George Harrison – Cloud 9

This song was the title track of Georges 1987’s superb album. Song starts off with Harrison and Clapton trading licks and George matches him with his slide guitar. George was not a virtuoso type of guitar player but he was one of the best slide guitarists in the business. Guitar players are still trying to get his tone.

George wasn’t a self-indulgent guitar player…he always played for the song and always gave the song what it needed.

I love the blues-tone that Jeff Lynne got out of this production. He emphasized the bass drum and the bass to make it sound grounded.

Although the album was titled Cloud Nine, Harrison decided to use the numeric “9” in the song’s title to avoid confusion with the Temptations’ 1968 hit song “Cloud Nine.”

The song wasn’t released as a single but it’s a great-sounding song. This album marked a huge comeback for George. This album peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, and #10 in the UK in 1988.

After this album, George formed the Travelin Wilburys.

Cloud 9

Have my love
It fits you like a glove
Join my dream, tell me yes
Bail out should there be a mess
The pieces you don’t need are mine

Take my time
I’ll show you cloud nine
Take my smile and my heart
They were yours from the start
The pieces to omit are mine

Have my love
Use it while it does you good
Share my highs but the times
That it hurts pay no mind
The pieces you don’t need are mine

I’ll see you there on cloud nine

Take my hope
Maybe even share a joke
If there’s good to be shown
You may make it all your own
And if you want to quit that’s fine
While you’re out looking for cloud nine

Eric Clapton – Lay Down Sally

This was made during a period where Eric was doing some country-inspired songs. I love the intro and the guitar in the song.

The song was written by Eric Clapton, Marcy Levy, and George Terry. This was released as a single with Cocaine as the B side.

Marcy Levy, one of Clapton’s backup singers, wrote this with him and sang on it. Also getting a songwriting credit on this track is George Terry, who also played guitar on the track. Terry was a member of Clapton’s band.

Lay Down Sally is one of Clapton’s biggest American hits. He wrote it in the style of one of his favorite songwriters, the Oklahoma musician J.J. Cale…Clapton said the song was as close as an Englishman could get to being J.J. Cale.

The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #39 in the UK in 1978. The song was on the album Slowhand.

From Songfacts

In this song, Clapton tries to convince a girl to hang out with him in bed instead of leaving. The song is not typical of Clapton’s work, which is often based on the blues.

“Lay Down Sally” is grammatically incorrect, as it would mean taking Sally and actually placing her horizontally. When asking Sally to join him in bed, Clapton’s correct grammar would be “Lie Down Sally.” He’s in good company: Bob Dylan also ignored this rule of grammar in “Lay Lady Lay.” 

Eric Clapton once had his hand slammed in a car door by a member of the band The Blues Project. As told in Al Kooper’s Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards, during the landmark 1967 concert “Murray the K’s Easter Rock Extravaganza,” Clapton, Steve Katz, and Kooper headed out to a local music store between sets and were a little late getting back. Hurrying out of the cab, “Steve was right behind me and as he left the cab he accidentally slammed the door right on Clapton’s hand! Eric began to scream in pain, and Steve turned around, ran back, and opened the door. Miraculously, Eric hadn’t broken any bones or even punctured his skin for that matter. Steve felt like a jerk, however. Can you imagine that kind of guilt?”

This is the first track on the album. Depending on who you ask, “Slowhand” was either a nickname given to Clapton by the group’s manager when he was with The Yardbirds (because of his laid-back guitar style), or derived from what would happen when Clapton would break a string on stage: the audience would do a “slow hand clap” while he fixed it.

Lay Down Sally

There is nothing that is wrong
In wanting you to stay here with me
I know you’ve got somewhere to go
But won’t you make yourself at home and stay with me?
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

The sun ain’t nearly on the rise
And we still got the moon and stars above
Underneath the velvet skies
Love is all that matters
Won’t you stay with me?
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

I long to see the morning light
Coloring your face so dreamily
So don’t you go and say goodbye
You can lay your worries down and stay with me
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

Eric Clapton – Cocaine

This song has been covered by so many bar bands that the smell of beer comes with the song.

This was written and originally recorded by no other than J.J. Cale. Clapton gave Cale a huge boost he recorded Cale’s song “After Midnight” in 1970 and released it as his first solo single. This helped earn Cale a record deal.

This was on Clapton’s album Slowhand. The version that was a hit was the live version from Just One Night. 

Thighs Wide Shut | Tag Archive | No Snow No Show

In his autobiography Clapton, Clapton said when he recorded this song he had kicked a serious heroin habit but was filling his body with cocaine and alcohol. His attitude at the time was that he could manage his addiction and quit at any time…he just didn’t want to; that’s why he could sing so objectively about a drug that was consuming him.

After he cleaned up, Clapton removed this song from his setlist because he thought it gave the wrong message about cocaine use. He started playing it again after he rearranged the song to include the line, “That dirty cocaine” into the choruses.

The song peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100 and #3 in Canada in 1980.

 

From Songfacts

When Clapton was looking for songs for his Slowhand album, he once again looked to Cale, and chose “Cocaine,” which became the first song on the set. Clapton would later cover Cale’s song “Travelin’ Light,” and in 2006, the pair teamed up to record an album together called The Road To Escondido.

The lyrics are about drug addiction, something Clapton knew quite well. As he When he finally did get off drugs and alcohol, he had to learn how to make music while sober, which was a big transition as everything sounded very rough to him. He also realized how damaging his addiction was to himself and others on a personal level, and became active in helping others get through their addictions; in 1998 he opened the Crossroads rehab center in Antigua, where clients go through a 29 day wellness-centered approach to treatment.

During the Slowhand sessions, Clapton and his band got to see a J.J. Cale concert, and Cale brought Clapton on stage to duet on this song.

This is one of Clapton’s most famous songs, but the studio version was never released as a single. Clapton included the song on his 1980 live album Just One Night (Live At Budokhan), and the version from this show was released as the B-side of “Tulsa Time,” which was also taken from the concert. This single charted at #30 in the US.

When J.J. Cale wrote this song, he envisioned it as a jazz number. His producer, Audie Ashworth, convinced him to make it a rocker, which required some overdubbing by Cale, since he played very simple guitar parts. Cale did three single-string overdubs of the riff. He played the bass himself, but had session pro Reggie Young play the guitar solo. Clapton’s version has a much more complex guitar line and vocals that are more prominent in the mix.

After Clapton recorded this song, J.J. Cale saw many new faces at his concerts, but many of them expected him to sound like Clapton. Cale didn’t conform, and took a more laid-back approach to his next album, 5, which was released in 1979. There were no hits on that one, although a Santana cover of one of the cuts, “The Sensitive Kind,” made #56 in 1981.

Cocaine

If you want to hang out, you’ve gotta take her out, cocaine
If you want to get down, get down on the ground, cocaine

She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie,
Cocaine

If you got that lose, you want to kick them blues, cocaine
When your day is done, and you want to ride on cocaine

She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie,
Cocaine

If your day is gone, and you want to ride on, cocaine
Don’t forget this fact, you can’t get it back, cocaine

She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie,
Cocaine

She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie,
Cocaine

Eric Clapton – Before You Accuse Me

When I think of lead guitar players…Eric Clapton is usually the first to automatically come to mind. I’ve seen Clapton twice and was always impressed with his trademark blues licks. His Cream era guitar playing influenced generations of guitar players.

This is a song I don’t hear as much anymore and I’ve always liked it. This song was written and originally recorded by the rock pioneer Bo Diddley in 1957.

He never considered putting it on a record until guitarist Robert Cray and drummer Jim Keltner started jamming on the song one day in the studio during the Journeyman sessions. The Cray/Clapton combo on this song makes it a favorite of guitar fans.

Eric released the song as the B-side of “Bad Love,” the first single from Journeyman. …I like this one better than the A side.

Before You Accuse Me

Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself
Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself
You say I’ve been spending my money on other women
You’ve been taking money from someone else

I called your mama ’bout three or four nights ago
I called your mama ’bout three or four nights ago
Well your mother said “Son”
“Don’t call my daughter no more”

Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself
Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself
You say I’ve been spending my money on other women
You’ve been taking money from someone else

Come back home baby, try my love one more time
Come back home baby, try my love one more time
If I don’t go on and quit you
I’m gonna lose my mind

Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself
Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself
You say I’ve been spending my money on other women
You’ve been taking money from someone else

John Lennon – Cold Turkey

Not the most pleasant song available from John but it does get your attention. I do like the guitar sound that John and Eric Clapton get in this song.

