Crazy Clapton conversation

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Charlie Bernstein, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm 67. The other day I was talking to a guy, Jon, who's about forty and a terrific piano player. He especially digs radio pop and Professor Longhair.

    Somehow we started talking about Clapton. He doesn't think Clapton is particularly impressive - just another blues-rocker.

    I tried to tell him how revolutionary Cream (and the Jimi Hendrix Experience) were at the time.

    Jon's position was that Clapton is a one-trick pony. I said there's a difference between driving a car well and inventing the wheel.

    He saw nothing inventive about Clapton and was completely resistant to the idea that Clapton made much of a contribution to popular music. I tried pointing out how imitated Clapton has been over the years, but Jon didn't see it at all.

    Now, I like a lot of Eric's music, but there are plenty of artists I enjoy more. So I wasn't saying he's the world's greatest muscian (who is?) or trying to pump him up. I was just trying to place him correctly in rock 'n' roll history.

    It reminds me of a thread here a few years ago. Some young guy was marveling at how dorky Donovan sounds and wondered who was cool to listen to back then. Uh - Donovan!

    Maybe if you weren't a teenager in the sixties you have a strange picture of what was going on.
     
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  2. NothingGoatboat

    NothingGoatboat Tele-Meister

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    I think it's because so many people play blues rock now, it's over saturated the market... So when they hear Clapton (who is great), they just hear yet another of millions of blues-rockers. Clapton inspired all of these modern players, but it's so commonplace now people don't realize the impact he made.
     
  3. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    This is just one of Eric's cars:
    landscape_nrm_1423448993-sp12_ec_001.jpg

    Somehow I think he will survive your friends idea that he's just another "blues-rocker"
     
  4. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    see if he can distinguish between formal and social influence

    my .02 is that Clapton didn't push western harmony forward or anything like that: his influence was as a passionate and very skilled enthusiast who had a big *social* effect

    Clapton was cool, and he made the blues cool for a much bigger audience at that time

    and he could play his butt off when he wanted to
     
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  5. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Clapton did start a lot of good things. Yes, compared in today's world he is not very inventive. Or not as unique as SRV etc. But his acoustic work is very cool as well. I think my favorite Clapton is the Unplugged album actually. Woman Tone is really his invention as well.
    His best thing is actually his songs and songwriting, and the majority of his best are not blues at all.
    The '97 Hyde Park is one of the best concerts I have ever seen. The big band, the great side players and most arrangements are special, so he doesn't leave you predicting the songs of his you already know.
    And I agree with NothingGoatboat entirely.
     
  6. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    He was there when British musicians "saved the blues". Brought it to the attention of large numbers of people. Whether he was/is a brilliant player might be open to debate, but he was good enough to become a leading figure in the movement.
     
  7. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    I wonder if he's aware of where Professor Longhair's style came from?
    Early in his life he'd played with some Afro-Caribe musicians and was doing Afro-Cuban Rumba style music.
    He took those influences and added some R&B styling.
    I find Professor Longhair very much the "one-trick pony". I do acknowledge his influence on Dr. John and Alan Toussaint. They both stated he was an influence of theirs.

    Clapton isn't appreciated by younger people. They think he started and stopped at Lay Down Sally and Lovely Tonight.
    I gave up many years ago trying to tell people how great some of my idols were.
    They have their own idols. So be it.
     
  8. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

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    It's like my 'Beatles-are-everything' buddy that was bagging on Buddy Holly and how 'boring' he was. I said, "That's not that what John, Paul, George and Ringo thought."
    Some people miss the big picture.
     
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  9. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    People tend to discount innovation after it has been absorbed into our collective thinking.
    Now most guitar players can learn to play a Van Halen tune in minutes watching a YouTube video, so the complexity and innovation that Eddie displayed in 1977 goes under appreciated by new players.
    But for those of us who heard it for the first time back in 77, it was earth shaking.
    That’s just the way humans are, it’s like that in every aspect of life, no getting around it.
     
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  10. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    John and Paul stated they idolized The Everly Bros too. The early Beatles songs were examples of that. Their harmonies were influenced by them.
    Not to overlook Little Richard, Roy Orbison, etc. all Beatles influences.
     
