The album was originally to be simply titled Cream. The title came from an
incident when the band was playing word games, making up phrases like Elefant
Gerald (Ella Fitzgerald). One of the roadies was talking about racing bikes
and changed "derailleur gears" to Disraeli Gears.
461 OCEAN BOULEVARD
The address of the house where the band lived during the recording of the
THERE'S ONE IN EVERY CROWD
This is a contraction of the working title, The Best Guitarist In The World
-- There's One In Every Crowd.
NO REASON TO CRY
A misquote from Innocent Times by Marcy Levy. The song goes "No reason to
laugh, more reason to cry."
An obscure reference to Bob Dylan. EC commented that Bob is very aware of
everything that happens while he's on stage, as if he had eyes on the back of
his head. In addition, Bob would turn and face the band if he thought things
were not going well. So, even though the band was behind him, it felt as if
he was always facing them.
A tongue in cheek jibe at a friend who was always asking for another ticket to
one of his concerts.
BEHIND THE SUN
From Louisiana Blues by Muddy Waters. The line is "I'm going to New Orleans,
baby, behind the sun."
Originally to be titled One More Car, One More Driver, the album was retitled
to celebrate the birth of EC's son Conor in August. (The album was actually
released in November.)
FROM THE CRADLE
A line from a poem Eric had written, which went "All along this path I tread /
My heart betrays my weary head / With nothing but my love to save / From the
cradle to the grave."
III. THE CARE AND FEEDING OF BOOTLEGS
Q: How does Eric feel about bootlegs?
Neutral. Eric is quoted in Roberty's latest book as saying "I don't have an
issue on this particular one." He acknowledges that if bootleggers ran the
world, musicians would go broke, but he does not personally report bootleggers.
Q: Now that that's settled, where can I get them?
A: In general, privately owned stores are a better bet than large chains.
College towns are excellent hunting grounds. Many stores will ship bootlegs,
but it is hard to verify the track list and sound quality when ordering by
mail. For a good selection of companies that sell bootlegs through the mail,
peruse the classified ads in Goldmine. It is a bimonthly record/CD
collectors' magazine; subscriptions are $35 a year and they do take credit
cards. You may be able to talk them into giving you a free sample copy. They
can be reached at:
Goldmine Ph: (715) 445-2214
700 E. State St. Fax: (715) 445-4087
Iola, WI 54990
Two list members made a trek to NYC and found several stores in the area.
Three of the best are:
"Revolver", 45 W. 8th St. (2nd floor), ph: (212) 982-6760
"Generation", 210 Thompson, ph: (212) 254-1100
"Second Coming Records", 235 Sullivan St., ph: (212) 228-1313
Q: Which bootlegs have good sound quality and good songs?
A: The bootography at the FTP site is a large file designed to answer just
this question. In addition, several of the works listed as resources at the
start of this file contain set lists for individual shows or, if the set list
remained fairly consistant, for entire tours.
EC on Film
Q: What movies has EC recorded songs for?
A: Clapton's first movie work was scoring the theme for "The Hit", a 1984
release starring John Hurt. He has done soundtrack work for all three of the
"Lethal Weapon" movies. Heaven Is One Step Away was released on the "Back To
The Future" soundtrack. Eric recorded two songs for "The Color of Money"; The
Gift (It's In The Way That You Use It) and It's My Life Baby. Only the first
was released on the soundtrack. He did sountrack work on the 1989 film
"License to Kill", and the August 1988 film "Homeboy" starring Mickey Rourke
and Christopher Walken. Clapton also did uncredited work for "Buster",
Dylan's film "Hearts of Fire", and the WWII film, "Peace In Our Time".
Q: Has EC been in any films?
A: In 1975, he appeared in Circasia, a film which featured famous people,
including Richard Harris, Shirley MacClaine and Burgess Meredith, in clown
costumes. It was made as a benefit for the Central Remedial Clinic and
Variety Club of Ireland. The film was shot in County Kildare, Ireland.
EC appeared in Tommy.
He appeared in the unreleased "Rolling Stones Rock 'n' Roll Circus", which was
to be a BBC TV Special but it never aired. It also
featured the Who and Jethro Tull.
"Water" Clapton had a cameo role performing in an onscreen band with the
film's produces, George harrison and wrote the song "Freedom".
