Sunday, January 18, 2009
Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood: Little Wing
Last year, discussing Steve Winwood's Dear Mr Fantasy from Eric Clapton's second Crossroads guitar festival, I said that I have always been a little resistant to the Clapton mystique. I have since worked out why this is.
Although I post a lot of material from the 1960s here, the decade in which I formed my tastes and followed the charts was the 1970s. I can still identify most singles from the middle of the decade from their first few notes.
And in the 1970s Eric Clapton was issuing singles like "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Wonderful Tonight". These were not the sort of thing to inspire anybody. Having delved deeper into his archive recently, I have more respect for him.
In 1969 Clapton and Winwood were both members of the short-lived Blind Faith, which is generally regarded as the first "super group". More about them one day.
Here they are from February of last year playing in one of three rapturously received concerts they played at Madison Square Gardens in New York. As was said at the time, it was a novelty to see two former bandmates who so obviously enjoy playing with one another. Most group members from the Blind Faith era hate each other and have only got back together because they need the money.
"Little Wing" is a Jimi Hendrix song and Clapton sounds pretty wonderful playing it. In case it seems sacrilegious for anyone else to play a Hendrix song, it is worth pointing out that Steve Winwood played with him on "Voodoo Chile" from the Electric Ladyland album.
Later. Videos of this song keep disappearing from Youtube, but the latest one I have found has little audience noise.