Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 18 July '39, London) Keyboards, leader. Voted best new jazz artist by Melody Maker '64; switched to R&B that year. First group incl. future Mahavishnu players Rick Laird and John McLaughlin; disbanded end '64 to form Trinity with Rick Brown, bass, Mickey Waller, drums. Name of group changed to Steampacket after adding singers Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart from Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men; guitarist Vic Briggs and vocalist Julie Driscoll joined. Driscoll was secretary of manager Georgio Gomelsky, who also managed Yardbirds; Auger played harpsichord on their 'For Your Love' '65. Steampacket's vocalists and Auger's instrumentals were showcased separately on stage, his distinctive, distorted organ sound produced by playing the Hammond through a guitar valve (tube) amplifier. Predictable ego problems split group mid-'66, Baldry to Bluesology, Stewart to Shotgun Express; Driscoll stayed on to make 'This Wheel's On Fire' for Gomelsky's Marmalade label; Dylan song made no. 5 UK '68. She quit on US tour, leaving Streetnoise LP as group's final testament. Back to Trinity, which finally split '70; final lineup had Dave Ambrose, bass; Gary Boyle, guitar; Clive Thacker, drums. Auger joined US- based jazz-rock group Oblivion Express, with everchanging personnel incl. Jim Mullen, Robbie McIntosh and Steve Ferrone (Average White Band); album was Closer To It '73. Reunion with Driscoll for LP Encore '78; '84 brought Blues Reunion aggregation with Spencer Davis, guitar, and Pete York, drums; also Colin Hodgkinson, bass (ex-Back Door). Anthology of Auger and Driscoll London 1964/67 issued '77. Like Baldry and others of that era, Auger's fate was to be remembered as much for whom he played with as for his music.