Happy 71st birthday today to Brian Auger…Who’s that, you’re probably asking? Wikipedia’s helpful in that regard:
In 1965 Auger formed the group The Steampacket, along with Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll, Vic Briggs and Rod Stewart. With Driscoll and the band, Trinity, he went on to record several hit singles, notably a cover version of David Ackles’ “Road to Cairo” and Bob Dylan’s “This Wheel’s on Fire”, which was featured on Dylan Covered. In 1969 Auger, Driscoll and Trinity appeared performing on the national telecast of “33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee”.
In 1970 he formed Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, shortly after abandoning the abortive “Wassenaar Arrangement” jazz-fusion commune in a small suburb of The Hague. The Oblivion Express served to cultivate several musicians, including future The Average White Band drummers Robbie McIntosh and Steve Ferrone, as well as guitarist Jim Mullen. Likewise, in 1971 he produced and appeared on Mogul Thrash’s only album. Two members of that band, Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan, would also go on to form the Average White Band.
Auger toured with blues rocker Eric Burdon in the early 1990s, and recorded the live album Access All Areas with him in 1993. After several projects, including albums with family members, he reformed the Oblivion Express in the late 1990s, with a line-up that eventually featured both his son and daughter.
The Oblivion Express was revived with a 2005 recording and subsequent touring. The group featured Brian Auger, his son Karma Auger on drums, his daughter Savannah Auger on vocals, and Derek Frank on bass.
To really understand how trippy Auger’s Hammond B3 playing was, and is, check out this vintage clip of an early hit song and a more recent performance of the 2005 version of the Oblivion Express: