[Slowhand] Winwood & Clapton, 28 February 08

Nicholas Aleshin deltanick at comcast.net
Sun Mar 2 02:05:57 EST 2008

Greetings Slowhanders,

Although I was there for only the last show, I agree, it was one for
the ages. EC played like his life depended on it, like he was HUNGRY!

When these three shows were announced, I kind of felt something
special was going to happen, so I didn't want to miss it. Like
MrNYBluesman -- a fellow NYer -- I was there too for Cream, Blind
Faith, Delaney And Bonnie & Friends, Derek And The Dominos. In fact,
the last time I visited Madison Square Garden was 12 July 1969: Blind
Faith's North American tour kickoff. Although there were some pretty
darned good Blind Faith performances -- at least one supreme one,
"The Lost Concert," preserved on tape, and now on CD-R -- the musical
relationship of the two musical giants, Clapton and Winwood, never
truly got off the ground. But try again they did this week.

As Dr. Proctor wrote in an e-mail, "I spent a good amount of time
shaking my head in disbelief. I had never heard 'Forever Man' live
and wondered why he never played a song so often heard on the radio."
My sentiment too, as "Forever Man" had never before turned me on. But
on Thursday, Eric grabbed my attention, and he attacked that song and
MADE me like it. It was only the third number, but Mrs. DeltaNick and
I knew something was up. So far, it was a damned great night, and it
had only just begun.

As the song "Well Alright" was predictably ending, Eric nearly
knocked the wind out of me, momentarily collapsing my knees, as the
sudden laserlike guitar intro pierced the Garden's air. I regained my
composure and, gasping for air, recognized "Double Trouble," and soon
heard its familiar "Ain't got a job." Yes, that verse about bad luck
and trouble. But suddenly I was riding the crest of a tsunami,
lifted, and flung higher, as Clapton's silver laser tones passed me
from behind: on the left, underneath, from the right, overhead ... I
was at his mercy, eyes wide open, nearly in shock, but certainly
enjoying the ride. I think I entered heaven, as an old, bearded man
guarding a gate cried out, "Where do you think you're ..." No need to
hold on, though, even as I accelerated, while everything else
disappeared, and nothing else mattered. I was floating, but at the
speed of light, slas time stood still. Wow!

I don't know what else to say after that, except that the rest of the
show was fantastic, and Eric took me for a few more wonderful rides,
but none as high as THAT one! I looked around and everyone --
everyone at Madison Square Garden -- was smiling. It was a very
special night, one we will all remember forever.


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