This historic picture of Chris Payne interviewing the band Traffic, is from 23rd January 1968. The band were promoting their debut album Mr Fantasy, originally issued in December 1997.
Below, Dan Ropek tells of his love of Traffic's music has compelled him to write a biography of Chris Wood.
The story behind the picture is that Chris Payne was a founder member of Wycombe Hospital Broadcasting Association in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The station was launched as Wycombe Radio on Monday October 2nd 1967, within days of the start of Radio One.
The local town hall was a regular venue for up-and-coming bands. The management was most co-operative and backstage visits and interviews were frequently conducted by the Wycombe Radio team . A week after Traffic appeared, the station's reporters were in the 'right place at the right time' to interview Love Affair on the very day their single Everlasting Love reached number 1!
Jim Capaldi has commandeered Chris's headphones, while Chris Wood makes a face. Posing as a young superstar in the making is Steve Winwood at the microphone. Dave Mason apparently split with the band for a few months around this time, so this may explain why he's not in the picture.
Unfortunately, the Traffic interview has been lost in the mists of time.
For anoraks: The tape recorder was an EMI reel-to-reel machine, model RE321. You had to use bulk-erased tape, as there was no erase facility, which would have needed a lot more power than the 14 (yes 14!) U2 batteries that were installed to drive it. Rewinding was by a crank handle on the lid that engaged with the flange of the feed-spool. The headphones always listened off-tape, so if you were conducting your own interview, you had to be careful not to hear yourself as your own voice would, of course, return to you delayed very off-putting! The machine weighed a good bulky 20lb (40kg).
Photo by Paul Felix as a freelance photographer, Paul took many historic pictures around Wycombe in the Sixties. He now runs the Paul Felix Picture Library, specialising in photographs of of all aspects of modern British county life.Mr Fantasy was issued on CD in 2000 Island IMCD 264 546 496-2. The CD comprised 22 tracks, the first ten being the UK stereo version of the album; the other twelve are of the mono version issued in the USA
Chris Wood did was to find the mystical heart of the music"
Mention Chris Wood to most
people (even music fans) these days, and most likely all you'll get is
a quizzical look. If you include the name 'Traffic' as well, then you
may hear: 'Oh yeah, he was good, whatever happened to him?' And that,
in a nutshell, is why I am working on his biography. Chris was a great
multi-instrumental musician, the co-writer of many of Traffic's best songs,
and in the twenty years since his death he has never really gotten the
recognition he deserved.
Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org And thanks to Mary Payne for the opportunity to talk to you all!