Jim Capaldi, who kept the beat for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Traffic, died Friday of stomach cancer at a London hospital. He was 60.
The cofounder of the legendary 1960s/1970s English band powered such hits as "Dear Mr. Fantasy," "John Barleycorn Must Die" and "Paper Sun."
"I was really saddened when I heard about Jim," Traffic cofounder and friend Dave Mason said in a statement Friday. "Jim was a great inspiration on so many Traffic songs, he was a tremendous songwriter."
The band, known for their blend of blues, folk and rock, broke up in 1974. Capaldi went on to record 11 solo records with his own band, the Contenders. All told, Capaldi-penned tunes sold more 25 million copies during a career that spanned four decades.
In 1998, the U.K.-born Capaldi teamed up with Mason to tour with Traffic again. The two, along with the most famous Traffic member, Steve Winwood, had been planning another Traffic tour last fall but were forced to rethink those plans in August when Capaldi began treatment for a severe gastric ulcer.
Traffic was enshrined in the Cleveland-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last March.
"Jim was a great collaborator and a great friend," says Mason. "I know we'll all miss him dearly."
Capaldi is survived by his wife and two daughters.