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Mr Fantasy

The Lyrics of Jim Capaldi

Jim Capaldi, Aninha Capaldi, Robert Plant, Steve Winwood

'Traffic's songs and the imagery of Jim Capaldi's lyrics brought us adventures and characters that vibrated through the psychedelic underground.' Robert Plant

In celebration of the life and lyrics of Traffic's founder, poet and drummer - the late Jim Capaldi - over 70 handwritten lyrics are illustrated with images of Traffic, and illuminated with the recollections of 40 legendary contributors.


Ten years since Mr Fantasy was first published, Genesis is now releasing the final copies from this classic edition. From a limited run of only 900 copies worldwide, less than 75 now remain available. Signed by Steve Winwood, Aninha Capaldi and Robert Plant.
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The Lyrics

Mr Fantasy

Jim was the lyricist behind Traffic's 11 albums, including the hit songs 'Dear Mr. Fantasy', '40,000 Headmen' and 'Paper Sun'. Originally inspired by The Beatles, Jim wrote for the Eagles and played alongside George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix

His handwritten lyrics have been reproduced in facsimile, complete with doodles, typos and alterations to reveal the process behind the words that changed the face of music.

'As you read these lyrics, ask yourself if anyone in rock ever wrote better. The pirate poet indeed. Jim was a real rough diamond... I loved him.' - Tom Petty

Jim began work on this book before his death in 2005. He provided us with text, giving insight into his inspiration and describing his prolific 40-year song writing partnership with Steve Winwood. 

'I'd had this idea for a lyric and that evening while half asleep I managed to finish it off in my head. I got up, wrote it down and went and woke up Steve; it must have been around 4.30 or 5.00 in the morning. Then we went in to the little living room where there was an old upright piano and finished it. It was the first song we wrote together.' - Jim Capaldi

'All these bits of paper would be knocking about and while we were jamming, if I could find a way to sing something that was written down I would just sing it. That's how we created our songs... He was a life-long brother-musician to me and we spent a lot of time together, had a great affection for each other, and understood each other and the way we worked. It's slightly sad, but, for me, Traffic can never be without Jim.' - Steve Winwood

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The Manuscript

Mr Fantasy

Over 30 pre-eminent musicians have paid tribute to their friend in this special limited edition. Musicians including Paul Weller, Steven Van Zandt and Dave Matthews speak of the impact Jim Capaldi has made on their work.

'Maybe it was the place - it was definitely the time. The arrival of Traffic's songs and the imagery of Jim Capaldi's lyrics drove forward and then ahead on a vast surge of beautiful hope and otherworldliness.' - Robert Plant

Robert Plant writes the Foreword to Mr Fantasy and Jim's wife Aninha Capaldi provides the introduction. Both have personally signed each copy, along with Steve Winwood.

'One of his last wishes was for me to complete what he had started and I promised him I would.' - Aninha Capaldi

Photographs of Jim with his band, friends and family illustrate their words. Taken by renowned photographers and selected from the family's personal archives, they show him performing, relaxing, and exploring the countryside near Traffic's secluded Berkshire cottage.

'When I hear Traffic records and look back on those years, I don't really think of festivals and clubs and rock 'n' roll, I think of tracks on the Berkshire Downs, crows over a coppice. It was a very powerful experience.' - Jim Capaldi

'I knew Jim pretty well. He took part in the Eric Clapton Rainbow concert in 1973. He was an extraordinary artisan on the drums - a real musician as well as a drummer. But for years I had no idea he wrote the sublime lyrics behind Traffic.' - Pete Townshend

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The Contributors

Mr Fantasy

Over 30 friends and musicians have contributed to Mr Fantasy, including:

David Asher, Steven Berkoff, Bev Bevan, Chris Blackwell, Pete Bonas, Aninha Capaldi, Tabitha Capaldi, Tallulah Capaldi, Alice Cooper, Bob Harris, Trudie Harris, Jools Holland, Simon Kirke, Donovan Leitch, Jon Lord, Kenny Lynch, Dave Mason, Nick Mason, Dave Matthews, Brian May, Nicko McBrain, Andre Midani, Andy Newmark, Dave Oxtoby, Ian Paice, Dave Pegg, Tom Petty, Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers, Timothy B Schmit, Yusuf / Cat Stevens, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Pete Townshend, Steven Van Zandt, Joe Walsh, Native Wayne Jobson, Paul Weller and Steve Winwood.
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The Limited Edition

Mr Fantasy

The final 100 copies in the limited edition are signed by Aninha Capaldi and legendary singer-songwriters Steve Winwood and Robert Plant.

The book is bound in Milan with silkscreen artwork onto fine-grain vegan leather, with gold foil blocking and blind embossing to replicate a page from Jim's notebook. Some of the book's gilt-edged pages are hand-cut to mimic the torn edges of Jim's lyric sheets. 

The finished volume is presented in a hand-made folding solander box with gold embossed artwork. A specially created 7" vinyl single is also included. Side A features a reggae version of '40,000 Headmen' and Side B is a demo of 'State of Grace'.
Accompanying each copy in the limited edition is a reproduction of David Oxtoby's colour etching 'Rock On JC', composed in 1974 available exclusively with this limited edition.

'I have tried to portray this romantic Romany during a live performance. He's at ease with the blast-furnace of his environment, adrenalin pumping, enjoying completely the heat and sounds of his own creation.' - Dave Oxtoby

Mr Fantasy

The Lyrics of Jim Capaldi

Mr Fantasy

Mr Fantasy

  • ISBN:
  • Deluxe:
    900 copies
  • Signed by:
    Steve Winwood, Robert Plant and Aninha Capaldi.
  • Contributors:
    Yusuf / Cat Stevens, Dave Mason, Tom Petty, Pete Townshend, Joe Walsh, Paul Weller and many more...
  • Binding:
    Full vegan leather with gold tooling and page edges.
  • Box:
    The book is encased in a hand-made folding solander box with gold embossed artwork.
  • Extras:
    A specially created 7" vinyl single is also included. Side A features a reggae version of '40,000 Headmen' and Side B is a demo of 'State of Grace'.

    Fine Art print 'Rock On JC' by David Oxtoby.
Now shipping worldwide.
Deluxe £465
Available from £153.45 per month. Learn more >

A celebration of the life and lyrics of Traffic's drummer, poet and founder, Jim Capaldi. Over 70 handwritten lyrics are illustrated by images of Traffic and the recollections of 40 legendary contributors including Pete Townshend, Tom Petty, Paul Weller, Yusuf / Cat Stevens and many more.

  • Page size: 190mm x 240mm
  • 176 pages
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The story of your book

Since 1974 Genesis has created signed limited edition books on behalf of authors and artists ranging from the Beatles to Buckingham Palace.


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