This song is about drug withdrawal. Quitting “Cold Turkey” means abruptly stopping drug use and the effect it has on your body and mind. John Lennon quit cold turkey because he wanted to get off drugs and start a family with Yoko.

John wanted to record this with the Beatles but they rejected it so he went off and recorded it on his own.

Eric Clapton and John played guitar on this, Ringo drummed, and Klaus Voormann played the bass, It was released as a single in 1969 as The Plastic Ono Band. The song peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100, #14 in the UK, and #30 in Canada.

This was Lennon’s second single away from The Beatles. “Give Peace A Chance” was released a few months earlier. This was also the first song John took complete credit for as he dropped the McCartney from Lennon and McCartney.

Its first public performance on September 13, 1969, was recorded and released on the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album by the Plastic Ono Band.

John Lennon: “Cold Turkey was banned. They thought it was a pro-drugs song. But I’ve always expressed what I’ve been feeling or thinking at the time. So I was just writing the experience I’d had of withdrawing from heroin. To some it was a rock ‘n’ roll version of The Man With The Golden Arm because it showed Frank Sinatra suffering from drug withdrawal.”

From Songfacts

Lennon performed this on September 13, 1969 at The Toronto Rock and Revival Show, where he introduced his Plastic Ono Band (at least the configuration of it for this show). Eric Clapton was on guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass, and Alan White on drums. Yoko Ono was also part of the act, and she made an impact during “Cold Turkey.” As the song played, she emerged from a bag on stage, stepped up to a microphone, and made turkey-sounding noises (not out of character). The set was released as a live album called Live Peace In Toronto 1969.

Eric Clapton played some of the guitar on this. Lennon asked Clapton to join The Plastic Ono Band, but Eric declined.

Lennon wrote and recorded this song before attending Arthur Janov’s Primal Scream therapy workshop, which played a part in his song “Mother.” The screams he used in “Cold Turkey,” he was actually emulating Yoko singing.

When John Lennon decided to return his MBE (Member of the British Empire) award on November 25, 1969, he sent it to Queen Elizabeth II with a note explaining, “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.”

Cold Turkey

Temperature’s rising
Fever is high
Can’t see no future
Can’t see no sky

My feet are so heavy
So is my head
I wish I was a baby
I wish I was dead

Cold turkey has got me on the run
My body is aching
Goose-pimple bone
Can’t see no body
Leave me alone

My eyes are wide open
Can’t get to sleep
One thing I’m sure of
I’m at the deep freeze

Cold turkey has got me on the run
Cold turkey has got me on the run

Thirty-six hours
Rolling in pain
Praying to someone
Free me again

Oh I’ll be a good boy
Please make me well
I promise you anything
Get me out of this hell

Cold turkey has got me on the run

Toronto Rock and Roll Revival 1969

Since I posted Paul McCartney’s Concert for Kampuchea yesterday I thought I would concentrate on the festival John Lennon popped up at in 1969… The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival. Unlike Kampuchea which was spread out on multiple days and nights, this festival was held on one day September 13, 1969.

John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band just played fifties songs plus John’s new song that Beatles rejected…Cold Turkey. The reason for the fifties’ songs was because the band had limited time to rehearse and they wanted to do songs they all knew.

It was a great festival lineup but it’s remembered mostly by John Lennon’s participation. The Doors were the headliners and John only agreed to do it

The concert was conceived by promoters John Brower and Ken Walker with financial backing from Eaton’s department store but stymied by poor ticket sales, the venture began to lose support. The festival was almost canceled but Brower called Apple Records in the UK to ask John Lennon to emcee the concert. Lennon agreed to appear on the condition he would be allowed to perform.

The Lennons flew in from England with a makeshift band that included Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, Alan White, and Yoko. They arrived at the backstage area at about 10 p.m, while Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys were singing Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll to an audience of about 20,000.

Lennon was quoted as saying “I threw up for hours until I went on” because it had been three years since he played live in a concert setting. The band went on and did a good job…ragged but it was a hastily assembled band with only a rehearsal on the plane ride and backstage.

