KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

Thirty Year Thursday – ERIC CLAPTON “AUGUST”

[Welcome to Thirty Year Thursday, the weekly series on my favorite albums of 1986]

Artist: ERIC CLAPTON
Album: AUGUST

Eric Clapton - AugustDuring my pre-teens and teenage years, Eric Clapton was among my four or five favorite artists. Between his solo career and his work with Cream, Derek & The Dominos, Blind Faith and The Yardbirds (I wouldn’t discover his groundbreaking recordings with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers until my 20’s), his biting, lyrical & melodic guitar playing and that gritty, authoritative voice were an integral part of my daily musical diet. Thanks to Clapton I learned about blues, psychedelic rock, folk, reggae & many other genres, and even after hearing the artists who influenced him it was clear that he was as good as his inspirations: a jack-of-all-trades and master of all. Although his peak era was undoubtedly the ‘60s & ‘70s when he earned his reputation as a guitar god, along with the nickname “Slowhand” (apparently due to his early reputation for breaking strings and the audience going into a slow handclap as he replaced them, i.e. “Slowhand Clapton”), he kept a high profile throughout the ‘80s, with each of his albums featuring at least one rock radio hit. I saw him for the first time in early 1983, on the Money And Cigarettes tour, and later that year at Madison Square Garden at the ARMS Benefit Concert along with Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Joe Cocker and many other legendary artists. Two years later he experienced a commercial resurgence with the help of Phil Collins on the Behind The Sun album and its defining track, “Forever Man.” I saw that tour as well…the last time I would attend a Clapton concert…and it was just as exciting as the others. The sound of that record, blending Clapton’s distinctive guitar & vocals with Collins’ unmistakable drumming and of-their-era synths, carried over to 1986’s August.

By then my interest in his music was starting to wane but, even though it’s far from my favorite, I still found a lot to enjoy on August.  The most successful song, lead-off single and album opener “It’s In The Way That You Use It,” was the odd man out here, as it was previously included on the soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese film The Color Of Money and was produced by the Eric Clapton Photo (circa 1986)great Tom Dowd, while the rest of the album was produced by Collins. Other radio hits were the stomping Tina Turner duet “Tearing Us Apart,” the midtempo guitar workout “Miss You” and the funky horn-driven “Run.” Another noteworthy single was “Behind The Mask.” Although it didn’t impact the charts it has an interesting history. Originally a synth-pop song by Yellow Magic Orchestra, it was later attempted by Michael Jackson (who wrote additional lyrics) during the Thriller recording sessions at the suggestion of keyboardist Greg Phillinganes (whose own version was released in 1985), who then suggested that Clapton record it after joining his band. The horn-drenched blues shuffle “Bad Influence” is a nice piece of mid-‘80s pop/rock but it’s not in the same league as Robert Cray’s original version. Both “Hung Up On Your Love” and “Take A Chance” would have fit nicely on his old friend Steve Winwood’s Back In The High Life. “Hold On” is notable for its Phil Collins rolling drum pattern, and “Holy Mother,” co-written by Clapton and Stephen Bishop, is one of the prettiest ballads in Clapton’s discography. With a few exceptions there’s not a lot on August to showcase Clapton’s guitar chops but it’s still a very strong mainstream rock album that will always be sonically tied to the decade in which it was recorded.

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37 comments on “Thirty Year Thursday – ERIC CLAPTON “AUGUST”

  1. mikeladano
    June 16, 2016

    Another great post Rich.

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  2. Vinyl Connection
    June 16, 2016

    Solid rather than classic, for sure. I find the production on this one off-putting even though it is similar to that on the previous ‘Behind the sun’ which, surprisingly, I rather like. Oh well, not illegal to be inconsistent (at least with albums!).
    I saw EC on the ‘Journeyman’ tour – a great album by the way. He was in fine form, and didn’t shirk taking a solo!

