Traffic's history is one of the most complicated of the British rock bands of the 60s and 70s. Steve Winwood was vocalist, guitarist and organist with The Spencer Davis Group, who had two big hits, “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “I’m A Man,” establishing Winwood as a rising star. He left Spencer Davis when he met Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason, who were with The Hellions, (later called Deep Feeling). With the addition of Chris Wood, they formed Traffic. Their first album was classic British psychedelic pop/rock and had the hits, “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Heaven is in Your Mind”. Dave Mason soon left and Traffic broke up. Steve Winwood joined Eric Clapton to form Blind Faith while the rest of  Traffic joined Mick Weaver (Wynder K. Frog), to form Mason, Capaldi, Wood & Frog, or just Wooden Frog. Neither band lasted and Steve Winwood and Chris Wood joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force while Dave Mason recorded solo and an album with Mama Cass from The Mamas and the Papas. The original Traffic reformed with the addition of new members. Their music evolved into a more Jazz influenced style with African percussion provided by Reebop Kwaku-Baah. Their songs were longer with more instrumentals. Hitting their peak with the album, “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” in 1971, they recorded two more studio albums but never attained the level of creativity in their early albums. Winwood and Capaldi recorded one last album together in 1994, "Far From Home." Chris Wood died of pneumonia in 1983.  Jim Capaldi died of liver cancer in 2005.
My friends and I saw Traffic perform a few times in the San Francisco Bay Area.
To see our photos and read our memoirs, go to  - Brit Rock By The Bay

Below is the drum stick that Reebop broke and tossed away. It landed right in front of me. It was from the first time I saw them at Winterland on January 26, 1973.

A history of The Spencer Davis Group is from 
"British Beat 1960-1969" by Terry Rawlings.
Copyright Omnibus Press 2002.
The Spencer Davis Group even starred in 
a movie, "The Ghost Goes Gear" in 1966.
Many British bands were in movies after the 
success of the Beatle's "A Hard Days Night". 
Most were pale imitations. The word "Gear"
meant "cool", but never really caught 
on in the US. 
A history of Traffic is from 
"British Beat 1960-1969" by Terry Rawlings.
Copyright Omnibus Press 2002
The family tree is by Peter Frame and
 is from "Illustrated Encyclopedia 
of Rock by Mike Clifford. 
Copyright Harmony Books 1986.
A much more detailed version from
 "Rock Family Trees" by Peter 
Frame. Copyright by
Omnibus Press 1993
The article below announces
Traffic's fist tour of the US.
It is from 11/9/67. An interesting 
article just below it announcing
the Beatle's "Magical 
Mystery Tour" film and album. 
An early article from 4/27/68.
A review of their first album from 4/27/68.
The review shows the title as, "Heaven
is in Your Mind." The ad from the same page
shows it as, "Mr. Fantasy". 
Even though Dave Mason was 
on the album and appears on the cover
on the British release, he left the band and 
was cut out of the cover on the US release.
Dave Mason quit and joined then quit again. 
The Spencer Davis Group continued
on without Winwood.
Traffic split after the first album. 
Rumors of Steve Winwood and 
Eric Clapton recording together are 
mentioned in this article from 1/4/69
The other members form
a new band described in
this article from 2/1/69.
Just two months later 
that band split.
The as yet unnamed band, 
Blind Faith, announces it's
 first US tour on 5/3/69.
Even though Traffic had split and 
 recorded only one album, they 
were interviewed about their time
together and about any chances
of a reunion, as seen here in a long 
article from 5/3/69.
Blind Faith is named 6/14/69.
A review of Blind Faith from 9/6/69.
Blind Faith splits 1/21/70.
Ginger Baker forms Air Force
with Steve Winwood.
This article from 3/19/70
announces a Traffic reunion,
but also describes the many twists 
and turns in their history.
Another long interview with
Steve Winwood and other members 
about plans for the new 
Traffic, 8/6/70.
Both Traffic's "John Barleycorn
Must Die"album and Dave Mason's 
solo album, "Alone Together"
 are reviewed, 9/3/70
Dave Mason leaves Traffic
again and is interviewed
in this article, 8/5/71.
The new Traffic is discussed
in this article from 10/14/71.
Phonograph Record Magazine
gives a detailed history of the
band and questions their future.
Steve records with Muddy 
Waters from a CIRCUS 
MAGAZINE article 3/72.
He also recorded on the album
"The London Howlin' Wolf
Sessions" in 1971.
"The Low Spark of High
Heeled Boys" album is reviewed 1/20/72.
Jim Capaldi's first 
solo album is 
reviewed 4/27/72.
Their live album, "On the 
Road"is reviewed 11/17/73
The Spencer Davis Group reunited 
with Pete York, Eddie Hardin, Ray Fenwick
and Charlie McCracken in 1973. They recorded 
the album "Gluggo". The album jacket 
looked like an advertising display and could be turned 
into a 3-D stand-up by bending the front and 
inserting the tab into a slot. 
The opening song is titled "Catch you on
the Rebop", which sounds like a 
reference to new Traffic member,
Reebop Kwaku-Baah.
A review from 1/3/74
Traffic announces a new tour and new
member Rosko Gee, 3/2/74
Chris Welch discusses Steve Winwood's 
career in this article from Melody 
Maker 6/8/74
An article about the new US tour
as a 4 piece. I saw them at Bill Graham's 
Winterland in San Francisco about 
two weeks before this article 
appeared on 10/24/74. 