John Lennon:  “The ridiculous thing was that I didn’t know any of the lyrics. When we did Money and Dizzy, I just made up the words as I went along. The band was bashing it out like hell behind me. Yoko came on stage with us, but she wasn’t going to do her bit until we’d done our five songs….Then after Money there was a stop, and I turned to Eric and said, ‘What’s next?’ He didn’t know either, so I just screamed out ‘C’mon!’ and started into something else.”

Little Richard: “I remember the show that people were throwing bottles at Yoko Ono. They were throwing everything at her. Finally, she had to run off the stage. Oh, boy, it was very bad.”

John Lennon: And we tried to put it out on Capitol, and Capitol didn’t want to put it out. They said, ‘This is garbage; we’re not going to put it out with her screaming on one side and you doing this sort of live stuff. And they just refused to put it out. But we finally persuaded them that, you know, people might buy this. Of course it went gold the next day.”

John Lennon and Yoko’s setlist

  • Blue Suede Shoes.
  • Money (That’s What I Want)
  • Dizzy Miss Lizzy.
  • Yer Blues.
  • Cold Turkey.
  • Give Peace a Chance.
  • Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)
  • John John (Let’s Hope for Peace)

Performers 

John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

Whiskey Howl

Bo Diddley

Chicago

Junior Walker and the All Stars

Tony Joe White

Alice Cooper

Chuck Berry

Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys

Jerry Lee Lewis

Gene Vincent

Little Richard

Doug Kershaw

The Doors

Kim Fowley The Master of Ceremonies

Screaming Lord Sutch

Eric Clapton – Willie and The Hand Jive

Johnny Otis wrote this song and had a hit with it in 1958. It peaked at  #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #5 on the Billboard R&B chart. The song had a Bo Diddley type rhythm to it and it’s such a great groove.

Both versions are great…I think out of the two I favor Johnny’s version.

Eric Clapton included this song on his classic album 461 Ocean Boulevard. Willie and The Hand Jive peaked at #27 for Eric in the Billboard 100 in 1974.

The origin of the song came when one of Otis’ managers, Hal Ziegler, found out that rock’n’roll concert venues in England did not permit the teenagers to stand up and dance in the aisles, so they instead danced with their hands while remaining in their seats. At Otis’ concerts, performers would demonstrate Willie’s “hand jive” dance to the audience, so the audience could dance along.

 

Willie and the Hand Jive

I know a cat named Way-Out Willie
Had a cool little chick named Rockin’ Billie
Made a heart of stone Susie-Q, doin’ that crazy hand jive too
Papa said “You will ruin my house.
You and that hand jive have got to go”
Willie said “Papa, don’t you put me down,
Been doin’ that hand jive all over town.”
Hand jive, hand jive, hand jive, doin’ that crazy hand jiveI don’t want you to get on the floor
Gettin’ low, getting down with sister go
Come on, get baby, little sister’ll die
Said doin’ that hand jive one more time
Hand jive, hand jive, hand jive, doin’ that crazy hand jive

Doctor getting low and he getting check
Now they’re all digging that crazy beat
Way-Out Willie gave ’em all a treat
Been doin’ that hand jive with his feet
Hand jive, hand jive, hand jive, doin’ that crazy hand jiveWilli and Billie got married last fall
Had to live with his sisters and that ain’t all
Daddy got famous it’s plain to see
Been doin’ that hand jive on his knees
Hand jive, hand jive, hand jive, doin’ that crazy hand jive

Cream – White Room

Ginger Baker passed away Sunday, October 6th… Ginger was one of the best drummers in rock history.

Paul McCartney: Ginger Baker, great drummer, wild and lovely guy. We worked together on the ‘Band on the Run’ album in his ARC Studio, Lagos, Nigeria. Sad to hear that he died but the memories never will. X Paul

Mick Jagger: Sad news hearing that Ginger Baker has died, I remember playing with him very early on in Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. He was a fiery but extremely talented and innovative drummer.

John Densmore: A drumming force of nature, Ginger Baker has broke on through. Emblematic of his influence, I put 2 bars of his reverse-beat in “Hello, I Love You.” 

