All Things Must Pass Away: Harrison, Clapton, and Other Assorted Love Songs by Kenneth Womack and Jason Kruppa

As a huge Beatles and Clapton fan, I was hoping to find out things I didn’t know…I certainly did. No revelation about The Beatles but many about George who just started his life without them.

I’m more familiar with Harrison than Clapton but I did know some about him. They go through each artist’s history up until around 1972 and then do highlights after that. The book centers around the making of Harrison’s album All Things Must Pass and Clapton’s Derek and the Dominos Layla and Assorted Love Songs and their friendship.

The authors picked a point in time to concentrate on (70-72) …and they did in detail. From Phil Spector to the “Apple Scruffs” outside the studio’s door. They also cover Duane Allman, Tom Dowd, and more helping out Clapton on the Layla album.

Harrison and Clapton had a genuine and later complicated friendship that started in earnest in 1966 when they met while Clapton was in Cream and George in the Beatles.  Out of the two, George had a better childhood with a caring family and later his family with the Beatles. The Beatles were tight like brothers and although they fought…it was a love and closeness there.

Clapton had a rocky childhood where he was raised by his grandparents and his sister, he found out later, was really his mom. He felt abandoned and that partly explains the reason Clapton never stayed in a band more than a few years. He never wavered in his friendship with Harrison though.

The book would not be complete without getting into the Patti Boyd-George Harrison-Eric Clapton triangle. Clapton wanted Patti for years, but she resisted him, and he turned into a heroin addict. They didn’t get together until Harrison and Boyd split up and Clapton got off heroin. The cause of the Harrison Boyd separation was said not to have anything to do with Clapton. Drugs and a certain affair that they could not get past was part of it.

They remained friends for the rest of their lives and while they always got along…George would occasionally throw a verbal jab about Boyd and Clapton…which was his sense of humor but uncomfortable sometimes for Clapton and those around, but he never said anything publicly about it.

George and Eric helped each other musically throughout their careers. Clapton formed a backing band for a tour of Japan in the early 90s for Harrison.

After George’s death…George’s wife Oliva called on Clapton to put together a show… Concert for George…with musicians from Harrison’s past. That show was Concert for George. There were many special moments in that show. The one for me personally would be Paul McCartney singing All Things Must Pass.

I would highly reccomend this book!

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

49 thoughts on “All Things Must Pass Away: Harrison, Clapton, and Other Assorted Love Songs by Kenneth Womack and Jason Kruppa”

  1. I didn’t know about this book. It sounds very worth reading. I bought Clapton’s bio, and have never read past the first few pages. No reason other than less interest on my part. This book might bridge that gap. Nicely written review.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was just released in July. Womack has been releasing quite a bit of Beatle books while everyone is waiting on Mark Lewisohn to write part two of his Volume.
      It’s a good book…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There is one called Here Comes The Sun by Joshua Green that’s not bad.
      BTW Thanks for the Ronnie Dawson info… what an interesting career. I’m almost finished with it.

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      1. Glad you are checking up on him. He was a good friend of mine. He passed from lung cancer and had never smoked a ciggie in his life. All the years of playing those smoke filled clubs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The thing that got me is he really took off in the 80s in the UK after having mostly regional success over here.

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      3. He played a lot in the UK. He played with the band my father was in , The Light Crust Doughboys for years, off and on. They were western swing and he was rock n roll, but he came to love country and was an excellent country artist. He was on American Bandstand twice, but never achieved the fame that many with less talent did. I will do a post on him along with some early pictures. The last time I spoke to Ronnie was when my father passed and Ronnie was out of the country. He called me as soon as he returned. He passed away in 2003 which was a shock because he was a health and running nut.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thanks Phil… You would think Bandstand would have propelled him.
        The song I picked out was Rockin’ Bones. Very cool song. I’m glad he got to see the appreciation for his music in the later part.

        I see where he was expelled from Southwestern Bible Institute….I had to chuckle at that.

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      5. Yeah, his parents, especially his mother was very religious. His dad was a big band leader so of course Ronnie was destined to be a musician. He chose RR. In the mid 70s he had a nightclub on Mockingbird lane that was popular for a few years. He named it after his favorite aunt, Aunt Emma’s. I’ll post some pics of him soon. Rockin Bones was his biggest hit.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The work on the albums and a cool story about Phil Collins are the best parts. Those albums have a huge story with both of them…All Things Must Pass went on and on….

