[Slowhand] Re: Bluesbreakers and the Slowhand Digest

Scott Peterson avalanchescott at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 12 08:51:29 EDT 2006

I wrote:

>>> 1) Does anyone know where to find Billy Altman's liner notes to the Beano

>>> album? My recollection was that they were outstanding, but my vinyl's no

>>> longer accessible. <<

DeltaNick replied:

> Huh? Billy Altman? Neil Slaven wrote the original "Blues Breakers" liner notes

> (see below).

Yes, Slaven's are perfectly fine notes. I'm sorry that I confused you when I
said Billy Altman, I should have make it clear that what I meant by that was
actually Billy Altman. I can see how that might have been misleading in some
way. :)

Billy Altman wrote what I recall as being outstanding notes to the London
LC-50009 reissue of the Bluesbreakers album. I've not read them in twenty
years so they could be twaddle, but given that Altman tends to be a good
writer, I seriously doubt it. I was hoping someone knew of a place online
they were located. No big deal.

I also wrote:

>>> 2) Does anyone know the genesis of the "Day Tripper" quote in "What'd I

>>> Say"? I've always loved that bit, but it seems somewhat incongruous given

>>> what purists Mayall and, at that time, Clapton are/were thought of. My

>>> knowledge of Mayall is pretty spotty, however, so was adding a bit of recent

>>> pop hit not as out-of-line for him as it might seem at first glance? Or is

>>> it something to which he only acquiesced because EC wanted it? <<

Someone who likes the screen name Slowhand opined:

> Ironic, someone would find it curious that 'purist' Clapton would quote a

> Beatles song on a Ray Charles POP song.

As DeltaNick pointed out, it's actually a blues. Also, if you don't think
musicians then and now see a huge difference between a Ray Charles version
of what might be considered a pop song and anyone else doing the exact same
song, you're an idiot. Ray Charles is one of the giants of popular
music--that's right, popular music--of the past fifty years and has been
held in enormously high esteem for most of that time. Oh, and did we mention
that it's actually a blues? I'm trying to remember.

> I believe that the genesis of the "Day Tripper" guitar quote in "What'd I Say"

> was

George Harrison.

Meaning what? That he wrote the riff? That he suggested to Clapton it'd fit?
That when the Beatles used to cover the song themselves he inserted it,
years before they recorded "Day Tripper"? Or was just an attempt at humor on
your part?

> Someone wrote that Ray Charles' song was a pop song.

> Well, it was a hit and widely played, but structurally, it's a blues. Although

> Clapton was in a blues or blues "purist" phase, he wasn't ignorant. Quoting

> "Day Tripper" fit beautifully, in my opinion.

Right...and what the hell does ignorance have to do with it? First of all,
you couldn't be in the music world at that point in time without being aware
of the Beatles, so EC's knowledge of a hit isn't exactly impressive--Leonard
Bernstein was playing piano versions a year or two earlier. I'm quite sure
Clapton also knows a lyric or two from at least one Britney Spears song, but
if he didn't, would that make him ignorant? Or perhaps we should laud him
for teaming up with Babyface because that shows he's not ignorant?

(And no, no, no, no, no, I'm not comparing Britney or Babyface to the

And, yes, the quote fits beautifully, in your opinion and Eric Clapton's
opinion and my opinion and the opinion of everyone else I've ever talked.
That wasn't the question and really has nothing to do with it. The question
was, whose idea was it? That's all. If you don't know, just say so. It's
okay to not know everything. (Such as that Billy Altman wrote the liner
notes to a reissue of Beano.)

It's an interesting thing about this place. I've been here off and on for
ten years and it really seems sometimes that it's impossible to have a civil
conversion (and, yes, that's a nod to a recent thread).

Slowhand's reply up above might have been meant to be somewhat aggressive or
it might just have been my reading of it. Obviously, my response was most
certainly unpleasant. But even Nick, with whom I've exchanged several
pleasant (I think) offlist emails over the years, one as recent as this
week, opens his reply with that "Huh?" Which, in case you don't know, Nick,
is a pretty rude way of responding, automatically pointing the person who
asked the original question on the defensive and making him feel stupid,
Since you were the one who was ignorant in this case--and unlike the "What'd
I Say" example, this is a real example of ignorance--it didn't make me feel
stupid, Just somewhat angry. It's little shit like that, as much as your
disdain for his use of the Strat, that starts all the little fires around

What is it with this place? Why does it feel like every thread turns into a
pissing contest? (A pissing contest which, yes, obviously, I've allowed
myself to be drawn into.)


Scott Peterson
AvalancheScott at earthlink.net

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