Pete Brown wrote the lyrics and Jack Bruce wrote the music to White Room. He was inspired by a cycling tour that he took in France. The “white room” was a literal place: a room in an apartment where Pete Brown was living. It was not, as some suspected, an institution.

The music was written first. Pete Brown’s first attempt at a lyric was something about a doomed hippie girl – the song was called “Cinderella’s Last Goodnight.” Jack Bruce didn’t like it, so he scrapped that idea and pulled up an eight-page poem he had written earlier, which he reworked into White Room.

Pete Brown: “It was a miracle it worked, considering it was me writing a monologue about a new flat.”

The song peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100 in 1968.

Cream in the 1970s… Pattie Boyd took the photo.

From Songfacts

This song is about depression and hopelessness, but the setting is an empty apartment. The lyrics were written by a poet named Pete Brown, who was a friend of Cream bass player Jack Bruce, the lead vocalist on the track. Brown also wrote the words for “Sunshine Of Your Love,” “I Feel Free” and “SWLABR.”

In a Songfacts interview with Pete Brown, he told the story: “It was a meandering thing about a relationship that I was in and how I was at the time. It was a kind of watershed period really. It was a time before I stopped being a relative barman and became a songwriter, because I was a professional poet, you know. I was doing poetry readings and making a living from that. It wasn’t a very good living, and then I got asked to work by Ginger and Jack with them and then started to make a kind of living.

And there was this kind of transitional period where I lived in this actual white room and was trying to come to terms with various things that were going on. It’s a place where I stopped, I gave up all drugs and alcohol at that time in 1967 as a result of being in the white room, so it was a kind of watershed period. That song’s like a kind of weird little movie: it changes perspectives all the time. That’s why it’s probably lasted – it’s got a kind of mystery to it.”

Upon its release, Wheels Of Fire was given a terrible review by Rolling Stone magazine. They claim that “White Room” has “The exact same lines for guitar, bass and drums” as “Tales Of Brave Ulysses.” If you listen to both songs, they are somewhat similar, but nowhere near the level they claim. 

Eric Clapton used a wah-wah pedal on his guitar. He got the idea from Jimi Hendrix.

Clapton’s solo earned the #2 spot on Guitar World’s greatest wah solos of all time in 2015. The #1 spot? Hendrix’ “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).”

Why are the starlings tired? Because the pollution in London was killing them. Pete Brown also told us: “The ‘tired starlings’ is also a little bit of a metaphor for the feminine in a way, as well. It was women having to put up with rather a lot – too much pressure on them at the time.”

More lyric interpretation courtesy of Pete Brown:

“Goodbye Windows” – “Just people waving goodbye from train windows.”

“Black-roof Country” – “That was the kind of area that I lived in. There were still steam trains at one point around that area, so the roofs were black. It was black and sooty. It’s got that kind of a feel to it.”

On their last tour before the band broke up, Cream opened most of their shows with this song. When Cream did a reunion tour in 2005, they played it near the end of the sets.

Clapton refused to play this after leaving Cream until 1985, when Paul Shaffer urged him to play it while he was sitting in with the band on Late Night With David Letterman. That same year, Clapton played it at Live Aid.

This was released as a single after Cream had broken up. It did better in the US than in England, since Cream had caught on in the States.

In 2000, Apple Computer used this in commercials for their white iMacs. While the song does have the word “white” in the title, the subject matter is not good for selling computers.

Jack Bruce recorded a new, Latin-influenced version on his 2001 album Shadows In The Air. Clapton played on this as well as his new recording of “Sunshine Of Your Love.”

Clapton performed this in 1999 for the album Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live From Central Park. Clapton and Crow were an item for a time in the ’90s.

White Room

In the white room with black curtains near the station
Black roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings
Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes
Dawnlight smiles on you leaving, my contentment

I’ll wait in this place where the sun never shines
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves

You said no strings could secure you at the station
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows
I walked into such a sad time at the station
As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning

I’ll wait in the queue when the trains come back
Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves

At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd
Consolation for the old wound now forgotten
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes
She’s just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings

I’ll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd
Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves

Eric Clapton – Let It Grow

A song off of Eric Clapton’s classic 461 Ocean Boulevard album. Its a song that doesn’t get a lot of airplay but it’s a good song. Background singers Marcy Levy and Yvonne Elliman join Clapton on the chorus as the song builds. It comes to an instrumental climax at the end.