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      1. me too! It’s funny, but one brother in law of mine (the ‘difficult’ one) likes classic rock but hates Clapton – absolutely gets mad when he hears the name – because of the Patti episode. He likes the Beatles more.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is great…I can see that….some people got really upset. Dave we just got back from meeting some friends….I’m about to read now. I only replied when I could.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a good book. They were in different places and were different people but close. Just the amount of work George did on that album is incredible…and it explains Clapton a bit and why he is like he is.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes he is…. He was not a guitar player who could improvise well but he played for the song… I tell people…would Clapton really fit into most Beatle songs?
      He did reinvent himself with the slide guitar and had his own sound.

      You read Revolution in the Head right? Ian McDonald? He didn’t like George’s songs as much either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve read Revolution in the Head but it was years ago – I don’t remember him disliking George’s songs. He generally found the later stuff weaker – I agree with him, but it doesn’t apply to George so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If I recall right…which I’m going to check because it’s been a while…it was George’s Abbey Road songs….which totally surprised me.
        I will check though…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like an interesting book, Max. Given the love triangle, it is remarkable George and Clapton remained friends and kept working with each other.

    The video clips are great as well. I loved the Concert for George. Every time I see Dhani Harrison, I’m amazed how much he looks like his dad did.

    Of course the best live version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was the one without Clapton at the George Harrison tribute at the 2004 Rock Hall induction. That was the moment in time when I finally realized what a killer guitarist Prince was. Nothing against Clapton’s skills, but Prince took that song to a new level.

    The fireworks start at around 3:30 minutes. Sorry, I couldn’t resist including the clip – undoubtedly, one of the greatest moments in rock & roll!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea the most cool thing about the book Christian is how much work George put into All Things Must Past….it truly surprised me! Clapton and Allman also worked so well together on Layla…that was the two biggest things I got out of it.
      It was the first time he had a blank canvas…and a big surprise is he probably would have went back to the Beatles IF they would have regrouped before it was released…He wanted them to do solo albums and then get together and do Beatle albums.

      I love that version of WMGGW! Prince’s solo is awesome. Yea he was ready for it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Clapton’s and Allman’s work on Layla was fascinating. Tom Dowd talked about it in the amazing documentary “Tom Dowd And The Language Of Music”. Have you ever watched this film? Handsdown one of the best music documentaries I’ve seen.

        Jim from Music Enthusiast pointed the film out to me in February 2018. The reason why I remember this so exactly is I watched the documentary at the time and did a post on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I dd see that…it’s been a while…I love it. I need to revisit it.
        The tour also that they took afterward…of course by the time they got to England…Clapton…as usual got kind of tired of the Dominios and started to think about leaving….I don’t think he stayed in a band over 3 years.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your confidence, Max! 🙂

        On a more serious note, I think you’re right. While you need a certain degree of command of your instrument, at the end of the day, it’s more about feel and showing the joy you get from playing.

        The latter is one of the things that still impresses me about Paul McCartney. You can really feel what a ball he has when performing. Of course, he also has a great skill set as a musician.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He does play by feel…all of…oh I mentioned 3 bass players in my post today…all of them play by feel…it makes a huge difference than just playing the required skills…if you put something of you in it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like they covered an area I’m interested in. Will add it to my reading list. I know it sounds strange but George had a bit of being a savior about him. Look at the people, places, and things he took an interest in and supported. Eric, Billy, Gilliam movies, Bangla Desh starvation, bringing Indian music to the American people, the Quentin Crisp estate. He brought a lot of light to a lot of lives.

    I like the videos you have here also. He looks distinctly uncomfortable in the interview but he gets his messages across despite it. Never saw the one with Geo, Eric, and Leon before. Eric’s guitar looks way too big to play easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He really did bring a lot to everyone. They really concentrate on those two albums and George put everything in it. A really cool story was of him writing Apple Scruffs and playing the song to them in the studio.

      I never saw the one with Leon and Eric either…but Eric was in his heroin addiction at that part. George had to buy him some for him to even get to New York. George thought getting him out would help.

      What I liked about the book is they did not dominate it with George-Patti-Eric. I think one of the reasons George was nice about it is because of the problems Patti and him had…especially the Maureen Starkey incident.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’ll say…it was probably drug induced but George and her had an affair…he told Ringo he loved his wife right in front of Patti…after that…it went downhill quickly.
        Like I said…doesn’t excuse it but drugs…proably cocaine had a lot to do with it. Patti and Maureen were good friends…she regretted it and I’m sure George did .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh dear. What makes George a role model for me is that he wasn’t afraid to be human, warts and all. I love watching him stumble or fall in videos. This was a big stumble. Interesting that the book says Patti and Eric got together only after she and Geo parted ways?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes they were separated…not divorced but separated…plus Clapton was on tour and not on heroin. It gives a new perspective….I do believe Patti and George loved each other but the drugs through that time…were crazy.
        Oh I know he regretted it… if not for Patti for Ringo.

        Liked by 1 person

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