    Like

    • I also prefer Behind The Sun which, as you said, is similar to August but I think the songwriting and overall vibe are much stronger. Plus, there’s nothing as good as “Forever Man” on August. I still remember the excitement I felt the first time I heard that song on the radio.

      I stayed with Clapton through From The Cradle, which was a pure blues album. For some reason (probably a bunch of bland records that followed) I lost interest and never jumped back on board the Clapton train. Journeyman was a good one, and I don’t doubt the tour was excellent. I believe his 24 Nights 2-CD live set was recorded on that tour.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vinyl Connection
        June 16, 2016

        I think you are correct there Rich (natch!). That 24 Nights set is very good, I reckon.

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      • I haven’t listened to 24 Nights in a long time…likely more than 20 years…but I remember it being very strong because it highlighted several different combinations of musicians that Clapton worked with at the time. And, of course, Clapton could still peel off some blistering solos when the muse struck.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vinyl Connection
        June 17, 2016

        That’s right, Rich. I wrote about it in passing when I did a piece on ‘Edge of Darkness’ (the TV series).
        https://vinylconnection.com.au/2015/03/13/time-of-the-preacher/

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      • Thanks for pointing me in the direction of that post, Bruce. I wasn’t aware of that TV series or Clapton’s contributions. I will definitely play 24 Nights soon and I look forward to hearing the track you mentioned. FYI, the link you originally included was for a different post so I updated that in your comment, for anyone else who’s curious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vinyl Connection
        June 18, 2016

        Thanks Rick. Gremlns at work again!

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      • Who’s this Rick person you’re referring to, Bryce? Gremlins again? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Kempin
    June 17, 2016

    Another great post, Rich. This was another one that I bought soon after it was released. Behind the Mask is my favorite song off the album, but the other songs you listed are great also. It’s In the Way That You Use It was so ubiquitous on the radio that even now, every time I hear it, I can think back to where I was in ’86-’87 with a crystal clear memory. I guess that’s one of the special things music can do for you.
    I have a special case of like/dislike with Clapton. After Derek and the Dominoes, he got away from a lot of the fiery solos and became more groove/rhythm oriented. This worked for me on albums like 461 Ocean Blvd, but he stuck with that formula for far too long. It’s like he held himself back from doing what he does best. By the 80’s he would have a strong song or two per album, but it was hard to come up with gems that didn’t make the radio. August has a higher percentage of gems for me than his other records, though. But still, you get the feeling that he’s holding back, carefully doling out little bits of solos here and there. I’ve never seen him live, so maybe in concert, it’s a different story. But as a record that frames a specific time and place in ones memory, August does that for me in spades.

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    • Thanks, Jeff. I agree that “It’s In The Way That You Use It” is like a time-travel portal back to ’86/’87. I hadn’t played it in years until recently but it still sounds good. I thought it had been used for a beer commercial around that time, but after a little research I had it confused with his updated recording of “After Midnight.” You couldn’t avoid seeing that commercial in 1988.

      As for your case of like/dislike, I feel exactly the same way…although I don’t think August is as strong as Behind The Sun or Money And Cigarettes. But none of those are classics. They’re merely “solid.” The same goes for Journeyman, his last album of the ’80s, but 1994’s From The Cradle was a return to killer blues form for him, and also the last Clapton album I enjoyed.

      Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoy comparing notes.

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  4. Interesting to hear the history behind ‘Behind The Mask’, Rich. It was subjected to a dodgy cover version by my teenage band back in the day.

    Though ‘August’ is a bit infected by typical 1986 bluster production and arrangement-wise, there’s some decent stuff on it. I agree with your Winwood comparison too.

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    • Thanks, Matt. I wasn’t aware of the “Behind The Mask” backstory until I revisited the album a couple of weeks ago and did a little research. The Michael Jackson version was eventually included on a posthumous release which I heard on YouTube. It’s very good. I’ll need to seek out the YMO original.

      Good point about the production & arrangement “bluster,” and I’m glad you also hear the Winwood comparison.

