Anniversary of Jim Capaldi's Death

01/28/2011
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(Gibson) In the scope of rock history, Jim Capaldi, who died on this day in 2005, probably is known best as the drummer for Traffic, the band he founded and would participate in for every incarnation. But Capaldi's legacy also includes a long and fruitful solo career that saw him work and write with some of music's brightest luminaries, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Bob Marley.

Born Nicola James Capaldi to Italian immigrants in Evesham, Worcestershire, England in 1944, Jim grew up playing piano and singing with his music teacher father. In his teens, he took up the drums and helped form The Hellions, with Dave Mason and Gordon Jackson on guitars. In 1964, Tanya Day took the band to back her at The Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany. The Spencer Davis Group stayed at the same hotel as The Hellions, which is how future Traffic members Capaldi and Mason befriended Steve Winwood.

After moving to London, The Hellions released singles, but none hit the charts. Lack of success forced the members to make several changes in the mid-'60s including moving Capaldi to lead singer and changing their name to The Revolution. Mason left the group soon after and the band again changed its name, this time to Deep Feeling. more on this story

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