The album was Clapton’s second album after ending a three-year heroin habit. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in Canada, and #3 in the UK in 1974.

From Songfacts

In 1970, Eric Clapton released a song with his group Derek & the Dominos called “Keep On Growing,” where he sang about finding fertile ground for love. In his gentle solo track “Let It Grow,” he stays with the garden theme as a metaphor for love, singing, “Plant your love and let it grow.”

Clapton played the dobro on this track. A dobro is a type of acoustic guitar with a raised bridge and resonator cone which produces a moaning sound.

Yvonne Elliman sang backup. Before joining Clapton’s band in 1974, she played Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ, Superstar. She had a disco hit in 1978 with “If I Can’t Have You.”

461 Ocean Boulevard is the address of the house in Miami where Clapton and his band lived while they were making the album.

Let It Grow

Standing at the crossroads, trying to read the signs
To tell me which way I should go to find the answer,
And all the time I know,
Plant your love and let it grow

Let it grow, let it grow,
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow,
Love is lovely, let it grow

Looking for a reason to check out of my mind,
Trying hard to get a friend that I can count on,
But there’s nothing left to show,
Plant your love and let it grow

Let it grow, let it grow,
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow,
Love is lovely, so let it grow, let it grow

Time is getting shorter and there’s much for you to do
Only ask and you will get what you are needing,
The rest is up to you
Plant your love and let it grow

Let it grow, let it grow,
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow,
Love is lovely, let it

Let it grow, let it grow,
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow,
Love is lovely, let it grow

Eric Clapton – Let It Rain

Let It Rain peaked at #48 in the Billboard 100 and #42 in Canada in 1972. It was on Eric’s self-titled album released in 1970 but this song was released on a single in 1972.

Clapton wrote this with the help of Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett. They put most of it together while they were touring together in 1969; Clapton with Blind Faith, and The Bramletts supporting them with their group Delaney & Bonnie. Blind Faith broke up after their first tour, and Clapton formed Derek and the Dominos with Delaney & Bonnie’s backup group, who Clapton became friends with on the tour.

From Songfacts.

This was the last track on Clapton’s first solo album. Delaney Bramlett produced it.

Organist Bobby Whitlock, bass player Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon were part of Clapton’s backing band on his first album and played on this track. After recording the album, these four formed their own group, Derek and the Dominos, and released the classic album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

Jim Gordon wrote the piano part for “Layla” and later suffered terrible mental illness and bludgeoned his mother to death.

Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis sang backup on this track. They were former members of The Crickets, Buddy Holly’s backup band. The female backup singers were Bonnie Bramlett and Rita Coolidge.

This wasn’t released as a single until 1972, two years after the album came out. This was done to capitalize on the success of “Layla,” which became a hit that year when it was re-released as a long version and after people figured out that Derek and the Dominos was Clapton’s group.

This was one of the few Eric Clapton solo tracks Derek and the Dominos played when they toured. At one point, they used it to teach drummer Jim Gordon a lesson. “Jim Gordon was going on about how he never got a drum solo, so we fixed his little wagon,” Bobby Whitlock said in his Songfacts interview. “We gave him a drum solo in ‘Let It Rain’ and it lasted for nine-and-a-half minutes. And he kept going – you could hear it in the solo. He would stop and he was looking at Eric. We were on the side of the stage behind the curtain smoking a cigarette and having a drink, and we wouldn’t come back out, so he had to keep going and keep going. Okay, Mr. Drummerman, you want a solo? Take your solo.”

Stephen Stills played the guitar solo in the middle of the song.

