[Slowhand] Selvin spot on? I think not.

Hillary Todd gilmoregirltoo at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 1 12:38:47 EDT 2007

DeltaNick, you do have something in common with Joel
Selvin. Neither one of you are very good critics.
Both of you will find fault with Clapton regardless of
what he does. I know for a fact that Selvin is a
fraud. He often stays for only a few songs then
writes a review as if he's seen the entire concert.
Actually, he is so biased against Clapton he could
probably write the review without seeing the concert
at all. The truth about Joel Selvin is that his goal
is see how many letters his reviews generate and angry
fans write more letters than happy fans.

I don't think it is fair to imply that EC has been on
auto pilot and mailing in this guitar solos on this
tour. I think that's a minority opinion. It has not
been my experience and is not my opinion. Nor does it
seem to reflect the opinion of the majority of the
critics and fans around the world.

As for your standard, "he could be so much better"
opinion, I get it already. It's annoying and I
disagree with you, but I get it. Why can't you
sometimes make a statement such as "there's a
wonderful guitar solo that is inventive, soaring and
passionate" and then just stop. That would be

> > From: deltanick at aol.com

> To: slowhand at planet-torque.com

> Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2007 02:41:38 -0400

> Subject: [Slowhand] Couple of Comments



> Just a couple of comments related to a couple of

> recent posts by others:


> 1. Melvin To Selvin: Regarding Mel’s response to a

> “SF Chronicle”

> review by Joel Selvin, I and many others think that

> Selvin is spot on.

> Selvin writes what I’ve been saying all along.

> It’s not a putdown of

> Clapton, but it is a criticism, and I think Mel

> misses Selvin’s point

> entirely. My opinion is that Clapton cooked full

> dinners, from scratch,

> way back in his Mayall/Cream/Blind Faith days, while

> today he merely

> pops TV dinners into the microwave, and lets others

> (Trucks) do the

> cooking. Today he also sets the table, which he

> didn’t do back then,

> but every once in a while, he gives us a sandwich

> that hasn’t been

> microwaved, and it’s pretty good.


> Selvin’s not putting Clapton down, but is

> criticizing him (Selvin’s a

> critic, and writes critiques) for not doing better.

> As I’ve written

> before, I still like Clapton, but I’ve seen him

> when he’s done so much

> better, played so much more passionately. I believe

> that he’s

> shortchanging us; it appears that he’s not trying

> very hard. Many

> others have written here in the Slowhand Digest this

> past year that EC

> seems to be merely cruising on auto-pilot, mailing

> in his guitar solos,

> getting others (Bramhall & Trucks) to do the heavy

> lifting. I think

> they’re both fine guitarists. But I want to see

> and hear Eric Clapton

> play, because he’s SO much better, although he

> usually doesn’t show us

> how good he is.


> I believe that Clapton’s best days were when he

> concentrated on playing

> guitar, and had a bluesier overall sound to his

> music. Too much of his

> music today, in my opinion, is middle-of-the-road

> (MOR) “Adult

> Contemporary.” Now, who else is Adult

> Contemporary”? How about Celine

> Dion, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow ... yuccch!


> Clapton still plays long fairly solos today, such as

> during “I Shot The

> Sheriff, but he seems to be merely “noodling”

> 99% of the time, not

> trying very hard at all ... too ”balanced,” with

> little passion. I

> don’t want to see and hear Clapton play

> “balanced” music. I want him to

> rock! I want him to play with passion, not balance,

> to show emotion,

> not restraint. The “balance” is the problem, and

> causes Clapton to hold

> back! While I still enjoy much of EC’s music, I

> find that he releases

> his crappy stuff (“Back Home”) rather than his

> better music (“Nothing

> But The Blues”). And he’s way too self-conscious

> about his singularly

> unique talent: playing the guitar.


> Why do I still go see Clapton? Because I like his

> music. I went to the

> 10 October 2006 performance in Washington, on this

> latest tour and I

> enjoyed it immensely. But I enjoyed his performances

> 38 or 40 years ago

> so much more, because I watched and listened to real

> artist creating

> magical, musical scenes through the sound of his

> guitar. It has nothing

> to do with nostalgia, and everything to do with his

> guitar playing.


> On “The Road To Escondido,” there’s a

> wonderful guitar solo on track 1,

> “Danger,” that is inventive, soaring, and

> passionate. If Clapton played

> like that a lot more often, I probably wouldn’t be

> typing right now.

> But no, we’ve got to settle for less than his

> best. In general, his

> music is good, but it could be SO much better. So, I

> believe that Joel

> Selvin and I are stating the same: Clapton fails to

> live up to his

> potential. An incredibly amazing talent, Eric

> Clapton decides to share

> it with us only once in a while, perhaps only by

> mistake, when he

> forgets to remain “balanced” and allows his

> passion to come through.


> 2. Slowhand Sidekicks: Roel Hendriksen asks about

> John Mayall and Jack

> Bruce. Yes, musicians who complement and push EC

> don’t have to be

> guitarists. In fact, Clapton earned his initial fame

> as THE solo guitar

> player. True, in the Yardbirds, Chris Dreja played

> rhythm guitar. But

> Chris Dreja really DID play rhythm guitar, and

> didn’t share the solos

> with Clapton. However, Clapton’s enduring

> reputation as a musician --

> as THE guitarist -- was mostly earned while with

> John Mayall And The

> Bluesbreakers and Cream. These bands had just the

> one guitarist: Eric

> Clapton. People such as John Mayall -- a superb

> musician (keyboards and

> harmonica) and bandleader -- and Jack Bruce provided

> a frame for

> Clapton, showcasing his unique talent, allowing him

> to flower as a

> musician. And let’s not forget, if he didn’t

> become the world class

> guitarist that he is, then today Eric Clapton would

> be laying bricks or

> installing new windows.


> DeltaNick



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