I first heard this song after a band practice. We were in the guitarists garage when I was around 19-20. The guys in that band smoked pot…I didn’t…not because I was an angel…I just cannot smoke anything. That was my second contact high I ever got (my first was at a concert) and this one was much stronger. Someone played this song and the world was a lovely place. I saw right then why they did what they did.
This one would rank in my top twenty favorite songs. I could listen to this song on a tape loop forever and ever. It came out in 1967 on the Traffic album “Mr. Fantasy.” It was written by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood and Chris Wood.
The song is made for long solos. Normally I like a solo and then move on but certain songs lend themselves to longer solos and this would be one.
The song also transports me to a time that I wasn’t a part of and I wish I would have been. This one and Can’t Find My Way Back Home does the same thing to me. It’s nothing like jazz but it affects me like jazz…I just sit back and let the song take me away to the incents and patchouli oil.
I’ll let Jim Capaldi tell you about the creation of the song:
“It was the summer of 1967, and we were all living in this
cottage in Berkshire. We were one of the first English bands to live
together like that. We thought we’d try it and see if anything came of
it. I remember the day very clearly: A bunch of friends came over early
in the day and we had quite a party. It was sunny and the corn was
coming up nicely around the cottage, and we were quite enjoying
ourselves if you know what I mean. As things finally wound down in the
evening, I was sitting around just doodling, as I would often do,
drawing this character. It was this little fellow with a spiked sun
hat. He was holding some puppeteer’s strings, and the puppet hands on
the end of the strings were playing a guitar. Under that, I just
scribbled some words: ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy,’ play us a tune,
something to make us all happy’ and on a bit. It was nice, but I didn’t
think much of it; certainly, it wasn’t intended to be a song.
“I crashed out eventually, but I remember hearing Steve and
Chris playing around after. The next day, I woke up and found that
they’d written a song around the words and drawing I’d done. I was
completely knocked out by it. Chris wrote that great bass line. We
added some more words later and worked out a bigger arrangement, too.
Those were very happy days for Traffic.”