Tim Staffell

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Tim Staffell
Birth name Timothy John Staffell
Born (1948-02-24) 24 February 1948 (age 70)
Ealing, London, England
Genres Rock, progressive rock
Instruments Bass, vocals, harmonica
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts Smile, Humpy Bong, Morgan, Queen, Big Steam
Website timstaffell.com

Timothy John Staffell[1] (born 24 February 1948 in Ealing, London, England)[2] 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]

Timothy John Staffell 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 disbanded in 1969.

Staffell and May then put together a new band called Smile with Roger Taylor who auditioned to be their drummer.[3] 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).[4]

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,[5] who draw 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.

His second solo album was recorded in 2007, but shelved unmastered, until being re-mixed and mastered, and is due for release in Autumn 2018 under the title 'Two Late'

In 2013 with Sal Gargiulo they formed the duo Saltimbanco, and the following year they recorded seven songs which were availabla on their SoundCloud page.

2015 saw Tim Staffell touring with the members of the band The Others, and few months later they started to work under the name Big Steam. They have recorded five songs so far for their EP - Rhythm of the blues.

In 2016 they have played in some festivals and pubs in UK, and for the next year they plan to visit several European countries, including Croatia. A lighter offshoot of this band, Little Steam, which is primarily a semi-Acoustic duo with Paul Stewart (original singer and harp player with 'the Others' at Hampton School) gigs regularly around London


  1. ^ "Queen – Doing All Right lyrics | Musixmatch – The world's largest lyrics catalog". Community.musixmatch.com. 1 July 1973. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  2. ^ England & Wales births: Tim Staffel. 2012 brightsolid online publishing limited. Retrieved 16 May 2012
  3. ^ "Tim Staffell Biography". Queenzone.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  4. ^ "the Love Affair pages". Home.lyse.net. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Maintenance Mode". Tim Staffell. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 

External links[edit]