Happy Birthday to Brian Auger, the godfather of acid jazz, who turns 67 today. For those who don't remember when pop music was full of possibilities and FM radio was the ally of creativity, Auger was big-league. He gave us the harpsichord intro to the Yardbirds' "For Your Love." He helped launch the careers of Rod Stewart and Long John Baldry in the groundbreaking but short-lived band Steampacket. Auger and Nina Simone clone Julie Driscoll topped the charts in the U.K. with -- of all things -- Bob Dylan's "This Wheel's on Fire." And a Cleveland free-form FM station thought nothing of playing Auger's 11-minute jazz-rock fusion romp "Compared to What?" back in the mid-'70s.
The Oblivion Express -- founded in 1970, dissolved in '79, and reformed in '95 -- is now very much a family affair. Brian's son, Karma, handles drums, and Savannah, Auger's redheaded daughter, has been doing the vocals for seven years. Last year, they released a DVD and a double CD, Live at the Baked Potato, from a show in North Hollywood.