[Slowhand] "Got to get better in a little while..." - Eric Clapton

jess mayers orpheusrocker21 at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 31 11:05:25 EST 2008

Hi Martin,

Thanks for the response. It would have been really interesting to read about Eric's first-hand feelings when he plugged his Gibson into a bank of Marshalls and got that certain sound that literally changed the way people heard a rock guitarist. The power, the surge of sheer joy, what about it, Eric? The transition from being a great guitarist in the Bluesbreakers to becoming a rock-God in Cream, the first jam with Jack and Ginger when you realized that this was something unique, special, beyond words. What did you feel, how did you balance that sound off of Jack's incessant bass and Ginger's kick-ass drumming? Surely, despite the drug-haze, you must have some stories to tell. How about the times when you were coralled by Ahmet Ertegun on the first tour of the States, to get into the studio in NYC and work on tracks (which form the basis for 'Disraeli Gears'). How did Felix Pappalardi work it out as to who stood where, how the drums were miked, why this mike, not
that one. The creative process, all of it or just some of it. The tracks that were eventually used on 'Wheels of Fire' alone would have made for some interesting comments - why this live track and not another one? What were you thinking, what hotel did you stay at, what did you feel like walking the streets of San Francisco for the first time knowing that Cream had a gig that night, what juicy fight did you have with Jack that pissed you off enough to put out some of the greatest riffs ever, while Jack matched you note-for-note. The same goes for the inner workings with Derek & The Dominos. In the book, Clapton touches briefly on inviting Duane Allman into 'Criteria Studios' in Miami in September 1970. Did you sense a soul-mate capable of pushing you to reach out further than you thought possible? What was the interplay between you two? What did you talk with Duane about? Was it strictly about music or was it about where to find the best southern-fried chicken in
town? What was the effect on the Dominos when you brought in Duane? You talk about the drugs, alcohol, distractions but little meat as to the music. Some of the best tunes ever (at points even better than Cream), yet so little as to the inner-workings. If not you, Eric, telling stories about what it was like, then who? Only someone who was there could tell the tale. You survived it, what stories do you remember? One can only imagine some of the stuff that went down - we have the audio record but not the nuts 'n bolts as to how the creation was made. The book was about 100 pages short.

Anyway, I liked 'Clapton: an autobiography'. It could have been so much more.

onwards - Jess

"Kelly, Martin" <Martin.Kelly at Kaman.com> wrote:
Jess, I agree with you about the book. Eric never talks about the guitars and amps he used, or very much about musicianship. Maybe he thinks that stuff is better left to guitar magazines, but when he plugged a Les Paul in to a Marshall he created a whole new thing.
-----Original Message-----
From: jess mayers [mailto:orpheusrocker21 at yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:58 PM
To: Slowhand at planet-torque.com
Subject: [Slowhand] Trolls on the list...

Hope everyone is faring well in their neck of the woods.

On every community list, at some point, a 'Troll' will pop up and write about rambling, non-sensical stuff that simply doesn't belong on the list. Whether it's hard-core political seasonings (watch what happens just before November rolls around in the States) or simply ramblings and musings about things that have little to do with music or trading, people come, people go. I recall several years ago on the Van Morrison list, a 'Troll' calling itself 'China Blue' (that's a major red flag right there), stirred things up, pissed people off, for about 2 months, then simply disappeared. Probably off to annoy another list. Who knows

I finished reading 'Clapton The Autobiography' last week. My sole wish for that book is that Eric had given more anecdotal musings, particularly when reminescing about Cream & Derek & The Dominos - wouldn't it have been interesting to read about his drug-filled haze the day of the Winterland Show and the most amazing solo on 'Crossroads'. Instead, it seemed like he couldn't race out of that time-frame fast enough. Too little about the inner-workings of Cream or Derek. Too bad - the book could easily have been another 100 pages longer. Eric, your life has had so many amazing episodes, it would have been so nice to read about what it was like when certain musicians pushed you to the edge, even if all you wrote about was how much you personally disliked certain musicians but had the greatest time making music with them. 'Clapton' had lots of filler and cheese puff, not enough real substance, behind the scenes, what was going on while on stage. I'm very happy for you
that you've found happiness and that being a real father and family man suits you. You've brought so much joy to people through the music, you deserve some good times and peace of mind. It's a good book that could have been better.

Enough of my rant.

onwards - Jess

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