[Slowhand] EC on BBC4 Ronnie Lane special
kevin.wilson at arivia.co.za
Mon Jan 9 05:18:55 EST 2006
I read somewhere that Eric and Patti were regular visitors at Ronnie
Lane's farm, The Fishpool around 1976/77. So, "at home" is relative to
someone like Eric - even now.
Here's an extract from the Charlie Hart website:
"Charlie left and joined Ruan O'Lochlainn, Johnny Duan in St. James'
Gate, a band which soon metamorphosed into Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance.
Charlie played mostly fiddle and accordion and lived at Ronnie's farm,
the Fishpool. He worked on numerous albums and hung out with a lethal
combination of rock and roll A-list (Clapton, Townshend, Small Faces,
etc.) and Shropshire farmers. The band toured Europe by train and boat
with Clapton's band and influenced a host of future bands."
(The Fishpool is a B&B today, available (with photographs inside and
out) on the web somewhere. A very humble dwelling.)
Here's another interesting snippet, care of Marc Roberty's "Clapton: The
"Prior to chartering The Welsh Liberty, a sleek steel hulled yacht,
(probably on 1 August 1977) that would take him and the band from Cannes
to Ibiza for a concert at the bull ring, Eric got together with Ronnie
Lane and old Roosters bandmate, Tom McGuinness, played an amazing show
at the Drum and Monkey pub in Shropshire, Ronnie's local at the time.
Holding it in the car park on a hot summer evening set off the mood
perfectly. A lengthy version of "Stormy Monday" gave Clapton ample
opportunity to demonstrate his skills with some scorching lead work. The
three-hour show ended with a version of Bob Dylan's "If You Gotta Go". "
I have separate newsprint pictures of Eric, Ronnie and Tom at the Drum
and Monkey gig in July 1977 (exact date not known) - each playing a
National Steel acoustic guitar, but unfortunately lost the concert
review. It appeared in Melody Maker, NME, Sounds or some such music rag,
as did a review of the bull ring show at Ibiza.
Eric collaboration with Ronnie Lane at the time is captured on: "Rough
Mix" (Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane), "See Me" (Ronnie Lane) and in a
very raw form on "Luck 7" by Ronnie Lane. The best of the bunch is the
Clapton/Lane track: "Barcelona".
Ronnie's laid-back country squire approach to music had a major
influence on Eric as is evident on "Slowhand" and "Backless". In
retrospect, it was probably Eric living out his determination to be like
the members of The Band. Gives a whole new meaning to the nickname
Slowhand, doesn't it?
So, in conclusion, Eric's latest statement doesn't negate what has been
said by him and others previously. Also, I'm sure Eric's management at
the time would not want to promote an image of 3 years after the widely
publicised 1974 comeback Eric had his mind set on retiring to the
English countryside and would embark on a tour at the whim of Eric and
those around him. American interest and sales would have plummeted
instantly. I'm sure interview writers also edit what they write, so
let's not be too quick to say "Eric said and now he says, what gives?"
Plus, Eric's an introvert, besides being a man, so explaining things in
detail doesn't come easy to him.
PS. Anyone out there willing to send me a copy of the BBC4 special,
please contact me offline.
From: Grant Abt [mailto:gabt at mac.com]
Sent: 07 January 2006 16:13
To: slowhand at planet-torque.com
Subject: [Slowhand] EC on BBC4 Ronnie Lane special
Saw EC on a BBC4 special last night about Ronnie Lane, who was in The
Faces with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood. The ARMS show was a benefit for
MS, which Ronnie Lane suffered from. Anyway, it was an interesting show,
but one thing that EC said has confused me. Part of the show was about a
farm that RL had and how all his mates (including EC) would hang out
there and play. EC said that he wrote Wonderful Tonight there with RL. I
always thought that EC wrote that song at home while waiting for Pattie
to get ready.
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