 

 

Let It Rain

The rain is falling through the mist of sorrow that surrounded me
The sun could never thaw away the bliss that lays around me

Let it rain, let it rain,
Let your love rain down on me
Let it rain, let it rain,
Let it rain, rain, rain

Her life was like a desert flower burning in the sun
Until I found the way to love, it’s harder said than done

Let it rain, let it rain,
Let your love rain down on me
Let it rain, let it rain,
Let it rain, rain, rain

Now I know the secret; there is nothing that I lack
If I give my love to you, you’ll surely give it back

Let it rain, let it rain,
Let your love rain down on me
Let it rain, let it rain,
Let it rain, rain, rain

Let it rain, let it rain,
Let your love rain down on me
Let it rain, let it rain,
Let it rain, rain, rain

Robert Johnson – Crossroad Blues

My introduction to Robert Johnson came from Eric Clapton while playing with Cream. Johnson was a great blues guitarist that supposedly sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads to be able to play the blues. Some of the songs he wrote played into this myth. He only cut 29 songs that he recorded in a two year period of 1936 and 1937.

I’m not a blues expert, nor do I play one on tv, but I love these old blues recordings. Johnson wasn’t the only one but they influenced everything I’ve liked since. They are also historical documents of the time.

Robert Johnson’s slide playing was so complete that he sounded like two guitar players instead of one on some songs. The atmosphere of those recordings is incredible to me and something that you can’t duplicate. Johnson’s influence is huge. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton,  Bob Dylan. Duane Allman, and too many more to list.

Movies such as the 1980’s film Crossroads brought Johnson many more fans. My friend Ronald was one of those people and went out and bought everything he could find of Johnson in the 80s. Many people have searched out Johnson after listening to artists that were influenced by him. His voice will haunt you after you listen to his recordings. His songs are pure and timeless.

Some quotes on Robert Johnson

Keith Richards – Brian Jones had the first album, and that’s where I first heard it. I’d just met Brian, and I went around to his apartment-crash pad, actually, all he had in it was a chair, a record player, and a few records. One of which was Robert Johnson. He put it on, and it was just-you know-astounding stuff. When I first heard it, I said to Brian, “Who’s that?” “Robert Johnson”. I said, “Yeah, but who’s the other guy playing with him?” Because I was hearing two guitars, and it took me a long time to realize he was actually doing it all by himself.
Eric Clapton – His music is like my oldest friend, always in the back of my head and on the horizon. It’s the finest music I’ve ever heard.  I’ve always trusted its purity. And I always will.’ I don’t know what more you could say….”
Robert Cray – He is a perfect example of what anybody should listen to if they want to get an understanding of the blues… and American history.’

Below is Robert Johnson and down below is Cream’s version.

Cross Road Blues

I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above “Have mercy now
save poor Bob if you please”
Yeeooo, standin at the crossroad
tried to flag a ride
ooo ooo eee
I tried to flag a ride
Didn’t nobody seem to know me babe
everybody pass me by
Standin at the crossroad babe
risin sun goin down
Standin at the crossroad babe
eee eee eee, risin sun goin down
I believe to my soul now,
Poor Bob is sinkin down
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
(th)’at I got the croosroad blues this mornin Lord
babe, I’m sinkin down
And I went to the crossroad momma
I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad baby
I looked east and west
Lord, I didn’t have no sweet woman
ooh-well babe, in my distress

Supergroup…The Dirty Mac – Yer Blues

Maybe the first “”Supergroup”…In 1968 John Lennon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Mitch Mitchell got together and played the Beatle’s Yer Blues. The Rolling Stones were taping a Television special featuring The Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, called “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” but was shelved for 28 years.

Yer Blues was on the White Album and had only been released 3 weeks before this December 11th recording. John Lennon came up with the band name “Dirty Mac” from a play on words of the hot new group at the time…Fleetwood Mac.

The show did not see the light of day until 1996. The Stones were not happy with their performance which would be the last with Brian Jones. The Who had just returned from a tour and were really tight and some thought upstaged the Rolling Stones.

The best thing to come out of the film to me is this performance…and The Who performing “A Quick One, While He’s Away.”

The Dirty Mac performed two songs…Yer Blues and “Whole Lotta Yoko” with Yoko…uh…”singing” so we will stick with this one.

A DVD of this event was released in 2004…It’s worth buying.

