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Author: Subject: Eric Clapton Interview on RS web

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 2/26/2010 at 09:24 PM
I'm not sure this interview is already mentioned in other thread, and if so I'm sorry about it.

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In Rolling Stoneís new issue, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton sit down for the first time to discuss old rivalries, blues heroes and the secrets of their craft. Hereís more from David Frickeís conversation with Clapton: the guitarist on revisiting the Layla album, his sober years and documenting his life.

Check out all of Rolling Stoneís guitar coverage and join the debate: whoís the best of all time?

What did you get out of returning to all of those Derek and the Dominos songs on your 2007-2008 tour? Was it a matter of revisiting more unfinished business?
It was the lineup that suggested it, the guitarists. Doyle [Bramhall II] and Derek [Trucks] both expressed so much interest in this stuff that I thought was dead and buried. I had never run into many people who were that enthusiastic about it ó other than music fans.

Did the Layla songs represent a period of your life that you wanted to leave behind?
No. But it was raw music ó to a certain extent, pretty primitive. Derek and the Dominos was a quartet. The Layla album had Duane Allman on it, but the life of the Dominos didnít have Duane in it. It was two bands. I did try and entice Duane. He strayed for a little while. But then we were back to me being the only guitar player.

Itís a difficult thing to revisit the Dominos thing. It isnít an emotional thing. Itís how do you make that work with a bigger band ó two keyboards, girl singers. It doesnít quite sound right. But it was infectious from Doyle and Derek: ďThey really want to do this stuff.Ē So I thought, ďThis is the perfect opportunity. Because they can do it.Ē

It was a great thing for me to do that tour with them. It was a little like the Crossroads festivals ó I could play a little bit, then sit back and listen, play rhythm.

How much does going back to these relationships you have with Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood and the Dominos period have to do with being sober? The first time around, you were not. Do you feel you are looking back because you can see more clearly?
I think that is true. My sobriety now is getting to be longer than my drinking period. I almost forget that the way I think and act now is different ó a hundred percent different. So yeah, there was a lot of unfinished business that needs to be resolved, cleared up, made amends for. But it is a result of the changed way that I think now.

Did that come up when you did those first reunion shows with Steve, at Crossroads in 2007, then in New York at Madison Square Garden?
We have talked about it a bit. I wrote my book [Clapton: The Autobiography] from that point of view ó to set the record straight on a lot of things, in terms of the way I drank and my sobriety. Steve, for instance, has read the book. Other people affected by my drinking have read the book. Weíve talked about the way it is now, to have relationships.

Was writing your autobiography a way of shedding a lot of weight?
I think it was. Iím so pleased I did it, but not to just let people know how it is for me now. Movie ideas have come up, biographical docudramas or whatever, that are so bizarre. You would laugh, really. There was one that came in, and the guy was adamant that we should go with this. He wanted to make a movie about the fact that in order to be a virtuoso, I had to kill all of my idols. So I murdered Stevie Ray [Vaughan] and Jimi [Hendrix], in order to become this guitar hero. He thought this was a great idea.

This was a genuine proposal?
A script ó a full manuscript, based on this premise. If the autobiography wasnít out there and something happened to me . . . . But there is a testament that says this is what happened and where. People have to respect that. Thank God.

http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2010/02/22/eric-clapton-on- revisiting-layla-sobriety-and-reflecting-on-his-life/

 
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True Peach



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  posted on 2/26/2010 at 09:29 PM
Hey Masahiko. Interesting little article. This part of the interview I don't remember reading in the current issue of RS. In the RS hardcopy there was an interesting bit about Clapton telling Haynes or Derek or someone right after they played IMOER at the Beacon that he (clapton) felt like he was playing/feeling like he did back in 1967. (if I recall right)
 

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  posted on 2/27/2010 at 04:14 AM
I'm blown away by this statement:

quote:
I had never run into many people who were that enthusiastic about it ó other than music fans.
I guess I'm kinda prejudiced, but I've long felt that D&D was his greatest period, short-lived as it was. He had taken his playing to new heights, the songwriting was great, and the band was amazing. I listen to D&D Live regularly and am still amazed by how great it is.

I also saw the '07-'08 tour and thought it was the best he's done. I didn't see any of the Cream shows, but did catch him with Winwood, and the earlier tour was far and away a more enjoyable show.

Its interesting to see how he feels kinda blase' about the D&D period that I see as the height of his career.

 

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  posted on 2/27/2010 at 12:27 PM
I just saw him on Thursday and he changed the setlist up a bit for the new leg of the tour. Badge, Old Love, Rock and Roll Heart were all played and quite well. He screwed up a lyric in Badge but the guitar parts were great. No Layla which I didn't mind since I saw it twice at the Beacon last year but a hurried up version of Crossroads for an encore. All in all a great show. Daltrey played 40-50 minutes and then Clapton played exactly an hour and a half.
 

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  posted on 2/27/2010 at 12:34 PM
Some more from RS.

How do you account for the fact that Jeff Beck isnít as big a rock star as you are?

