Monday, June 13, 2016

Eric Clapton

Rolling Stone June 2, 2016
Last summer, I was on the West Coast visiting family and the cousins were talking smack about Eric Clapton. I sort of nodded ... uh huh, uh huh. It's what I do when I'm not listening. I, honestly, didn't have an opinion. And I'm not sure that their sources of information about his ... behavior, being, whatever they were talking about wasn't biased.

I had the "461 Ocean Boulevard" album when I was a kid. Who didn't? I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy ... And being a Beatles fanatic, I knew that he stole George Harrison's wife Patty, the girl George met while filming "A Hard Day's Night." Dirty bastard ... doing that to my George! But I haven't really kept up with him as I have others.

What stood out in this Q&A was, naturally, his process. I love it explained by the artist. The question is: "Do you plot out your solos before a take?" To which, Clapton responded: "No. I let my hands do the talking. Then my brain catches up. I'm hearing it after it happens. Then I go, "Oh, that wasn't very good. Try doing this." That happens, but the best bit is still the one before I actually thought about what I was going to do. My hands are in front of me a lot of the time."

I love the idea of this. Of course, the channeling is what is the art ... if thought, the spontaneity  is interrupted. Maybe, lost. He knows his guitar so well that I would imagine that he only has to put his hands on her, him, and go. I would love to hold an instrument and feel it talk to me like that. I wonder if it wouldn't do a better job of communicating than the words that come out of my mouth.

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