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) were a British blues band[1] formed in 1965 by Long John Baldry with Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll, and organist Brian Auger, who went on to have variable success as individual musicians. 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.[2][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 Hoochie Coochie Men vocalists Rod Stewart and Julie Driscoll, organist Brian Auger and guitarist Vic Briggs. They were managed by Giorgio Gomelsky, 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. Because of contractual difficulties, however, they never formally recorded a studio or live album. Tracks from tapes made at a rehearsal in the Marquee Club in London were released after the band split as an album, The First Supergroup, and some were later released by Charley Records as The Steampacket - Featuring Rod Stewart.

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,[5][6] 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 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]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bob Brunning (1986) Blues: The British Connection, London: Helter Skelter, 2002, ISBN 1-900924-41-2
  • Bob Brunning, The Fleetwood Mac Story: Rumours and Lies (Omnibus Press, 2004, foreword by B.B.King
  • Dick Heckstall-Smith (2004) The safest place in the world: A personal history of British Rhythm and blues, Clear Books, ISBN 0-7043-2696-5 - First Edition : Blowing The Blues - Fifty Years Playing The British Blues
  • Christopher Hjort Strange Brew: Eric Clapton and the British blues boom, 1965-1970, foreword by John Mayall,Jawbone (2007)ISBN 1-906002002
  • Paul Myers: Long John Baldry and the Birth of the British Blues, Vancouver 2007 - GreyStone Books
  • Harry Shapiro Alexis Korner: The Biography, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, London 1997, Discography by Mark Troster

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Du Noyer (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music. Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  2. ^ Richie Unterberger. "The First Supergroup: Steampacket Featuring Rod Stewart". AllMusic. 
  3. ^ Richie Unterberger. "The Steampacket Artist Biography". AllMusic. 
  4. ^ Sharon Davis (6 Jan 2012). Every Chart Topper Tells a Story: The Sixties. Random House. p. 162. 
  5. ^ "BackstageE: Blue Kiwi Tour". eltonjohnworld.com. 26 August 2002. 
  6. ^ Keith Hayward (2013). Tin Pan Alley: The Rise of Elton John. Soundcheck Books. p. 66-67.