Steampacket

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Steampacket
Origin London
Genres Blues, Soul
Years active 1965-1966
Labels Charly Records
Members Long John Baldry
Rod Stewart
Julie Driscoll
Brian Auger
Vic Briggs
Ricky Fenson
Micky Waller

Steampacket (sometimes shown as Steam Packet)[1] were a British blues band[2] formed in 1965 by Long John Baldry with Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll, and organist Brian Auger. The band were operational as a live act during 1965 and 1966, supporting the Rolling Stones on their 1965 tour. Due to contractual difficulties, they did not release any recordings during their lifetime; however, some demos they recorded would later be released under the deceptive titles, First of the Supergroups: Early Days and The First Supergroup: Steampacket Featuring Rod Stewart, to cash in on Stewart's success.[3]

History[edit]

The group was formed in 1965 by Long John Baldry after the break-up of his previous group the Hoochie Coochie Men.[4] It included Rod Stewart who had been with Baldry in the Hoochie Coochie Men, vocalist Julie Driscoll, organist Brian Auger and guitarist Vic Briggs. They were managed by Giorgio Gomelsky,[5] who had previously been involved with the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds.

Steampacket played at various clubs, theatres and student unions around the country, including supporting the Rolling Stones on their 1965 British tour.[6][7] Because of contractual difficulties, however, they never formally recorded a studio or live album. Tracks from some demo tapes they recorded at a rehearsal in the Marquee Club would later be released under the deceptive titles, First of the Supergroups: Early Days and The First Supergroup: Steampacket Featuring Rod Stewart, to cash in on Stewart's success.[3][8]

Aftermath[edit]

Stewart left in 1966, and the group disbanded soon after. Long John Baldry then joined Bluesology which included a then unknown Elton John on keyboards,[9][10] before pursuing a solo career, having a number 1 hit record in the UK Singles Chart in 1967 with "Let the Heartaches Begin". Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and Vic Briggs formed Trinity, and had a UK hit in 1968 with This Wheel's on Fire; Briggs was also a member of the Animals. Rod Stewart later sang with the Jeff Beck Group, the Faces and as a solo artist. There is an urban legend that Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood, later of Fleetwood Mac, played with Steampacket. In fact Steampacket, with the exception of Rod Stewart's departure, had the same personnel from its inception to its disintegration. The group that Green and Fleetwood played in alongside Rod Stewart was Shotgun Express.

Lineup[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Chilton (21 Jun 2004). Who's Who of British Jazz: 2nd Edition. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 12. 
  2. ^ Paul Du Noyer (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music. Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  3. ^ a b Richie Unterberger. "The First Supergroup: Steampacket Featuring Rod Stewart". AllMusic. 
  4. ^ Sharon Davis (6 Jan 2012). Every Chart Topper Tells a Story: The Sixties. Random House. p. 162. 
  5. ^ Alan di Perna (1 Oct 2012). Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits. Hal Leonard Corporation. 
  6. ^ "Concerts & Package Tours : 1965 (July - August)". bradfordtimeline.co.uk. 
  7. ^ Dafydd Rees, Luke Crampton (1 Oct 1999). Rock Stars Encyclopedia. DK Pub. p. 852. 
  8. ^ Richie Unterberger. "The Steampacket Artist Biography". AllMusic. 
  9. ^ "BackstageE: Blue Kiwi Tour". eltonjohnworld.com. 26 August 2002. 
  10. ^ Keith Hayward (2013). Tin Pan Alley: The Rise of Elton John. Soundcheck Books. pp. 66–67. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Paul Myers: Long John Baldry and the Birth of the British Blues, Vancouver 2007 - GreyStone Books