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  5. Phillip Helbig
    June 20, 2016

    It is called August because, if a life is a year, Clapton felt he was in August when it was recorded. Alas, Rich and I are both older now than Clapton did.

    Remember, Clapton left Cream when he was 22 or whatever, and was already God by then!

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    • Hi Phillip. I wasn’t aware of Clapton’s reasoning for the album title but it makes sense…and the cover design perfectly conveys that sense of aging.

      I occasionally think about what my favorite artists were doing by the time they reached my age, and it’s often a little sad when I realize that their best work was behind them. Fortunately enough of them have continued making vital new music into their 50s, 60s & beyond. I just reached 50 a couple of weeks ago and I don’t feel like my best years are behind me.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        June 20, 2016

        Well, you are restricting yourself to those who actually did reach your age, rather than dying young. 😐

        Although I have had a good life on the whole, I hope that the best is yet to come (which is also a title on the Scorpions album before last, marking 50 years as a band!). However, we can be sure that, very probably, if not the best years, then most of the years are behind us.

        Remember: With just 1000 CDs, if you hear one a day, you can be lucky if you can hear each one ten more times before you die. And some you’ve heard more than 100 times.

        By the way, saw Rainbow (and Thin Lizzy, and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) last Friday: Blackmore going on tour because his arthritis means that he might not have many years of playing left. Yes, even Blackmore ages.

        His wife is about 30 years younger, though, and he has two preschool-age children (and a son our age), so it’s nice to know that he can still keep it up (pun, as always, intended) where it counts. 🙂

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      • I was starting to worry that your comment was very dark & negative, but you redeemed yourself at the end. 😀

        Although I know it’s impossible, I want to live to 200 for the sole purpose of hearing all the music I want to hear before I die. This is why I remain so passionate about music and try to spend as much of my time listening to old favorites and new discoveries.

        I saw some videos of the recent “Rainbow” concert on YouTube and thought it was pretty underwhelming. For a guy who’s played with some of the greats, Blackmore seemed to surround himself with competent but not world-class players. I realize part of that could be due to the video quality, so I’m wondering what you thought of the show.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        June 21, 2016

        Yes. he’s played with some of the greats. Some people wondered why no members from the old days were there. However, each album had a different lineup, there were about 20 musicians altogether, so it really was Ritchie Blackmore and band even in the old days, although some were well known before (Glover, Powell) and some after (Airey, Dio). The two longest-serving and, arguably, most important members, Dio and Powell, are both dead. Inviting, say, Joe Lynn Turner, or Tony Carey (who lives near where the concert was) would have prejudiced the show towards a specific phase, so I think that the “unknown” musicians were a good idea. (The drummer is the current drummer in Blackmore’s Night, the bassist is a former bassist in Blackmore’s Night, so Blackmore knows both well, and Jens Johansson is one of the most famous hard-rock/heavy-metal keyboarders around, so it’s not some local amateur pick-up band.)

        A few days before, I watched the “Live in Munich” DVD. I had never seen Rainbow live (though I’ve seen Deep Purple—in the reformed Mark II formation—once and Blackmore’s Night several times). I’m not a big fan or Rainbow or Purple. I do have all Blackmore’s Night CDs, though. Not that I don’t like hard rock—I have all Iron Maiden albums—it’s just that I think that others (the Scorpions, say, or Uriah Heep) do it better, although Blackmore essentially founded the genre.

        How was the concert? The sound was good. Really good. Thin Lizzy (put together for this gig, with current members of Lizzy successor Black Star Riders, the drummer from Judas Priest and the bassist from Aerosmith) were very good. Like Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, they played a “best of” set, which was good in this venue.

        The Rainbow concert was good but not overwhelming. My main gripe was that he played too many Purple songs—6—and just 7 Rainbow songs (including “Since You Been Gone”, which was made famous by Rainbow but is a cover). While I like the concept of avoiding encores—just play for two hours rather than going through the motions after one-and-one-half and playing a few more songs—, like Ringo Starr does (and two hours of drumming at his age definitely earns respect!), they just stopped and then recorded music started playing. They could at least have announced the last song! During the last two or three songs, some or all of the musicians left the stage at various times. Strange.

