Should Clapton have really played a strat for this?

Mjark

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Forgiving is one of those words that bothers me in this context. Maybe it means brighter?

That’s certainly the main difference between the Cream records and this performance. Clapton plays much brighter/cleaner on especially Fresh Cream which is my favorite.
 

deytookerjaabs

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Forgiving is one of those words that bothers me in this context. Maybe it means brighter?

That’s certainly the main difference between the Cream records and this performance. Clapton plays much brighter/cleaner on especially Fresh Cream which is my favorite.

Brighter is one part of it. "In your face?" maybe? That brightness, if it's two full stacks behind your head is unforgiving. Your ears & sensibility react to it. Whereas, if that was a smaller package where the notes didn't attack your body you could attack the guitar as hard as you like.

I'd say it's like going out on a windy day in a little sailboat versus a motorboat. The latter will do what you like with the push of a button, the other you have to wrangle into the right spot or else there's hell to pay.

I have massive respect for those early electric cats who just had a guitar, maybe a pedal or two, and old 50/100w Marshall stacks. They carved individual identities in their playing while at the same time pleased enough folks to show up to the gigs.
 

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Clapton had a lot of "glory days" playing Strats, too!

Very much so. His Cream days are just before when I started listening to him. That doesn't mean I can't *love* the material--"Badge" is a thing of beauty! But his dozens of recordings of him playing the same song with a Strat sound "right" to me live--it still brings the song out!
 

Blackmore Fan

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I saw one of those shows and it was a lot fuller in person. Jack stole the show though. But, I was also hoping he'd show up with a Gibby.

As for his tone, he lost that meandering around on Ocean Blvd. Intentionally on his part, clearly. I haven't liked more than a half a handfull of his songs or his tone since the Dominoes days. YMMV.

461 Ocean Boulevard is a monster album--so much good stuff there.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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I think I figured out the Eric Clapton thing - the "Clapton is god" thing happened around the time of the Bluesbreakers album. I gave it a listen a while ago and I can see how his playing at that time was way ahead of everyone else, the aggressive vibrato, the cranked-up Marshall.... that blew everyone away (and it still sounds great). I think what happened is that the "Clapton is god" reputation continued through Cream and into his stratocaster solo career, when his playing and tone were completely different, and that's why a lot of people (primarily guitarists who never heard his Bluesbreakers work) became bewildered, couldn't figure it out. That, plus Bluesbreakers was quickly followed by a whole new breed of guitar players using lots of distortion and tons of volume, etc., so his early stuff sort of got lost in the shuffle. But it likely influenced pretty much everyone who came after him around that time.
 

Swirling Snow

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I think I figured out the Eric Clapton thing - the "Clapton is god" thing happened around the time of the Bluesbreakers album. I gave it a listen a while ago and I can see how his playing at that time was way ahead of everyone else, the aggressive vibrato, the cranked-up Marshall.... that blew everyone away (and it still sounds great). I think what happened is that the "Clapton is god" reputation continued through Cream and into his stratocaster solo career, when his playing and tone were completely different, and that's why a lot of people (primarily guitarists who never heard his Bluesbreakers work) became bewildered, couldn't figure it out. That, plus Bluesbreakers was quickly followed by a whole new breed of guitar players using lots of distortion and tons of volume, etc., so his early stuff sort of got lost in the shuffle. But it likely influenced pretty much everyone who came after him around that time.
On this, you are quite right. The "Beano" album was mostly unknown during the 70's. Even 'BCN didn't have it in rotation.

Personally, I think Eric felt he was a fraud who couldn't live up to other's expectations. Hendrix blew everyone away. Beck responded with "Truth", "Led Zeppelin" was over the top and promised more... Ginger wanted to play jazz. It's a pity Blind Faith didn't work out.

His eponymous album sounds like heroin. He made the '59 Les Paul the most expensive guitar on the planet, and then walked away from that golden tone. Yeh, "bewildered" is a good word for that.
 

rand z

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On this, you are quite right. The "Beano" album was mostly unknown during the 70's. Even 'BCN didn't have it in rotation.

Personally, I think Eric felt he was a fraud who couldn't live up to other's expectations. Hendrix blew everyone away. Beck responded with "Truth", "Led Zeppelin" was over the top and promised more... Ginger wanted to play jazz. It's a pity Blind Faith didn't work out.

His eponymous album sounds like heroin. He made the '59 Les Paul the most expensive guitar on the planet, and then walked away from that golden tone. Yeh, "bewildered" is a good word for that.

Unfortunately, there is some truth to this^^^^.

I believe EC is, generally, an insecure person.

And, probably cursed with an addictive personality.

Music, and the Blues, was his way out (not unlike many others).

Fraud?

Maybe... especially after Hendrix appeared on the scene.

It was impossible to compete with Jimi, as he approached the instrument as a sonic landscape, ready to be explored.

The others were simply "guitar players."

....................................................................................................................................................

I knew a tour driver that worked for/with him back in the early 80's (RIP, Pat L).

He knew EC and would "party" with him and other members of the road crew in motel rooms after the shows.