He deliberately carved that image. I donít think he would deny that. He likes to be left alone. He wants to be underneath the car, working on the engines. He made that one record where he sang [the 1967 British hit "Hi Ho Silver Lining"], and rarely did it again. Thatís always a bone of contention. I had a chat with his manager Harvey [Goldsmith] after he signed Jeff. I said, ďAre you going to get him to sing?Ē He said, ďIíll try.Ē Good luck! But if he isnít motivated [to do it], I think heís missing something. Itís an enjoyable thing to do.

Most of the guitarists in that elite group that you mention [in the story] ó Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, B.B. King ó are singers. Jeff is not.

He sings when he plays. He has that melodic inventiveness that we were talking about yesterday [at Beck's house], that he puts into everything he plays. Derek [Trucks] is another one. I think Derek should sing. Because he has the same thing. He has a Voice.

A vocal mentality.
Exactly. But I would worry about the amount of sacrifice they would have to make in terms of their technique, in order to start focusing on being a vocalist.

Did you feel when you started singing regularly in the late Sixties that you had to dial back as a player?

Yeah. I donít think I did it consciously. But automatically, once you start applying your discipline to one part of your vocabulary, another part has to suffer to a certain extent.

Why does it have to suffer?

If youíre just talking about the amount of practice that you take to sing. Iím talking from my experience. My concentration will become focused on whether Iím pitching properly, whether my diction is okay, if the evenness of breathing is getting to all of the [melody] line, that Iím not losing the last part of the line because Iím running out of breath. And then Iíve got a guitar solo: ďOh God, I have to do that as well.Ē

Some kind of prioritizing has to go on. The thing with Derek and Jeff and guys like that is they have spent their entire lives, so far, focused on that one element that they created. They probably know, subconsciously, that they will lose a little bit of ground.

Did you like your voice when you started singing?

No. I do now. Itís taken me to be an older guy, an old man, to have an old manís voice. Because I only liked old menís voices. As a kid, I didnít like pip-squeaked singers. It was always someone with authority. And for a singer to have authority, they have to have some kind of social standing. Otherwise, itís fake.

So when you sang ďAfter MidnightĒ and ďLet It RainĒ on your first solo album, you didnít feel you were convincing in those roles.

No. I also suffered from a delusion that a lot of people share, from what I can see. Which is, if you sing at the top of your range, itís more expressive. So I figured out how high I could sing. Then I sang in that key. Itís a cop-out, because itís easier to pitch ó you just stretch. To sing in a lower key is harder work. You have to use your diaphragm more. All of these things come into play. And itís like, ďGod, I donít want to be bothered.Ē But thatís when it becomes authority. I didnít learn all of that ó itís just maturity.

 

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  posted on 2/27/2010 at 01:53 PM
quote:
I'm blown away by this statement:

quote:
I had never run into many people who were that enthusiastic about it ó other than music fans.
I guess I'm kinda prejudiced, but I've long felt that D&D was his greatest period, short-lived as it was. He had taken his playing to new heights, the songwriting was great, and the band was amazing. I listen to D&D Live regularly and am still amazed by how great it is.
.


Agree 100%. I think Layla is -- to me -- by far, the greatest album ever made. And, I agree that D&D live shows are -- to me -- my favorite examples of Eric's playing. Every D&D recording -- live and studio -- the INTENSITY just shines through. Music perfection.

 

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  posted on 2/27/2010 at 01:56 PM
quote:
I had never run into many people who were that enthusiastic about it ó other than music fans.


??? Gee who the "f" are you playing for anyway Eric??? Supermodels and watch manufacturers???

 

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  posted on 2/27/2010 at 02:11 PM
quote:
quote:
I had never run into many people who were that enthusiastic about it ó other than music fans.


??? Gee who the "f" are you playing for anyway Eric??? Supermodels and watch manufacturers???


My thoughts exactly. Love his playing....but that's quite an ignorant statement.

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/27/2010 at 07:33 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I had never run into many people who were that enthusiastic about it ó other than music fans.


??? Gee who the "f" are you playing for anyway Eric??? Supermodels and watch manufacturers???


My thoughts exactly. Love his playing....but that's quite an ignorant statement.



Nah, I think Clapton's right, here. In a crowd of 16,000 people at an arena for one of his shows, I'd bet that a VERY small percentage of the people there are "music fans" as he (I think) was using the term.

Most of the crowd knows his tunes from the radio, and that's why they're there. There's a reason artists of his stature feel compelled to have many of their shows seem like a live greatest hits album.

I'd say a very small percentage of people at his shows have the Layla album, and in fact, I'd go so far as to say that most people at a show don't have the first damn clue who Derek & the Dominos were, and think that "Layla" is an "Eric Clapton song".

That's where I think he was coming from, and like I say . . . it might be music snobbery, but he's right.

 

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  posted on 2/27/2010 at 07:36 PM
I'd agree, I know a lot of people who became fans after 'Tears in Heaven'

Edit: I may have to go buy this issue to read the whole thing, interested in the comments about Jeff Beck. Hard to feel sorry for Beck, I'm sure he has done alright, "purposely staying low key"

Now in hindsight, yes Clapton is the "super hero" stratosphere musician, but Jeff Beck is just cool.



[Edited on 2/28/2010 by heineken515]

 

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