Tim Staffell

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Tim Staffell
Birth nameTimothy John Staffell
Born (1948-02-24) 24 February 1948 (age 71)
[Isleworth], London, England
GenresRock, progressive rock
InstrumentsGuitar, Bass, vocals, harmonica
Years active1964–1973, from 2001
Associated actsSmile, Humpy Bong, Morgan, Queen, Big Steam, Tim Staffell & Paul Stewart Band

Timothy John Staffell[1] (born 24 February 1948) is an English rock musician, visual artist, model maker and designer. He was a member of Smile, a band which included guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Upon Staffell's departure, Smile were joined by Freddie Mercury and John Deacon to form the band Queen.

Early life and music career[edit]

Staffell was born in [Isleworth], London, England.[2] He attended Hampton Grammar School and was the singer in a band called the Railroaders when in 1964 he attended a concert where he met fellow Hampton pupil Brian May. They then put together a blues-rock band called '1984' with John Garnham (guitar), Dave Dilloway (bass), John Sanger (keyboards) and Richard Thompson (drums). In 1965 Staffell began a graphics and drawing course at Ealing Art College where he became friends with Freddie Mercury, whilst May enrolled at Imperial College, London. 1984 were a support act for Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd and Staffell left it in 1968 not long after May left.[3]

Staffell and May then put together a new band called Smile with Roger Taylor who auditioned to be their drummer.[4] Staffell and May co-wrote the song "Doing All Right", which Queen included on their eponymous debut album. Following his tenure with Smile, Staffell joined Humpy Bong and then the experimental progressive rock outfit Morgan, with whom he released the albums Nova Solis and Brown Out (later retitled The Sleeper Wakes).[5]

Model maker, designer and animator[edit]

Staffell later decided to pursue a career as a model maker, designer, animator and commercials director. Among the projects upon which he worked were the BBC television adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and, for the inaugural series, he was the chief model maker for the first series of the children's TV show Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.

Return to music[edit]

In 2001, Staffell returned to the music industry co-forming with Richard Lightman, long-time collaborator, a new blues-funk band called aMIGO,[6] drawing inspiration from folk, Latin and rock. In 2003 they released one eponymous album, with re-recorded versions of the old Smile tunes "Earth" and "Doin' Alright", featuring his former bandmate Brian May on guitars and vocals. The album was self released and available on CD-R for a limited release run (less than 300 copies) and later released via iTunes.

In April 2018, Staffell was invited to record his part of the song "Doin' Alright" alongside the other Smile members, Brian May and Roger Taylor, for the upcoming soundtrack to the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, which tells the life story of Freddie Mercury. The song was credited to Smile, and titled "Doing All Right ... Revisited"[7]. The music score was released in 19 October 2018, and the movie premiere was three days later. The soundtrack debuted on the UK albums chart at number 5 on 26 October 2018.

The second Tim Staffell album Two Late was released on digital platforms on 26 October 2018, and it will be followed with physical limited release in the middle of November[8]. Staffell confirmed that he is already working on his third solo album, with title Zero Margin. In July 2019, 'aMIGO' was re-released, remastered and containing a live studio version of the song 'Just Couldn't Say, by MOSCODISC as a Digipak.


  1. ^ "Queen – Doing All Right lyrics | Musixmatch – The world's largest lyrics catalog". Community.musixmatch.com. 1 July 1973. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  2. ^ England & Wales births: Tim Staffel. 2012 brightsolid online publishing limited. Retrieved 16 May 2012
  3. ^ "Record Collector Nov 95". brianmay.com. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Tim Staffell Biography". Queenzone.com. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  5. ^ "the Love Affair pages". Home.lyse.net. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Maintenance Mode". Tim Staffell. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  7. ^ Grow, Kory (22 October 2018). "Review: Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Soundtrack is More Than Just a Greatest Hits".
  8. ^ "Two Late". 16 November 2018 – via Amazon.

External links[edit]