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So much that you tremble in pain
November 28, 2007 3:39 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever loved a woman? Compare and contrast.

This is the blues. Are you listening?
posted by landis (49 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why was Clapton worried about Britain becoming "a black colony" and all high on Enoch Powell? Was it because he was worried that the public would see more black musicians and realize that Clapton's not that good?
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:59 AM on November 28, 2007


Clapton's guitar sound is a lot wussier.

So is his collar.
posted by Reggie Digest at 4:17 AM on November 28, 2007


Whatever. He shreds, man.
posted by Jofus at 4:17 AM on November 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


OMGWTF Jofus

Ouch.
posted by Reggie Digest at 4:21 AM on November 28, 2007


Clapton doesn't even compare favorably to his peers. Comparisons with Freddie King are just totally unfair.
posted by psmealey at 4:52 AM on November 28, 2007


Well, most people know that Clapton loved a woman, but there's a far more famous song associated with that story.
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:02 AM on November 28, 2007


Wow. That 'Clapton Shreds' video is like watching a slow-motion train wreck made out of an old English guy's ego. I feel sorry for the poor guys trying to back him up. Ick.

Nthing Clapton's sucking.
posted by Pecinpah at 5:04 AM on November 28, 2007


It's fake, Pecinpah.
posted by stavrogin at 5:09 AM on November 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


Here's Slash shredding and not shredding.
posted by stavrogin at 5:15 AM on November 28, 2007


OMGWTF

It's a meme, man.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:16 AM on November 28, 2007


The man behind the meme: Santeri Ojala
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:17 AM on November 28, 2007


heh...

So, today we've been told that 60's literature was sucky and that Clapton can't play the guitar...

Guess us old guys might as well just pack up and leave town...

And to think if I had held out about 40 years in being born, I could have been part of the generation that embraces Rap and gave us Paris Hilton... damn...
posted by HuronBob at 5:19 AM on November 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Meme aside, King is King. Clapton is white.

Layla is ok white-guy soul, but it still does not touch the first clip.

That Freddie King clip is like a recording of the last time my heart was breaking. I mean, he lays out the road-map, tells you how it's gonna happen, and then walks you through it. If I had to now, in retrospect? I'd give the guy my kidney. Clapton? He elbowed by me and climbed into his waiting limo.

posted by From Bklyn at 5:32 AM on November 28, 2007


So, today we've been told that 60's literature was sucky and that Clapton can't play the guitar...

Indeed. The 60s (i.e., 1967-1973) sucked most in comparison with itself.

Clapton doesn't even compare favorably to his peers.

Case in point. The explosion of musical talent coming out of that era makes anyone - and everyone - look bad.
posted by three blind mice at 5:37 AM on November 28, 2007


Yeah. Sorry. Should have flagged "obviously, hilariously fake". (And I think the Slash one is the best.)
posted by Jofus at 5:55 AM on November 28, 2007


I like the Santana one. It's a shredding buffet.
posted by stavrogin at 6:02 AM on November 28, 2007


I am in awe of Freddie King and his collar. That guitar just grabs you and won't let go. Amazing.

That English fellow is OK too, but this is like comparing the Mantle/Maris Yankees to the '63 Mets.
posted by Mister_A at 6:07 AM on November 28, 2007


I wonder if all the Clapton=God folks had ever heard other guitar players?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:08 AM on November 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well, I'll be danged. I have a favourite meme after all.
posted by Reggie Digest at 6:27 AM on November 28, 2007


O RLY? I CAN HAZ FAVRIT MEME? CLAPTON=CEILING CAT

Clapton's infamous 1976 support of Enoch Powell isn't all that surprising when one considers that he only ever became famous in the first place because he stole black musicians' material. And, while other labels (Atlantic et al.) were ditching their black artists right and left due to "poor sales," the one Clapton signed to, Polydor, must have been grinning ear-to-ear on account of their never having signed any black artists to begin with.
posted by Reggie Digest at 7:03 AM on November 28, 2007


This is terrible. I'm a giant clapton fan, and am a Clapton=God type person. But I don't think you can be a Clapton fan and not listen to Freddie King, BB King, Albert King, Muddy Waters and the like. This Clapton clip is from his more recent easy listening period (Check out Reptile on Amazon).

If you really want to hear Clapton, you've got to listen to the old recordings -- the best in my opinion is "Have you ever loved a woman" from the Derek and the Dominos Album. There you can listen to Clapton going back and forth with Duane Allman -- Figuring out whose better at that point is like trying to argue about whether the whipped cream or chocolate sauce is better on your sundae.

Unfortunately for Eric, I think he lost his edge when he sobered up and got his life together.
posted by spaceviking at 7:03 AM on November 28, 2007


I have to disagree with Clapton's greatness, even in his heyday. He was certainly a very good straight ahead blues guitar player, but his phrasing and feel never approached that of those older black players. As innovator, he's nowhere near Page, Hendrix, Beck or even Ritchie Blackmore. Clapton was to be sure, a great songwriter, but his playing just doesn't earn him a place at that echelon.
posted by psmealey at 7:20 AM on November 28, 2007


As innovator, he's nowhere near Page, Hendrix, Beck or even Ritchie Blackmore...
I wish to add Uli Roth to that list.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:21 AM on November 28, 2007


I wish to add Eli Roth to that list.