These are some of the albums 

This is the first Spencer Davis album
with Steve Winwood and his brother, Muff
Winwood, on the far left. Spencer Davis 
is on the far right with Pete York next to him.
The title song, "Gimme Some lovin'" was
written by Steve Winwood.
Their second album and Steve Winwood's 
last with Spencer Davis. The title song was 
by Steve Winwood and Jeff Miller.
Dave Mason, second from the right
and Jim Capaldi, far right, were
in the band The Hellions. 
The first Traffic album released 
in the US in 1968. Right to left, 
Chris Wood, Steve Winwood
and Jim Capaldi.
The back cover. Dave Mason was clipped
out of this photo because he had already 
left the band by the time of it's 
US release.
The first British release.
Dave Mason is on the cover. 
He is shown playing a sitar on
the inside gatefold photo. 
Their second album which included
a booklet of photos and lyrics.
Their third album, "John Barleycorn Must Die", 
started out as a solo album by Steve Winwood.
The inside gatefold.
"Welcome to the Canteen" was a live album.
"The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys"-a history

Their last album, "When the Eagle Flies" 1974.
Jim Capaldi's first solo album released in 1972.
It included other members of Traffic and 
Paul Kossoff from Free. An excellent album 
and highly recommended.
Capaldi's second solo album.
Dave Mason's first
solo album, "Alone 
Together". A classic with 
every song a hit. The album cover
opened up to create a poster that
even included a hole at the top to 
hang it from. The vinyl record
was marbleized swirling colors.
This was a DJs nightmare making 
it difficult to see the gap between 
songs and many times it had a false 
start on radio stations.
His second album. 
A collaboration with Mama Cass from
The Mama and the Papas.
When Steve Winwood left Traffic, he was replaced
with Mick Weaver, who went by the name 
Wynder K. Frog. The new band lasted 3 months 
and no recordings were finished. Mick Weaver
continued to record as Wynder K. Frog.
Meanwhile, Steve Winwood joined Eric Clapton, 
Ginger Baker and Rick Grech to form Blind Faith. 
It was celebrated as the joining of two of the best
bands, Traffic and Cream. They lasted for one 
US tour and one album. 
The album cover below was banned in the US.
It was by Bob Seideman. The girl on the cover 
is Mariora Goschen. Her sister was discovered on 
a bus and asked to pose, but when she found out 
it was a nude pose she declined. Her younger sister
accepted the job. She was paid 40 Pounds.
The concept was inspired by the recent landing on
the Moon. The spaceship represents man's achievements
in science and technology. The girl symbolizes 
the innocence and fruit from the tree of life. 
After Blind Faith split, Ginger Baker formed
Air Force with both Steve Winwood and 
Chris Wood. It also had Graham Bond from 
Baker's ealier time with The Graham
Bond Organization which included
Dick Hecstall-Smith. Steve Winwood left 
Air Force after on album. Ginger Baker
recorded one more Air Force album. 
Steve Winwood recorded on an album
by Howlin' Wolf in 1971. 
Spencer Davis Group's "Gluggo".
Dave Mason was inducted into the 
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi
backed him up along with many others.

Chris Wood died July 12th, 1983.

Jim Capaldi died on January 28th, 2005.
Jim Capaldi was a great talent as 
can be seen in this live clip from 1972.
"Don't Be a Hero" is a personal 
favorite of mine and got me through 
some difficult times. Thanks Jim.