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  1. "I imagined that I'd play music. My father's a musician and he's one of 8 brothers and they all play a variety of weird stuff. On my mother's side (she's one of 9 children), her grandfather was an organist and fiddler. And I was fortunate while growing up that there were always instruments in the house. My father would go out and work - if there was a job for a bass player, he'd just pick up a bass off the wall on the way out the door. I got a place in music school when I was very young, two years earlier than usual. But I got thrown out.

  2. The son of a foundry worker, Winwood grew up in Birmingham. His father, an accomplished amateur musician, had him playing the piano at age 6. Steve turned pro at 7 when he joined the local Anglican choir. "I used to get a shilling for every wedding," he recalls. "That was when I first realized that one can make money out of singing." He went on to take two years of classical training in music at the Birmingham Midland Institute.

     

  3. A country gentleman residing in his dream house in Gloucestershire for a decade, Steve Winwood was born on May 12, 1948, in Birmingham, England, and well-nigh weaned on rock 'n' roll, making a living at the craft when most prospective candidates from the provinces wouldn't know a riff from a rafter. Famous by age 16, he's been praised and panned, celebrated and nearly eulogized in the years since. While assured of a place in the rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame, he was almost dismissed as a lifeless trophy on 2 legs before he strode seemingly out of nowhere to reaffirm his status as one of the most original and sagacious talents in the music industry.