  11. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Afflicted

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    SRV inventive? nah... all he did was Clapton and Hendrix licks. don't forget Jeff Beck, he was the other innovator at the time. oh ya, and that Page guy...
     
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  12. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Both Clapton and Hendrix get that treatment from younger listeners. How many times have we seen posts here dogging Jimi because his guitar went out of tune when he played live?

    What's missing is a realization of where guitar in rock was before Clapton and Hendrix completely revolutionized it. You definitely had to be there.

    (And I know I'm leaving out a ton of other guitarists from the era who helped re-define rock guitar. But EC and Jimi were at the forefront.)

    - D
     
  13. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    I was an Albert King fan long before SRV came along. I think SRV's biggest blues influence was Albert. Albert also influenced Clapton.

     
  14. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo Tele-Meister

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    I agree with this above about Albert and SRV. While SRV had many influences, the influence I hear him playing frequently is Albert King. Nothing wrong with that at all. In early period Clapton I hear more Freddie King than Albert King. Nothing wrong with that either.
     
  15. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh yea, Freddie influenced Eric and they were friends too.
    Clapton did Strange Brew with Cream which was 100% Albert solo. But that's ok, we all have influences.
    I bought the Clapton and B.B. King CD called Riding With The King and was amazed how much B.B. influenced Clapton. I probably learned every Clapton solo from Cream and some of his solo stuff when i was younger and never made the connection till I heard that CD.
    I highly recommend it.
     
  16. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    When it comes to SRV, why is it that most people don't realize who Stevie's biggest influence was....it was his older brother, JLV, Stevie's own words....


    RJ
     
  17. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Its pretty predictable how the typical Boomer a.k.a. teenager in the 60s, always mentions Cream first when they talk about Clapton.

    Actually many say The Cream.

    Like what you like, there’s no right or wrong.

    I didn’t become a teenager until 1976 and Cream was a favorite band of mine around that time too because of an older sisters record collection, but my favorite of anything he did is either BluesBreakers or the 70s blow dryed/cocaine/booze Clapton stuff of Mainline Florida or The Core.

    Clapton being Clapton.


    You should’ve rolled your eyes when he mentioned Professor Longhair and said “don’t you mean James Booker ...?”

    Ha ! Piano players ...:rolleyes:
     
  18. 41144

    41144 Tele-Holic

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    Thinkin' 'bout the times you drove in my car! ;)

    I know Eric has his naysayers but he was so influential on a whole generation of young players. As others have said … you had to be there.
     
  19. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    Jim;y might be great , I haven't listened a lot
    What I have heard from the older Vaughn is mostly " plink , plink , ploink " , sorry...
    Clapton was a part of something unique back then , and one of the best. Cream , oh no , please not........yes , back then , but I would really prefer not too hear any of it today.....
    It was a part of pop culture back then , and Clapton stood out compared to Beck , Blackmore and Page.....because he was also a singer.....
    To those not that crazy about guitar , the singer is at least as important....
    Clapton have great timing , both in his singing and playing , and there are a lot to be learned from that
    Pure guitar skills....meh , for at least 4 decades , IMO
     
  20. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    Buddy Holly is the skipper over missing link when people mention "Elvis then the Beatles. .." in anything. Buddy saw elvis, did his thing after that. Beatles saw buddy, did thier thing after that.

    Some random teenager in 2019 (or 2009, or 1999, or 1989...) hearing a Buddy Holly song for the first time will be able to tell you what word comes next in the rhyme scheme, and probably say it sounds like every popular song ever. This is incorrect; every popular song ever just sounds like Buddy Holly.
    ;)

    Clapton is now relegated to classic blues rock status, which is unfair, but time does that. Actually, most of the "legend" behind Robert Johnson is Son House mis-gaging the amount of time between when he heard him play first and when he got good. (And then spreading that "overnight " improvement story).
    Justin Beiber was (iirc) one of those child drum prodigies befor whatever he is now.
    Time doesn't always leave us in a state where what we really did is remembered, as Michael Jackson fans found out.

    Hopefully time swings back to giving Clapton more credit though.
     
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