' And from that day on, we became Traffic. (The Independent, January 19, 2007)

Steve Winwood : We knew we were going to form Traffic and Dave needed some money, so I got him a job as our roadie in the Spencer Davis Group and we'd go off and practice when we had the time.

Spencer Davis : Chris Blackwell, who owned Island Records, told us that Steve and Muff were leaving, which was kind of hard to take. Why couldn't Steve come and tell us himself?

Steve Winwood : There is a touch of selfishness in being an artist. You have to follow your own ideals. Maybe we should have talked about it but I was young and impetuous. I lived and breathed music.

Spencer Davis : I think he felt restricted by us being older and by the music we were playing, but the big thing was a divide between those who drank pints and those who smoked dope. And we were pint drinkers.

Muff Winwood : We'd already decided to quit. Steve wanted to get involved in the whole psychedelic thing. There were big changes happening, lifestyle-wise. I said to him, if you wanna go, I'll go too, so it forces the issue, because Blackwell wanted to keep us together. We both fixed a date. It wasn't acrimonious in that sense. We decided we would promote I'm A Man and then quit. I've got the date in my old Melody Maker diary