"Dear Mr. Fantasy" is a rock song by Traffic from their 1967 album, Mr. Fantasy. An extended live version (10:57) of the song also appears on the 1971 Traffic album Welcome to the Canteen. The lyrics were written by Jim Capaldi, while the music was written by Steve Winwood and Chris Wood.
The song has been covered by The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Big Sugar and by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Crosby, Stills, and Nash added two new verses to their version's lyrics:
- Each time you choose to sing the rock & roll blues,
- you take everybody's loneliness with you.
- What do you lose each time you face down a room?
- All of us see our changes through you.
- So sing of the ocean of tears you have sailed,
- Strangers and lovers that took you.
- All of us sang, and all of us failed.
- In one way we don't ever hear you.
The song was on the setlist of Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton's joint tour in 2009. A live recording appears on the album Live from Madison Square Garden.
As a solo act with a backing band, Dave Mason has performed the song live, himself covering duties of lead vocal, guitar and harmonica.
In addition the song was performed on multiple occasions throughout the 1980s by the Grateful Dead with keyboardist Brent Mydland on vocals. Phil Lesh and Friends, Gov't Mule and Widespread Panic occasionally cover the song. It also appeared on The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper in 1969, where its chord progression morphed into "Hey Jude". This segue into "Hey Jude" also frequently appeared in the versions performed by the Grateful Dead and related bands.
The song was covered by the American hard rock band Tesla on the album Real to Reel (2007).
The Chicano rock band Los Lobos has played the song live, segueing into it from one of their own compositions.
In the "Adventures in Babysitting" episode of Supernatural, the song plays at the end.
David Bowie was inspired by the chorus of this song enough to record a very similar vocal for the verses of "The Supermen" from his album "The Man Who Sold The World".
In 2003, the song appeared in a series of NFL Network commercials starring Rich Eisen.
The song also appeared at the end of the episode 11 season 7 of the series Supernatural.