‘Traffic’ Drummer Jim Capaldi Dies of Cancer
LONDON (Reuters) – Legendary rock drummer and Hall of Fame inductee Jim Capaldi died on Friday after a brief fight with stomach cancer, his publicist said.
The 60-year-old Capaldi, born in England of Italian immigrant parents, died in his sleep at the London Clinic in the early hours with his wife and family at his bedside.
Capaldi, whose driving rock rhythms and songwriting ability helped make groundbreaking band Traffic a household name in the 1960s and 70s with — among others — Steve Winwood and Dave Mason — also had an illustrious solo career.
“Steve rang me when he heard this morning. He is very upset. They were very close and had plans to record and tour again. He was praying Jim would recover from his illness,” Winwood’s manager Mick Newton told Reuters.
Capaldi was inducted into the U.S. Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in March 2004, just five months before being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
When Traffic finally broke up in 1974 after releasing 11 albums — including the iconic songs 40,000 Headmen, Dear Mr Fantasy and Paper Sun — Capaldi was already doing solo work.
He moved to solo success with the albums Fierce Heart and Some Come Running while touring with his own band The Contenders.
Capaldi was already working on his 12th solo album when Winwood — who also scored major solo successes — called him back 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 appearing at Woodstock and playing alongside The Grateful Dead.
In 1998, Capaldi teamed up with fellow Traffic founder Mason to tour again.
Capaldi was five times winner of BMI or ASCAP awards for the most played songs in America and cooperated closely with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Bob Marley, Carlos Santana and the Eagles among others.
In 1975 he married Brazilian-born Aninha and spent much time with her helping the street children of her native country.