Jacob's Ladder: People...You Are The Reason I Am...
I'd like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun,
Legendary rock drummer Jim Capaldi died on Friday after a brief fight with stomach cancer. The 60-year-old Capaldi died in his sleep at the London Clinic in the early hours with his wife and family at his bedside.
As a member of Traffic and then as a solo artist, he helped to create an accessible psychedelic rock form and experimented with sounds that would lay the foundations of progressive rock. He later worked with some of the most influential names in the business, including Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Bob Marley, Carlos Santana and the Eagles.
Jim Capaldi was born in Evesham, Worcestershire, of second-generation Italian immigrants. His father, Nick, was a talented accordionist and a music teacher, who in his youth regularly performed on Radio Luxembourg . His mother sang and recorded with a touring troupe. Both parents encouraged him to play the piano and study music as a child, but his real interest lay in playing the drums.
At 14 he put together his first band, and found early success as drummer with the Hellions, who won a recording deal with Pye Records. Unsatisfied, Capaldi moved on to form Deep Feeling with the multi-talented Dave Mason and Poli Palmer, who would go on to join Family in 1969. It was at the Elbow Room in Birmingham that Capaldi met up with Stevie Winwood of the Spencer Davis Group and Dave Mason.
Traffic was launched in 1967, and early the following year their first album, Mr Fantasy, was released. This included the group's first hit single, Paper Sun. Their second single, Hole in My Shoe , reached No 1. Shortly afterwards continual musical rifts saw the departure of Dave Mason. The band struggled without him; he returned only to be sacked again in 1968.
When Traffic finally broke up, in 1974, Capaldi was already doing solo work. Success came with albums "Fierce Heart" and "Some Came Running". At that time he was also touring with his own band, the Contenders. Capaldi was already working on his 12th solo album when Stevie Winwood asked him to collaborate on a new album.
One thing led to another and Traffic reformed in 1993, followed by a major five-month tour of the United States in 1994, including appearances at Woodstock and playing alongside the Grateful Dead. In 1976 he toured with a new band, the Space Cadets, but had little success. Eventually, he moved to Brazil with his wife, Aninha. There they worked together for Jubilee, a charity for street children.
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