1970, November -Derek and the Dominos appeared on the Johnny Cash TV Show
from Nashville performing a version of "It's Too Late" before being joined
by both host and Carl Perkins for a version of the latter's "Matchbox".
The Cash show tape is the only known video or film footage of the Dominos
MTV Closet Classics
The Cream play "I Feel Free".
British Rock - The First Wave
The Cream play "Tales of Brave Ulysess".
Strange Brew - Cream (A Vision Entertainment - 50257-3)
The Cream play: Sunshine of Your Love, White Room, Spoonful
Toad, I'm So Glad, I Feel Free, Strange Brew, Crossroads,
Sitting On Top of the World
Farewell Cream (Channel 5)
Royal Albert Hall - 1968
Sweet Toronto (Parkfield)
Plastic Ono Band live in Toronto - 1969
Staines - 1969
Superstars in Concert (Telstar Video)
Live Blind Faith from Hyde Park - 1969
Concert for Bangladesh (Warner)
George Harrison's charity concert - 1969
Jimi Hendrix (Warner Home Video 11267)
Eric discusses his admiration for Jimi.
The Last Waltz (Warner)
Eric joins The Band for "Further On Up the Road" at
their farewell concert - 1976
Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC Video)
live - 1977
Alexis Korner's Eat a Little Rhythm and Blues (BBC Video)
Pinewood Studio - 1978
ARMS - The Complete Concert (Channel 5)
Royal Albert Hall - 1983
Live 1985 (Channel 5)
Hartford, Connecticut - 1985
A Rockabilly Session, Carl Perkins and Friends (Virgin)
Limehouse Studios - 1985
Water (Handmade Films)
Eric appears along side George Harrison and Ringo Starr in
Billy Connelly's backing group. However, they do not actually
play on the soundtrack.
Eric Clapton & Friends
Eric plays with Phil Collins, Greg Phillinganes, and
Crossroads, White Room, Run, Miss You, Tearing Us Apart,
Holy Mother, In the Air Tonight, Sunshine of Your Love,
The Eric Clapton Concert (Radio Vision)
Birmingham - 1986
Prince's Trust Birthday (Video Gems)
Wembly Arena - 1986
Hail! Hail! Rock 'N" Roll (CIC)
Chuck Berry's 60th birthday concert - 1986
B.B.King and Friends - A Night of Red Hot Blues (Video Collection)
B.B. plays with his band and Eric Clapton, Phil Collins,
Dr. John, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Etta James,
Chaka Khan, and others. 1987
Prince's Trust Rock Gala (PMV)
Wembly Arena - 1987
Alright Now - Island Records 25th Anniversary (Island Video)
Pinewood - 1987
Prince's Trust Rock Gala (Video Collection)
Royal Albert Hall - 1988
The Prince's Trust All Star Rock Concert
Clapton, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Mark Knofler and many others
Knebworth (Castle Music)
Various artists. (Elton John, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Dire
Straits, Pink Floyd, Status Quo, Jimmy Page, many more)
Eric Clapton (Castle Music)
Knebworth, unreleased version of Sunshine of Your Love - June 1990
24 Nights (Warner)
Royal Albert hall - 1990,1991
Bray Studios - 1991
Ken Russel's film of the Who epic
BBC documentary from 92(?)...
fantastic, must see for any fan. Tons of unseen, unheard stuff,
e.g. Eric and Jack Bruce jamming at Eric's house...a meeting
specially arranged for this special. First time they'd played
together since Cream
The Cream of Eric Clapton (Polygram)
Eric Clapton - The Man and His Music (Video Collection)
Q: What albums would you recommend that I buy?
A: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs lands at the top of the heap almost
every time anyone does an EC album poll. Ours was no exception.
