January 28, 2005 – Nicola James Capaldi was born on August 2, 1944 died of stomach cancer in London at age 60. He co-founded the psychedelic rock band Traffic in 1967 with Steve Winwood with whom he co-wrote the majority of the band’s output. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of Traffic’s original line-up.
Capaldi was a magnificent drummer, who later also mastered guitar. His songwriter credits include the Eagles’ “Love will keep us alive” and the catchy “This is Reggae Music”. His “Dear Mr. Fantasy” for the Traffic album with the same title established him as one of the greats.
A rock drummer, songwriter and founder member of Traffic, Jim Capaldi’s talents were used by Bob Marley, Eric Clapton and the Eagles and so many more. He formed his first band at the age of fourteen and was soon recording for Pye records with the Hellions. Shortly thereafter, he was gathering rave reviews in a band called Deep Feeling which he shared with fellow Traffic founder Dave Mason & Family founding member Poli Palmer. The band played rock & blues and locally were in a league of their own.
In the mid 60’s, Jim became a regular face at the legendary Birmingham late nightclub “The Elbow Room”. After following their shows, he would go and jam together with other Birmingham bands and it was here that the idea of Traffic was born.
Apart from the group’s eleven album multi- platinum career fuelled by Jim’s writing partnership with Steve Winwood, Jim enjoyed a solo career of note with eleven solo albums since the days of his first solo project, while still a member of Traffic. Love Hurts was a major hit worldwide in 1975. Jim maintained his momentum with U.S. successes like “That’s Love” and “Living On The Edge” from the Fierce Heart album with Atlantic Records in 1982, “Something So Strong” from the Some Come Running album in 1987 with Island Records and Jim toured throughout this period in Europe leading his own band “The Contenders”.
Jim was working on his twelfth solo album when Steve called to ask for his input on a forthcoming Winwood album which, in fact, was to become Traffic’s return to the scene. Subsequent to the reformation of Traffic in 1993 and the release in 1994 of the album “Far From Home”, the band toured America for five months, headlining 75 shows to over 500,000 people. They appeared at Woodstock and played ten shows together with fellow rock legends “The Grateful Dead”.