Should Clapton have really played a strat for this?

TheCheapGuitarist

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I never knew anything about Cream, except "White Room" and "Sunshine of Your Love", so I've been digging into the old stuff. Clapton's playing at the time was very aggressive and had lots of attitude.

Then I stumbled across this. To my ears, it seems far less aggressive but I can't tell if it's his playing or the fact that he's on a strat. Whatever the case, it's missing a lot of the impact I associate with his earlier playing. It's not bad, it's just missing something substantial.

 

brookdalebill

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When this concert was new, I wondered if EC and JB would play their Gibsons.
I’m not at all surprised that EC didn’t.
I thought they all acquitted themselves very well, in every way, BTW.
EC’s Strat has the mid-boost, and it works beautifully, IMO.
I’m really glad they reunited.
 

Swirling Snow

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Clapton's life was a lot harder than most of the bluesmen he admired. I'm not sure it's fair to compare his playing from before the heroin and the loss of his son to afterwards.

That said, the question of why the Jeans Generation is switching to Strats remains unanswered...

and as I say that, I realised my LP is in a case under the bed, and a new Strat hangs on the wall. NO!!! Not that.... not the 'O' word...
 

kuch

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I'm so glad is one of the "mellower" more "poppy" Cream songs to begin with. There are other songs where his playing is not as "aggressive" as some of the "heavier" stuff. Songs like "badge"
 

Controller

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Clapton's life was a lot harder than most of the bluesmen he admired. I'm not sure it's fair to compare his playing from before the heroin and the loss of his son to afterwards.

That said, the question of why the Jeans Generation is switching to Strats remains unanswered...

and as I say that, I realised my LP is in a case under the bed, and a new Strat hangs on the wall. NO!!! Not that.... not the 'O' word...

Good question. We all change over time, what we hear, what we play. I play with a lot less distortion now and, as a result, humbuckers are less the sound I am looking for. I seem to like subtlety and nuance in my playing and single coils serve that better for me, Teles specifically. I have never been a Strat guy but it is a good choice for expression IMO.
 

schmee

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Old man tone vs young man tone.
THIS. They are all already fairly old at that point, Not just guitar but vocal and attitude are different. White room was in his 20's. I also think that's more his attitude in general later on, on purpose.
Clapton still played his Gibsons a bit in concert in the later 90's. The old 335 sounded wonderful.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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Trouble is, he sold a lot of those guitars for charity. But yeh, I too was disappointed. There were others, but Clapton's "Beano" recording was pivotal in the 'Burst craze.
I've been a "so-so" fan of Clapton for a long time. My first exposure to him was the concert VHS he did on the Behind the Sun tour. I thought he looked bada** with that beat-up black strat, everything about him was cool. My first guitar was a Japanese Mako black strat copy. Over the years I sort of lost interest in his playing because it sort of ran its course with me. Then about a week ago I started checking out the Cream recordings and there is definitely a fire in his playing during those times. It's far easier to see how he got his reputation as a bada** guitarist from those recordings than from anything from the 70's on.
 

gitold

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I heard a interview with Clapton saying that for the first rehearsals him and Bruce brought in their Gibson bass and guitar’s with Marshall stacks and it just didn’t work. That said I always will like Clapton better with humbucker pickups.
 
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TheCheapGuitarist

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I heard a interview with Clapton saying that for the first rehearsals got the reunion him and Bruce brought in their Gibson bass and guitar’s with Marshall stacks and it just didn’t work. That said I always will like Clapton better with humbucker pickups.
My guess is that the reason it didn't work was because there was so much time spent away from that gear that it was no longer compatible with where their playing had progressed over the years.
 

rand z

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I believe Clapton's Strat works for some songs... but, others fall a little short of "girth."

As we know, humbuckers have a "Creamier" (pun intended) and naturally thicker tone to em.

A single coil, Strat, neck pu, is just going to fall short of that hb tone.

Even with the mid boost.

Especially, at achieving the "woman tone" he was noted for, at that time.

Some of those Cream classics require that "woman tone."

I dont believe a Strat is capable of getting that exact tone.


imo.
 

HaWE

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I heard a interview with Clapton saying that for the first rehearsals got the reunion him and Bruce brought in their Gibson bass and guitar’s with Marshall stacks and it just didn’t work. That said I always will like Clapton better with humbucker pickups.
I agree. For me, Eric Claptons best guitar sound was when playing with John Mayall and after that with Cream.
According to my taste, the "old" Cream was sounding much better.It not only the energy they had, it is also the overall sound .And I think a great part of this old "fat and rough" sound are a Gibson guitar and bass.
I know they all are older now and have gone through changes. But for me Cream sounded better in the old days.
But that is just my own personal opinion.There seems to be a reason why they did not use Gibsons and Marshalls for the reunion concert.
 

runstendt

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I’m pretty sure that I saw an interview where either Clapton or Pete Townshend said that a big part of the switch to Strats was that they are lighter and easier to play than a Les Paul. In fact, Gibson came out with a Townshend signature Les Paul a few years back and Pete played it for about half a song at a show before switching back to his Strat. I’m pretty sure that he plays a Clapton Signature Strat himself, or at least he did.
 

SnidelyWhiplash

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Clapton's life was a lot harder than most of the bluesmen he admired. I'm not sure it's fair to compare his playing from before the heroin and the loss of his son to afterwards.

That said, the question of why the Jeans Generation is switching to Strats remains unanswered...

and as I say that, I realised my LP is in a case under the bed, and a new Strat hangs on the wall. NO!!! Not that.... not the 'O' word...

A lot harder??? 100% b.s. 😠
 




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