#1 #2 #3
Layla & OALS 13 5 3
24 Nights (2CD) 4 2 3
Crossroads (4CD) 4 2 3
Unplugged 3 3 3
Slowhand 4 4
Journeyman 2 2 2.5
Blues Breakers 2 3 1
E.C. Was Here 2 3.5
Live At The Fillmore (2CD) 2 1 2
461 Ocean Boulevard 3 0.5
The Layla Sessions (3CD) 1 2
August 1 2
Disraeli Gears 2 1
Just One Night (2CD) 2 1
Wheels Of Fire (2CD) 3
Fresh Cream 1 1
Blind Faith 2
Behind The Sun 1 0.5
BackTrackin' (2CD) 1
There's One In Every Crowd 1
Another Ticket 1
Time Pieces 1
Rush Soundtrack 1
Money And Cigarettes 1
The Cream of Eric Clapton 1
Strange Brew 1
Personally, I can't believe Backless didn't get a single vote, but I guess
I'm 1/37th responsible for that. The omission of the 1970 album Eric Clapton
was another surprise. Not as surprising were the poll performances of No
Reason To Cry and On Tour With Delaney and Bonnie And Friends. This poll was
taken before the release of From The Cradle, an album which is certainly worth
Q: So what do the critics think I should buy?
A: In issue 655, the "experts" at Rolling Stone provided the following list of
the "essential recordings" of Eric Clapton: Five Live Yardbirds, Blues
Breakers, Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, Wheels Of Fire, Blind Faith, Eric
Clapton, Layla & OALS, 461 Ocean Boulevard, Slowhand, Just One Night, Money
And Cigarettes, Journeyman, Rush Soundtrack and Unplugged. The critical
discography in the July 1985 issue of Guitar Player gives rave reviews to
Blues Breakers, Just One Night and Another Ticket, and vicious pans to Rainbow
Concert, There's One In Every Crowd and Backless.
Q: So what does Eric think I should buy?
A: In a Rolling Stone interview, Eric stated that he thought the Bluesbreakers
album was very powerful, Slowhand was noteworthy, and that the rambling nature
of No Reason To Cry gave it the feeling of a party. "But I'm proud of them
all, I'm glad to say."
Q: Okay, what albums would you recommend that I not buy?
A: The classic answer to this is Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert. It was his
first concert in about two and a half years, the band had never played
together before and was not very well rehearsed, and the sound quality is
unspectacular. The album is not without redeeming features, but there are a
lot of EC albums which deserve to be higher on anyone's wish list. In
addition, there have been rumors circulating that this album will be remixed
and released with additional material. Last time these rumors started, loyal
fans were rewarded with the spectacular Derek And The Dominoes -- Live At The
The Songs of EC
I. THE AUTHORS
Q: Does Eric write his own songs?
A: Some of them. Eric has said that he does not particularly enjoy writing
songs. During his early years, he contributed almost no songs to the various
bands he played with; more recently his output has been a function of
inspiration from outside events and people, and the availability of cowriters
to help the process along. And, given Eric's oft-proclaimed love for the
blues, a large number of the songs he plays are covers of old blues artists.
Q: What was EC's first song?
A: According to Mark Roberty, it was Got To Hurry, the instrumental b-side of
For Your Love. The song was credited to a Gomelsky nom de plume, Rasputin.
Q: What other songs did he write before going solo?
A: Aside from various arranging credits, Eric cowrote Double Crossing with
John Mayall, Strange Brew with Gail Collins and Felix Pappalardi, Anyone For
Tennis and Tales Of Brave Ulysses with Martin Sharp, Sunshine Of Your Love
with Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, and, of course, Badge with George Harrison.
His first composition with lyrics and without outside assistance was Presence
Of The Lord.
Q: Which songs were written by Marcy Levy?
A: In the mid-1970s, Marcy was Eric's most frequent collaborator. During this
period, the two cowrote Innocent Times, Lay Down Sally, The Core and Roll It.
They also recorded Hungry, a song she cowrote with Dick Simms. After she left
the band, Eric recorded Tangled In Love and Walk Away, two Levy/Feldman songs.
Q: Who is Jerry Lynn Williams, and which songs did he write?
Jerry is a Texan songwriter whose larger-than-life personality has gotten in
the way of his own recording career. Williams wrote See What Love Can Do,
Something's Happening and Forever Man, the three tracks Clapton recorded after
the primary sessions for Behind The Sun. He also wrote a good number of
tracks from the Journeyman album, including Pretending, Anything For Your
Love, Running On Faith, No Alibis and Breaking Point.
Q: Which of Eric's compositions were inspired by Patti?
A: The songs which are explicitly and verifiably written about Patti are
Layla, Wonderful Tonight, Pretty Girl, The Shape You're In, A Man In Love
and Old Love.
Q: And which were inspired by Conor?
A: Tears In Heaven, Signe, Lonely Stranger, The Circus Left Town and My
Q: Which blues artist wrote ?
