Blues guitarist and singer Eric Clapton is celebrating his 60th birthday on Wednesday, alongside a forthcoming reunion with his old band Cream.
Long before Eric Clapton embarked on a solo career, he was already a genuine rock ‘n’ roll icon.
In the late 1960s, as his career with proto-supergroup Cream was in full flight, graffiti in New York and London screamed: “Clapton is God!”
His intricate guitar style became the bedrock of several bands in the late 1960s and early 70s – including John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Cream and the supergroup Blind Faith.
B.B.C. seem to think so but…
Stormed off from the Yardbirds because they were playing “pop” not pure blues that stance didn’t last long.
The Blues Breakers (Beano) album with John Mayall is the high point, a great album and the introduction of the Les Paul & Marshall JTM45 combo, what a tone. Again though there’s a but…is it just coping some licks of blues greats Freddie King, Otis Rush, Albert King etc.
Cream – some great tracks, some overblown guitar “wanking” for “wankings” sake (or because he had a slight memory lapse), all the good tracks written by Jack Bruce or a blues giant, Willie Dixon, Albert King etc.
Blind Faith – least said.
Derek and The Dominos – Isn’t that really Duane Allman’s album, even to the extent of coming up with Clapton’s signature riff “Layla”.
Solo – the odd good track, again the standout ones other’s work, J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” and Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff”.
The Robert Johnson discs, well they’re just not as good as the far superior Peter Green’s “Robert Johnson Songbook” & “Hot Foot Powder”.
I do actually like Clapton but when Greeny told Mayall he was better than that previous bloke he was right.
Oh and to the B.B.C. “Slowhand” came from the slow handclaps Clapton got when tuning up between songs, nothing to do with his playing.