What?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:45 AM on November 28, 2007


As usual, I let me eyes stray to the YouTube comments section, so my appreciation of Freddie King was sullied:

What the hell do Swedish people have to be blue about? Sweden is like one of the whitest countries in the world, and as George Carlin put it, white people don't have anything to be blue about.
LoL

posted by KokuRyu at 7:59 AM on November 28, 2007


When do we get to hear the Bryan Adams version? 'Cuz he totally shreds.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:57 AM on November 28, 2007


"white people don't have anything to be blue about"

totally. like, when eric's little boy fell out a window and died, he was all, "well that's alright. i can make another one!"

lame.
posted by klanawa at 9:00 AM on November 28, 2007


also, it pisses me off that people accuse clapton of being somehow inauthentic because he's white. if he was black, nobody would ever accuse him of "stealing black music" and he never fails to give credit to the black artists he pays homage to. in interviews, he always tips his hat to the "real" blues men who inspire him.

contrast that with jimmy page who apparently never gave credit where it was due.

same thing happened to paul simon, when people accused him of exploiting the african and south american musicians they never would have heard anyway of if not for simon's records.
posted by klanawa at 9:26 AM on November 28, 2007


Clapton has his moments but I consider Page a far better composer and Beck always stroke me as being more into it (plus he still experiments with sound and his music remains interesting). Jimmi is arguably the greatest guitar player and songwriter of the era and frankly nothing compares with Band of Gypsies, not even Bold as Love, which is his best "white" record in my opinion.

As for Freddie King? I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
posted by ersatz at 9:34 AM on November 28, 2007


Wow, those shred videos just paralyzed me with laughter. Kudos to StSanders.
posted by metaplectic at 9:35 AM on November 28, 2007


also, it pisses me off that people accuse clapton of being somehow inauthentic because he's white.

Nobody in this thread brought up the "a" word as far as I can see. Besides, white ain't got nothing to do with it. Johnny Winter and Roy Buchanan were as authentic as you can get.

My basic asssertion is that Clapton is a very decent player, but vastly overhyped ("Clapton is God"?), and outclassed by the guys that followed him in his own band, let alone putting him head to head against one of the all time great bluesmen.

As for Page "never giving credit". I couldn't care less about that. Page may have been as racist as George Wallace for all I know, but I we're talking playing here, I think. He had his own distinctive style and flavor of playing which still separates him from the mass of guitar players that have come along since his day. The same, I don't think, can be said about Clapton.
posted by psmealey at 10:02 AM on November 28, 2007


Jesus... rehashing the old guitar god argument again... how fucking bored am I?

For my next trick... Willie Mays was way better than Barry Bonds... discuss.

posted by psmealey at 10:07 AM on November 28, 2007


overhyped, sure.

but the authenticity thing never goes away: Meme aside, King is King. Clapton is white.

i like clapton, i like jimmy page, i like mississippi john hurt and blind lemon jefferson. hell i liked "crossroads." but the original point of this post, to "compare and contrast," if it was intended as a putdown to clapton (which i don't think it necessarily was), invited this kind of argument.

i see two good musicians playing the same great song, and both of 'em would probably have been delighted to play it together on the same stage. i'm sure they have better things to do than argue about who's better.

like, say, playing the blues.
posted by klanawa at 10:30 AM on November 28, 2007


I called Clapton white.

Not inauthentic, but white. Though he's comfortable enough nowadays that hearing play blues you could probably argue for inauthentic as well. He's not telling me anything at all about heart ache or really any other emotion.

He still plays guitar well, but maybe he should move on in the style he's playing. Maybe something like 'Spiro Gyra' or Air Supply.

He's white in the sense that there's no color, emotional color, to his playing anymore. Maybe it would be better, then, to call him transparent, but that conveys a different set of criteria (frequently attributed to players of classical music) that he doesn't really bear out either.

I recognize there's a racial component to the term "white" and or preview, I kind of don't like it. Just, it's too nebulous and culture-centric.

So, I'll say King is king, and Clapton had his ass returned to him with a polite "Oh, thanks. That was a really good try. Keep up the good work! Maybe keep your day job though." And a pat on the shoulder.

And lastly, thanks for the Freddie King clip(s). They're beautiful.
posted by From Bklyn at 10:39 AM on November 28, 2007


fair enough.

can we start hating on johnny lang, now?
posted by klanawa at 10:44 AM on November 28, 2007


Oh, hell yes.
posted by Reggie Digest at 10:46 AM on November 28, 2007


can we start hating on johnny lang, now?

Dude, I got a 8 year head start on you. Fucking mawkish, SRV fetus that one is. Puts me to sleep.

I've always view Clapton as an amalgamation of all the aforementioned blues players. He really doesn't nail one perfectly but you can see their influence on his playing. I've always like his playing but he never blew me away with it. I remember hearing a song off the "Showdown" album when it first came out. I had no idea who the players were but I remember being able to pick out who was playing what because of their distinct signature tones and styles. With Clapton, I can never tell and he just sort of blends in with the woodwork. Not that thats a bad thing. Just sort of meh.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:04 AM on November 28, 2007


What's "emotional color"?