A: Every track on Sonny Boy Williamson And The Yardbirds was written by Sonny
Boy Williamson. Here are a few of Eric's blues covers that weren't written by
Sonny Boy Williamson:
Before You Accuse Me - Eugene McDaniel
Born Under A Bad Sign - Booker T. Jones and William Bell
County Jail Blues - Alfred Fields
Crossroads - Robert Johnson (originally titled Cross Road Blues)
Drifting Blues - Charles Brown, Johnny Moore and Eddie Williams
Further On Up The Road - Joe Medwich Veasey and Don D. Robey
Have You Ever Loved A Woman - Billy Myles
Hey Hey - Big Bill Broonzy
Hoodoo Man - Amos "Junior" Wells
Little Queenie - Chuck Berry
Malted Milk - Robert Johnson
Ramblin' On My Mind - Robert Johnson
Rollin' And Tumblin' - Muddy Waters (a.k.a McKinley Morganfield)
Sitting On Top Of The World - Howlin' Wolf (a.k.a. Chester Burnett)
Spoonful - Willie Dixon
Steady Rollin' Man - Robert Johnson
Walkin' Blues - Robert Johnson
Worried Life Blues - Maceo Merriweather
Q: How about on From The Cradle?
Driftin' is the same song as Drifting Blues from E.C. Was Here, and the author
of Motherless Child is unknown. Here is a listing of the artists credited in
the liner notes for the remaining tracks. It is obvious from the tour program
that, for many of the remaining tracks, EC was paying homage to a recording by
someone other than the original artist. Clear examples are Muddy Waters'
version of Hoochie Coochie Man, Otis Rush's Groaning The Blues, Elmore James
on Blues Before Sunrise, and Ray Charles for Sinner's Prayer.
Blues Before Sunrise - Leroy Carr
Third Degree - Eddie Boyd and Willie Dixon
Reconsider Baby - Lowell Fulson
Hoochie Coochie Man - Willie Dixon
Five Long Years - Eddie Boyd
I'm Tore Down - Sonny Thompson
How Long Blues - Leroy Carr
Goin' Away Baby - James Lane
Blues Leave Me Alone - James Lane
Sinner's Prayer - Lowell Glenn and Lowell Fulson
It Hurts Me Too - Elmore James (some sources cite Mel London)
Someday After A While - Freddy King
Standin' Round Crying - Muddy Waters (a.k.a McKinley Morganfield)
Groaning The Blues - Willie Dixon
Q: Which songs by Bob Dylan has Eric recorded?
A: On his own records, Eric has released versions of Knockin' On Heaven's
Door, Sign Language, Walk Out In The Rain and If I Don't Be There By Morning.
Eric also performed at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert. His featured
songs were Love Minus Zero and Don't Think Twice, It's All Right. In
addition, he played on My Back Pages and Knockin' On Heaven's Door during the
group finale. All except for Love Minus Zero made it onto the final album.
Q: What other famous artists has EC covered?
A: The most famous is I Shot The Sheriff by Bob Marley. After Midnight and
Cocaine were both written by J. J. Cale, who is a minor star in his own right.
II. THE STORIES BEHIND THE SONGS
SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE
One day in late '66, Clapton and Bruce were playing out riffs and trying to
come up with some new material at Bruce's place. The jam went on till the wee
hours of the morning and they still had not come up with anything striking
when all of a sudden Bruce ripped out the now famous bass riff. But all
Clapton could come up with was a tired look out of the window and said 'C'mon
Jack, it is getting near dawn". Jack remembered that the next when they got
together with Pete Brown and wrote up the song with those words in the very
first line of the song!
Barrelhouse is a real word (ie: in many current dictionaries, probably
legitimate for use in Scrabble, etc.), meaning either a particular form of
jazz marked by a heavy, regular beat and long improvisational solos by
several musicians at once, or a cheap drinking establishment where such music
was performed on a regular basis.
She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow. Whatever that means.
Jack Bruce claimed in an interview that Ginger Baker wrote this, and that it
was named after a sexually transmitted ailment that EC had at the time. The
liner notes, however, give songwriting credit to Jack Bruce.
This track was written by EC and George Harrison. Harrison was transcribing,
and Eric, reading it upside down, misread bridge as "badge" and the name
stuck. (according to the MTV Rockumentary) Ringo Starr was also present (?),
and "The swans they live in the park" and the line about "our son now he is
married to Mabel" were Ringo like lines.