        I think the musicians were entirely up to the task. Yes, they are not innovators (well, Johansson is, but not in connection with Rainbow), but the people came to hear the old songs.

        Were they better than a good cover band? Probably not, but that is not a criticism of Rainbow but rather praise for good cover bands.

        I do watch cover bands, usually because they are cheaper and one can see better. Of course, in some cases the original no longer exists. Still, there is some fascination in seeing those creatively responsible (which is why I’m looking forward to a Who concert), even though the time and money involved might be better spent watching a DVD or listening to a CD. I do like live music though: the good sound, the fact that I can see as well as here (with a DVD one can see, but only what the camera shows).

        I thought Johansson was a bit under-used. He’s a really good player, but wasn’t featured enough. They played “Child in Time”, which is known for the organ part at the beginning—Blackmore played it on guitar!

        Considering that this was the first Rainbow show in 20 years or whatever, it was really good. Some old bands show their age. (To be fair, though, it is usually the singer—Klaus Meine is an exception, sounding today exactly like he did in the 1970s—and Blackmore doesn’t sing.) I have a live CD with Doogie White on vocals, from the last Rainbow incarnation (after Blackmore had quit Purple again), and I think the show on Friday was better, even though White is a good singer.

        So, in the end, it was worth the trip, was not a disappointment, but could have been better.

        A while back, I saw ELO. I have none of their albums and am not a fan, though of course I know some of their songs. It is essentially Jeff Lynne and band these days (I think the keyboarder is the only long-time collaborator) and they hadn’t played live for a similar time. So, a comparable situation, but I thought the ELO shiow was perfect. That might have been different were I a fan, but my impression from the fans in the audience was that they agreed with me.

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      • Thanks for all the details about Blackmore’s current band. Based on the clips I saw they seemed like talented musicians but not quite the world class players he’s surrounded himself with throughout his Deep Purple and Rainbow years. I find it strange that he’s doing these shows as “Rainbow,” especially considering the set list is half Purple songs. I guess he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants but he probably could have put together an all-star lineup and blown people away, reminding them why he’s one of the all-time greats.

        As for ELO, you’re right that Richard Tandy is the only long-serving member of the band. However, since their hit-making years were essentially the Jeff Lynne show, he can play with anyone and call it ELO. Isn’t it billed as “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” now? This could make an interesting topic for someone’s blog: Which artists can tour/record with no members of the original/classic lineup of their band and still reasonably use the band name? Off the top of my head, the recently departed Lemmy and maybe Chrissie Hynde would be my first two suggestions (even though Martin Chambers is an essential part of The Pretenders for me).

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      • Phillip Helbig
        June 23, 2016

        I find it strange that he’s doing these shows as “Rainbow,” especially considering the set list is half Purple songs.

        He had said before 70 per cent Rainbow and 30 per cent Purple, but it was much closer to half and half. Although Rainbow have played Purple covers before, I think it was a bit too much. Of course, since Deep Purple still exists, he couldn’t use that name. Just “Ritchie Blackmore” might leave punters in the dark about what to expect (cue Ronnie James Dio singing “like a punter in the dark”), especially since in the last 20 years he’s been active mostly in Blackmore’s Night.

        I guess he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants but he probably could have put together an all-star lineup

        As I mentioned, including some former Rainbow members would have caused problems. As for non-Rainbow high-profile people, then it would be strange to bill it as “Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow”. Although underused, Jens Johansson is a pretty well known keyboarder.

        Isn’t it billed as “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” now?

        Yes.

        This could make an interesting topic for someone’s blog: Which artists can tour/record with no members of the original/classic lineup of their band and still reasonably use the band name? Off the top of my head, the recently departed Lemmy and maybe Chrissie Hynde would be my first two suggestions (even though Martin Chambers is an essential part of The Pretenders for me).