Yer Blues

Yes, I’m lonely, wanna die
Yes, I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
In the morning, wanna die
In the evening, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
My mother was of the sky
My father was of the earth
But I am of the universe
And you know what it’s worth
I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
The eagle picks my eyes
The worm he licks my bone
I feel so suicidal
Just like Dylan’s Mr. Jones
Lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
[Instrumental Break]
The black cloud crossed my mind
Blue mist round my soul
Feel so suicidal
Even hate my rock and roll
I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
[Instrumental Break]
Wanna die, yeah, wanna die
[Instrumental Break]

Derek and The Dominos – Bell Bottom Blues

I like this song just as much as Layla. The song was written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock. This song and “I Looked Away” are my favorites on the album. This song peaked at only #91 in the Billboard 100 in 1971.

Yet another song that was written about Pattie Boyd.

From the American Blues Scene site

In 1970, Eric Clapton was experiencing emotional anguish at the hands of lover Pattie Boyd. His romantic agony inspired an entire album worth of songs, “Bell Bottom Blues” being one of them. In Eric Clapton: The Autobiography, he recounts writing the song for Boyd after she asked him to get her a pair of bell-bottom jeans while he visited the US.

Bell Bottom Blues

Bell bottom blues, you made me cry
I don’t want to lose this feeling
And if I could choose a place to die
It would be in your arms

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it because
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

It’s all wrong, but it’s all right
The way that you treat me baby
Once I was strong but I lost the fight
You won’t find a better loser

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it because
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it ’cause
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

Bell bottom blues, don’t say goodbye
I’m sure we’re gonna meet again
And if we do, don’t you be surprised
If you find me with another lover

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it ’cause
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

Eric Clapton – I’ve Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart

A very smooth Eric Clapton song. He had a very clean guitar tone on this single. The single was released in 1983 and peaked at #18 in the Billboard 100, #83 in the UK and #17 in Canada. The song was off of Clapton’s Money and Cigarettes album. The song was written by Troy Seals, Eddie Setser, Steve Diamond and produced by Tom Dowds.

This certainly is not the “screaming guitars” of Clapton long ago. I know many Clapton fans that did not like it but it fit in with the times…

I’ve Got A Rock and Roll Heart
I’ve got a feeling we could be serious, girl;
Right at this moment, I could promise you the world.
Before we go crazy, before we explode,
There’s something ’bout me, baby, you got to know,
You got to know.
I get off on ’57 Chevy’s
I get off on screaming guitar.
Like the way it gets me every time it hits me.
I’ve got a rock and roll, I’ve got a rock and roll heart.
Feels like we’re falling into the arms of the night,
So if you’re not ready, don’t be holdin’ me so tight.
I guess there’s nothing left for me to explain
Here’s what you’re gettin’ and I don’t want to change,
I don’t want to change.
I get off on ’57 Chevy’s
I get off on screaming guitar.
Like the way it gets me every time it hits me.
I’ve got a rock and roll, I’ve got a rock and roll heart.
I don’t need to glitter, no Hollywood,
All you got to do is lay it down and you lay it down good.
I get off on ’57 Chevy’s
I get off on screaming guitar.
Like the way it gets me every time it hits me.
I’ve got a rock and roll, I’ve got a rock and roll heart.

Eric Clapton – Promises

A country rock song by Eric Clapton that’s always been a favorite of mine. It was released in 1978 and peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100, #82 in the Country Charts, #37 in the UK and #7 in Canada. This song was from his album “Backless” at a time when Eric was influenced by Don Williams the country artist.

The female singer on “Promises” is Marcy Levy.

It was written by Richard Feldman and Roger Linn

“Promises”

I don’t care if you never come home,
I don’t mind if you just keep on
Rowing away on a distant sea,
‘Cause I don’t love you and you don’t love me.You cause a commotion when you come to town;
You give ’em a smile and they melt.
Having lovers and friends is all good and fine,
But I don’t like yours and you don’t like mine.La la, la la la la la.
La la, la la la la la.

I don’t care what you do at night,
Oh, and I don’t care how you get your delights.
I’m gonna leave you alone, I’ll just let it be,
I don’t love you and you don’t love me.

I got a problem. Can you relate?
I got a woman calling love hate.
We made a vow we’d always be friends.
How could we know that promises end?

[Bridge]

I tried to love you for years upon years,
You refuse to take me for real.
It’s time you saw what I want you to see,
And I’d still love you if you’d just love me.

[Chorus]

[Bridge 2x]