Eric Clapton is a fine guitarist. I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned that his singing voice is terrible.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 11:34 AM on November 28, 2007


I was a pretty big Clapton fan as a teen, right up until the first time I saw BB King play live. Wine coolers were fun, but when I discovered single malt scotch it was all over for wine coolers.
posted by psmealey at 12:04 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


It should be said, however, that the tune in question is really the only good tune on that horrible, bloated wreck of a Derek and the Dominoes double LP (with due respect to Duane Allman).
posted by psmealey at 12:15 PM on November 28, 2007


THIS IS THE BLUES, ARE YOU LISTENING?!!!
posted by konolia at 12:18 PM on November 28, 2007


This is absurd.

Eric Clapton is one of the best guitar players ever to walk the planet.

Quibbling over whether he is better or worse than another one of the best guitar players ever to walk the planet is absurdist nonsense.

The whole idea of "competition" in music is ridiculous at its core. Worse yet, this is an apples and oranges comparison.

I will submit that Clapton is an incredibly versatile guitarist, and has more raw technical ability than most anyone you would compare him to.

Clapton could ably play any popular style you presented him with, from blues to heavy metal to easy listening to classic country.

Old bluesmen... can't. Just as you wouldn't expect the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic to also be a great bluegrass fiddler.

There is some value to being versatile, just as there is some value to being a specialist.

He's a great guitar player. I think B.B. King is a great guitar player. Trying to say one is "better" than the other, with wildly divergent styles, is a fruitless exercise.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:15 PM on November 28, 2007


There is some value to being versatile, just as there is some value to being a specialist.

Sure there is, and I also don't disagree that it's a silly argument, and alluded to as much above. But, in my travels, I could name a dozen or so session guys that you never heard of that are both more versatile, and more technically proficient at the blues (and rock, and metal, and ...) than Mr. Clapton is.

The point is from very early in his career, Clapton promoted himself as a blues purist (it's why he left the Yardbirds for John Mayall's band), so he definitely deserves to be judged in the same light as Freddie King, to whom he doesn't hold a candle.
posted by psmealey at 2:45 PM on November 28, 2007


can somebody find me a clip of yngvie malmstein (sp) shredding?

oh, wait...
posted by CitizenD at 3:49 PM on November 28, 2007


Clapton could ably play any popular style you presented him with, from blues to heavy metal to easy listening to classic country.

yes, he could - but for the last 35 years, the question has been, can he make me FEEL it?

once in awhile, yes - not in that clip - it's not there in his singing, it's really not there in his guitar playing and his band's pretty much going through their very competent motions

as much as he respects the blues, eric's not a bluesman - not after some of the pop crap he's burdened us with - (not crap because it's pop, crap because it's crap)

it's a pity - he WAS one of the great rock guitarists of the 60s

crossroads remains one of the best rock or blues solos ever recorded
posted by pyramid termite at 5:40 PM on November 28, 2007


I wonder if all the Clapton=God folks had ever heard other guitar players?

that was in 1965/66 - and as far as rock listeners were concerned, no, they hadn't heard other guitar players - listen to the rock guitarists of that era - most of them had a tinny, thin sound with no real depth

clapton had a real sound - and by the time he was in john mayall's band, it was as deep and good as rock guitar got back then - lightyears beyond what others were doing

(there were blues guitarists in the states that could play rings around him, of course - but they weren't that well known, then)
posted by pyramid termite at 5:49 PM on November 28, 2007


Clapton's playing peaked when he was in Cream. He fed off the Bruce-Baker animosity-respect base, adding his blues rooted rock solos to their jazz tinged rhythms. Something that volatile couldn't last, and it didn't.

Clapton went on to try different things, rather than trying (and failing) to recreate what had gone before. In the process, he wrote a couple of songs everybody knows, and had a great time doing what he loves doing. Forty years later, he's still at it.

Not bad for a white guy.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:21 AM on November 29, 2007


I will submit that Clapton is an incredibly versatile guitarist, and has more raw technical ability than most anyone you would compare him to.

I will respectfully completely disagree with this statement. Compare Clapton's guitar playing with just about any other "famous" guitarist of his era like Hendrix or Page and the shine starts to tarnish. Don't even bother comparing his technical prowess to any contemporary classical guitarists. Shit, some folk guitarists have more technical ability (Nick Drake, for instance).

I mean, it took me about an hour to learn Layla. But I've been trying (on and off again) for years to get Little Wing. And I've got maybe five bars of Bach's Prelude for Lute in E maj (BMV 1006a).

Not saying Clapton didn't have soul and style, but his technical ability is vastly overrated.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:11 PM on November 29, 2007


Compare Clapton's guitar playing with just about any other "famous" guitarist of his era like Hendrix or Page and the shine starts to tarnish.

hendrix, sure, but page? great rhythm guitarist, but i'd take clapton's lead playing over page's any day
posted by pyramid termite at 4:16 PM on November 29, 2007


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