        Yes. Although he’s coy about the reasons and is not touring as Tull, I think Ian Anderson could get away with any combination of musicians, even without Martin Barre, and call it Tull. I don’t find it strange that he’s doing new stuff without Martin, but playing Tull songs, even entire “best of Jethro Tull” sets, without Barre, who is out playing Tull songs in small clubs, is a bit weird.

        Another one is Manfred Mann with any Earth Band. David Coverdale with any Whitesnake. John Watts and Fischer Z. Mike Scott and The Waterboys. (To be fair, the last two arguably were always main man plus accompaniment).

        Another question is which band could not credibly replace any member at all? Rush spring immediately to mind, probably ZZ TOP as well. (I think these two bands are the longest-serving bands with the classic or even original line-up still in place.)

        Still another question is what bands can credibly go on with no original members, or even none from the classic line-up? Of course, this depends on the history of the band. Fairport Convention had a phase with no original members, which was just as legitimate as any other. To some extent, this depends on whether the members are essentially session musicians or, as in the case of Fairport, people who had been involved in the periphery for years.

        Then there are things like Barclay James Harvest, where there are currently two incarnations, each with a classic member, currently touring.

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      • Good call regarding Ian Anderson. I’m glad he hasn’t toured as Jethro Tull without Martin Barre, even though most fans wouldn’t really care (and he would probably sell more tickets with the band name). I thought it was a little strange that he put out the sequel to Thick As A Brick as a solo album, but I really enjoyed it. I feel like he’s been on a very creative roll lately and he’s got a very solid band. I also agree about David Coverdale. Manfred Mann is the keyboard player and has never been the frontman, right? He’s had various lineups of his self-named band and the Earth Band so he can play with any lineup and call it whatever he wants. Glad he’s still out there bringing the music to fans.

        I can see certain bands playing without any founding members but I don’t think that applies to classic lineups. Then again, Fairport has gone through so many phases (I’m only familiar with the Richard Thompson years and a couple of ’70s albums after he left) that maybe they’re an exception. Do you think there’s a reasonable lineup that could perform as Fairport Convention in 10-20 years which only features members since the ’80s &/or ’90s?

        The BJH situation is really sad but I understand that musicians have to make a living. It’s a shame they can’t play together as one cohesive unit.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        June 23, 2016

        <i<"I can see certain bands playing without any founding members but I don’t think that applies to classic lineups. Then again, Fairport has gone through so many phases (I’m only familiar with the Richard Thompson years and a couple of ’70s albums after he left) that maybe they’re an exception."

        They have done some good stuff after Richard Thompson left. Soon after he left, they evolved into the no-original-members phase, then Nicol came back, Bruce Rowland (who had backed Joe Cocker at Woodstock) came in on drums, and with Swarb and Peggy there was a very traditional-sounding quartet. They actually disbanded (pun, as always, intended), with the record company buying them out of their contract (this was in the punk/disco years), for a short time. The band played some reunion gigs during this time, which evolved into the Cropredy festival, and really rebooted in 1985. There have been some good albums since then.

        Fairport is a bit like Yes in that members have not only left, but also come back, sometimes more than once.

        Simon Nicol, currently in the band and the only founder member still in it, was away 1973–1978 or whatever. During that time, there were no original members. However, Dave Swarbrick was in the band, who had been in since the third album, and Dave Pegg, who joined not much later. Dave Mattacks was drumming and joined at the fourth album (after the original drummer had died in a car crash). Mattacks left then came back and stayed until 1999 or so. Guitarists were Jerry Donahue and Trevor Lucas, both who had been in Fotheringay with Sandy Denny after she had left Fairport. (Sandy later re-joined this lineup, but she was not an original member.) Drummer in Fotheringay was Gerry Conway, who replaced Mattacks in 1999. See what I mean?

        Looking back on it, since Pegg has been in the band continuously since 1977, and Swarbrick and arguably Mattacks were part of the most famous phase, it might look more legitimate now than it did then.