This song was written by EC for Patti Boyd Harrison. The ending was a
separate piece by Jim Gordon that was spliced on. The name comes from a poem
written in the 11th or 12th century by the Persian poet Nizami. The poem is
entitled "Layla and Majnun" and bears little relation to EC's actual
EC from Rolling Stone 533 (8/25/88): "Wonderful Tonight" has a little bit of
irony in it. I didn't write it in a particular good mood. I wrote it because
my wife was late getting ready to go out. I was in a foul temper about it."
In the Roberty book it states that it was written on
9/7/76 after attending a Buddy Holly Luncheon organized by Paul McCartney.
TEARS IN HEAVEN
Written in memoriam of his son, Conor.
Named after the boat Clapton was on when he wrote the song.
THE CIRCUS LEFT TOWN
Another song about Conor; the last night EC spent with his son was at the
Clapton wrote this song while he was doing the score for Rush. He was lonely
there, and wrote the song to try to cheer himself up.
MY FATHER'S EYES
EC: "I had a kind of revelation about my son. It's a very personal matter but
I never met my father and I realised that the closest I ever came to looking
into my father's eyes was when I looked into my son's eyes. So I wrote this
song about that. It's a strange kind of cycle thing that occurred to me and
another thing I felt I would like to share." A "toerag" is a British slang
term, meaning a foot covering for those too poor to afford socks, or
alternatively a tramp, vagrant or a worthless person.
Are These All Your Guitars?
Q: What was Eric's first guitar?
A: His first guitar was an acoustic Spanish Hoya. His first electric guitar
was a double cutaway Kay.
Q: Where did Blackie come from?
A: Blackie is made up of three different guitars. In Nashville 1970, EC
bought a handful of Stratocasters, Telecasters and various Fenders for
$100.00 each at the Sho-Bud shop. He took them back to England. He gave
one to George Harrison, one to Steve Winwood and one to Pete Townshend. He
kept three and out of them made one which is Blackie.
Q: Where is Blackie now?
A: Blackie was permanently retired in 1985 after 15 years of faithful service.
According to EC "It's at home. It's off the road completely. I play it
at home occasionally, but it is too precious for me to take out for fear of
loss or breakage or something like that."
Q: What is the Eric Clapton signature Strat?
A: Dan Smith, the head of Fender guitars, approached Clapton to discuss a plan
to create a guitar to Eric's specifications and market it under his name.
Eric told them to mimic Blackie, especially the shape of the neck, to the best
of their ability, but add a tone knob to fatten up the sound. The fact that
EC's favorite guitar was a Fender apparently had nothing to do with the fact
that his signature guitar is marketed by that company. The guitar is
available in three colors, charcoal grey, Ferrari red and 7-Up green, as per
Q: Where is EC's guitar from his days with Cream?
A: The psychadelic painted guitar is in the collection of Todd Rundgren.
II. THROUGH THE YEARS
Yardbirds: Amp: VOX AC 30 amp
Gibson ES 335
Bluesbreakers: Marshall amp
Gibson Les Paul
Blind Faith: Marshall 100 watt stack
Gibson ES 335 Fender Dual Showman
Epiphone 12 string acoustic
Guild 12 string acoustic
Plastic Ono Band: Fender Dual Showman
Gibson Les Paul
Delaney & Bonnie: Fender Dual Showman
Gibson Les Paul
Derek and the Dominos:
Bangla Desh: Fender Dual Showman
Rainbow Comeback: Fender Dual Showman
Gibson Les Paul
1974/75: Music Man Amp
1976: Music Man Amp
1977: Music Man Amp
1978-82: Music Man Amp
1984: Marshall Amp
Gibson Les Paul
1985: Marshall Amp
Gibson Les Paul
1986/87: Marshall Amp
Fender E.C. Signature
Gibson Les Paul
1988: Soldano Amp, Marshall cabinets
Fender E.C. Signature
Gibson Les Paul
Chet Atkins Acoustic
1989-91: Soldano Amp, Marshall cabinets
Fender E.C. Signature
Chet Atkins Acoustic
(The two questions which are actually frequently asked are "What album should
I buy next?" and "Where are the Dominos now?")