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Traffic: Fantastic Voyage Through 67

During 1967 Traffic wrote their debut album Mr. Fantasy in a haunted cottage in Berkshire. In 2010, Classic Rock told the tale of acid trips, bird watching and in fighting

“The best gigs Traffic ever played were to absolutely nobody at all, apart from a few cows and sheep and the odd mate.”

Steve Winwood is sitting in a room at the Covent Garden Hotel sipping decaf, eating biscuits and reminiscing about that most English of albums, Traffic’s 1967 debut Mr. Fantasy – the one that started the trend for ‘getting it together in the country’, man.

As a statement in the music press, announcing the band’s formation explained: “We’re past the blowing stage and ready to work.” Far out.

In April that year, Traffic – Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason and Chris Wood, four friends from the Midlands – became the first white rock act to sign to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records. Previously the precocious singer and keyboard player in the Spencer Davis Group, Winwood was already a chart star. “He was Ray Charles on helium,” according to Blackwell.

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