        The most famous line-up had only Dave Mattacks and Dave Swarbrick in common with this no-original-members line-up.

        Since Fairport have always had part of their reportoire consisting of songs they hadn’t written, the situation is a bit different than with a band playing their own material. If there is one main songwriter (Ian Anderson, Pete Townshend), then he is pretty much essential.

        “Do you think there’s a reasonable lineup that could perform as Fairport Convention in 10-20 years which only features members since the ’80s &/or ’90s?”

        It seems strange, though the main reason for that is that the band has been around with few changes since 1985 or so, much longer than the classic phase, including Pegg and Simon Nicol. I think it’s the fact that they’ve been in the band since 1985 more than having been in earlier which makes it difficult to imagine Fairport without them. I can see the “new boys” (fiddler Ric Sanders has been in for more than 30 years, though, much longer than Swarbrick’s stint) being replaced. (Having said that, the current band is a very good lineup and it would be a shame to see any of them go.)

        I think that, if push came to shove, they could lose Simon Nicol or Dave Pegg, but not both, unless the replacements were someone from the “family”, either someone who had been in before or who has been in closely associated bands.

        I’m looking forward to seeing them in August, not only at Cropredy but also at two small-club warmup gigs a few days before (where last year Robert Plant dropped by for a couple of rock-and-roll numbers). While people like Klaus Meine have managed to keep their voices, Simon Nicol has enormously improved as a singer (and guitarist, though he was always a solid guitarist though not a show-off) over the years. Although he had always sung a bit, he is the seventh main singer!

        Nicol himself said that Fairport without original members would still be Fairport, at least if it naturally evolves, like a football team or a miner’s band. People think of them as the same thing, even though there are no longer any original members.

        Remember that the other three seriously considered replacing Paul McCartney with Klaus Voormann! (Klaus Voormann played in Manfred Mann (though not the Earth band), thus closing my comment circle!)

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      • Thanks for the Fairport history lesson, Phillip. I need to delve a little deeper into their catalog since I’ve enjoyed every album of theirs that I’ve heard.

        So, when are you going to start up your own blog? You clearly have a lot of knowledge & passion for many artists, and I know you have a lot of other interests that I’m sure you’re equally passionate about. I hope you find the time to do it.

        Also, well-played by bringing the conversation back to Manfred Mann. I always enjoy a good call-back.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        June 29, 2016

        “So, when are you going to start up your own blog?”

        I’ll make a real effort to get it done by the end of September. Stay tuned!

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      • Looking forward to it. Phillip. The internet eagerly awaits your official arrival. 😀

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  6. Phillip Helbig
    June 20, 2016

    I’m mostly a fan of his stuff with Mayall and Cream, although Layla has a good riff. 🙂

    I’ve seen him live once: on the <Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking tour with Roger Waters. A friend (huge Hendrix fan, by the way, and, connecting to Waters’s lyrics, he actually sported the “obligatory Hendrix perm” back in the early 1980s) and I were hitchhiking in England, saw an ad, bought tickets, and went to the concert. I don’t remember if we carried our backpacks into the arena.

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    • I also saw the Pros & Cons… tour. It was a great show and it was fun to see Clapton in a supporting role, which doesn’t happen very often (kinda like when I saw Robert Plant’s first solo tour with Phil Collins on drums, during a period when he was becoming a big star). I really liked that Waters show but I preferred his Radio KAOS tour in 1987. I was heavily into that album so I really enjoyed it. I saw Pink Floyd at the same venue (Madison Square Garden) in almost the exact same seats about 3-4 months later. As much of a Gilmour fan as I am, I preferred the Waters show that year. Overall I much prefer Gilmour’s solo career, and I regret not seeing his 1984 About Face tour.

