More Music Nostalgia
For my money, 70s solo Clapton is as good as it gets. Sure, none of the following are regarded as his best, screaming guitar-god work. What they are, are simple little songs – which succeed precisely because of his stunning guitar work and their simplicity. I think the only word to describe the guitar on the first two is “happy”. The Hammond on the latter two doesn’t hurt, either.
That one, of course, is yet another autobiographical tune relating to his two-decade long torturous relationship with his best friend’s wife, Patti Boyd, who left George Harrison for Clapton in 1974 and married him in 1979.
During the period when all of these were being written and recorded, Clapton was struggling not only with the love triangle, but also with heroin and alchohol addiction. In the same time frame, he came under some well-deserved criticism for some virulently anti-immigrant, xenophobic public remarks, which I only recently learned about. I’m not sure how I feel about that; it always sucks to find out that someone you greatly admire in one sphere turns out to be a shitheel in terms of some of their beliefs. On the other hand, it’s not as if he ever held an elective office, so essentially it reduces him to the role of talented bigot rather than real threat. The kind of thing where, had I been of age and politically aware at the time probably would have prompted me to say, “Shut the fuck up and play guitar, Eric.”
Some of you may read this post and say, “Clapton’s repulsive comments aside, you’re crazy. Layla/Bellbottom Blues/Sunshine of Your Love/etc was clearly Clapton’s best work.” To which I would reply, “meh, to each his own. Now go fuck yourself.”