He said EC was a good guy... that had to be "directed" at times.

Kinda fragile, I suppose.

I still have a lot of respect for Eric.

imo.
 

Edgar Allan Presley

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On the original topic, I'm with those who identified the difference in intensity being Clapton himself and not the make of his guitar.

I was born the year Clapton's Slowhand album came out, and though he was past his prime when I was learning, he was one of my early guitar heroes in middle school. I spent a lot of time playing along to his records I bought at yard sales. I'm no longer a fan, but I guess I still owe him a debt.
 

ASATKat

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This is my favorite Cream live for their unique way of jamming, they did nothing better imo, they had better songs but never better jamming.

I think this is his SG, yes/no??

Sweet Wine
 

Chiogtr4x

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The "Beano" album was Eric Clapton's "Van Halen I". I'm listening to it now (Clapton). He was tearing that thing up.

Maybe they were just following a Bluesbreaker template...
( could be the Les Paul into Marshall, or actual direction from John Mayall?- no idea)

... but those next two Bluesbreakers albums ( following Clapton) , A Hard Road ( Peter Green) and Crusade ( Mick Taylor), did not miss a beat in their guitar intensity
- I was always amazed how similarly, in places, ( say, on Freddie King covers, but other blues too) the 3 guitar players could sound like each other- power and passion- but I always wonder if when playing in the Bluesbreakers, if 'Clapton was in their ear'- in places.

( I know "Supernatural" broke with that- it was 'pre-Santana,Santana')
 

Swirling Snow

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Maybe they were just following a Bluesbreaker template...
( could be the Les Paul into Marshall, or actual direction from John Mayall?- no idea)

... but those next two Bluesbreakers albums ( following Clapton) , A Hard Road ( Peter Green) and Crusade ( Mick Taylor), did not miss a beat in their guitar intensity
- I was always amazed how similarly, in places, ( say, on Freddie King covers, but other blues too) the 3 guitar players could sound like each other- power and passion- but I always wonder if when playing in the Bluesbreakers, if 'Clapton was in their ear'- in places.

( I know "Supernatural" broke with that- it was 'pre-Santana,Santana')
It's weird that there is a similar pattern for the Yardbirds. Eric came first, then two notables followed him as lead players in the band.

Might be Mayall that's in their heads. That Buddy fellow he was playing with recently was no slouch.
 

Mike M

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Clapton at his best, when he had just changed the nature of modern rock guitar sound and playing

 

Telenator

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Should have played a Strat? Yes. Absolutely. That's what he does.

If you want to hear all that music played on the original gear, then go spin one of the albums or watch one of the many videos available.
If you want to hear what these players have evolved into, and hear them play their old music in that vein, then listen to the excellent recordings/videos of what they did more recently. Take it as served.
Isn't it a little odd to have a famous group play something, and then be told by others how they should have done it?
 

Chiogtr4x

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Should have played a Strat? Yes. Absolutely. That's what he does.

If you want to hear all that music played on the original gear, then go spin one of the albums or watch one of the many videos available.
If you want to hear what these players have evolved into, and hear them play their old music in that vein, then listen to the excellent recordings/videos of what they did more recently. Take it as served.
Isn't it a little odd to have a famous group play something, and then be told by others how they should have done it?
I see your point, but just talking about this ONE moment...
If you are gonna do a Cream reunion show, why wouldn't you present what you know, folks wanted to hear and see? Even if just a one-off show.

Bring out 'The Fool' Guitars, get the hippie clothes and afros, and go for it- have fun!

Folks would have gone nuts, maybe lightened up, what seemed like a tense show.
Or just not do it if everyone ( Cream) were miserable
Just my opinion
 

421JAM

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I understand what everyone is saying, our tastes change, our styles and gear change; but I'm thinking for a Cream reunion it would have sounded a heck of a lot cooler if he plugged a Gibson into those amps. I'm sure he has one laying around somewhere...

100%

Yeah, they were in their 20s and people change, but when you advertise a reunion of an iconic band that was built around the guitar solos, it's reasonable to want to hear the original guitar sound, or as close to it as possible. When its something as simple and easy as using the right guitar, which you still own and use in other projects, it's arguably a matter of obstinance and spotlight stealing for him to use his "solo career" equipment.
 
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421JAM

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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.

Jack Bruce played a Gibson on those gigs, so it seems the problem may have been the amps and not the guitars. If he didn't try the Gibson with his regular Fender amps, then he's making excuses for using his Strat. Not that he has to make excuses. He can use whatever he wants. But anyone in the audience has just as much right to want to see and hear the Gibsons.
 
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Wildeman

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Not a big fan of Clapton/Strat tone after Derek and the Dominos. He had a few moments but mostly blahhh.
 

421JAM

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Is there anyone of his era still touring (besides former fellow Yardbird Jeff Beck), and releasing new music besides Derek?
Yes, lots. Here's a small sampling off the top of my head:

The Stones
The Who
Ray Davies
Fleetwood mac (until yesterday)
Bob Dylan
Robert Plant
Richard Thompson
John Fogerty
Elton John
John Sebastian
John McLaughlin
 




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