      As for your Clapton preferences, I agree that Mayall and Cream were probably his peak years, but the Derek & The Dominos album is…to me…his defining statement. As ubiquitous as “Layla” has become, the rest of the record holds up extremely well. I don’t think that band gets the credit they deserve as musicians the way Cream is revered, but they were all amazing players.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        June 21, 2016

        “Overall I much prefer Gilmour’s solo career, and I regret not seeing his 1984 About Face tour.”

        I remember when I read about this, thought about going—then saw him perform “Blue Light” on television and decided not to. Even Gilmour himself says that this album has too much 80s production.

        Saw him a few months ago and will be seeing him again soon. A pleasant surprise during the last tour was “Fat Old Sun”, one of my favourites.

        As to stars in supporting roles: he had Phil Manzanara on rhythm guitar.

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      • Don’t let “Blue Light” fool you. In spite of a few ’80s production flourishes, About Face is a fantastic & timeless-sounding album with Gilmour in top form on guitar & vocals. Songs like “Murder,” “You Know I’m Right,” “Love On The Air” and “Cruise” are all classics, and “Near The End” is one of my favorite album closers by any artist. His guitar solo, morphing from acoustic to electric, is stunning. I would be surprised if that song didn’t win you over.

        I agree about “Fat Old Sun” and I’m glad he’s been playing it live. It’s a shame he overlooks his first two solo albums, though. That’s why I wish I had seen him in ’84, as he played the majority of those records.

        He & Phil Manzanera have become close friends & collaborators, and they work really well together.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        June 21, 2016

        Another Roxy Music connection was Gilmour accompanying Bryan Ferry at Live Aid.

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      • I’ve watched most/all of the Live Aid concerts, at least what was on the US broadcast and the DVDs, but I don’t remember Gilmour playing with Bryan Ferry. That’s a really interesting bit of info. Thanks for sharing. I will seek out some footage later today.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        June 23, 2016

        “I’ve watched most/all of the Live Aid concerts, at least what was on the US broadcast and the DVDs, but I don’t remember Gilmour playing with Bryan Ferry. That’s a really interesting bit of info. Thanks for sharing. I will seek out some footage later today.”

        Google returns a lot of YouTube clips for “bryan ferry live aid david gilmour”.

        There was a time when London and Philadelphia were running at the same time. I watched it in Germany and remember the broadcast switching from Madonna in Philadelphia to McCartney in London. Maybe some American was shown in the States when Ferry was on.

        I’m not a Ferry fan, but we watched the entire broadcast. I remember thinking “that guitar player is interesting” and looked up to see that it was Gilmour.

        This was 1985. Today we take it for granted, but a world-wide live broadcast was still something of a novelty back then. I watched it at a friend’s house where there was a very high-end stereo system; we had the radio fed into that and the sound turned off on the television. I remember Neil Young strumming an acoustic guitar and saying “can you hear this” at a soundcheck and it was like he was in the same room.

        This was the same friend with whom I was once making spaghetti from scratch when the chimney sweep rang the doorbell to present his bill. Wish You Were Here was playing in the background, and he said “Always nice to hear some Floyd” as he left. So, if I ever managed to record an album, it will be called “Music for Chimney Sweeps”.

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      • Haha…I love your chimney sweep story.

        For music lovers of a certain age, Live Aid was such a touchstone moment. Thanks for sharing your memories of that day. I was working at a record store at the time and I was there during the day shift, when we played the audio broadcast in the store. When I got home I watched the video portion on standard TV since I didn’t have cable at the time. They missed a lot of key moments but I was eventually able to see most of them thanks to friends who had videotaped the cable broadcast. It was a shame that my favorite band, Led Zeppelin, put on such a mediocre performance. They were absolutely the most eagerly anticipated act that day (for rock fans, at least) and should have been given a sound check and better time slot. Apparently they were waiting for Phil Collins to arrive from the UK and Jimmy Page had a few extra drinks, making the whole thing a mess. I’m sure they’d love to (chimney) sweep that performance under the rug.

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  7. Pingback: Forty Year Friday – ERIC CLAPTON “SLOWHAND” | KamerTunesBlog

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