Clapton, O My Clapton

Let me start off by saying this: don’t get me wrong, I like the guy. But Eric Clapton is living proof that you don’t have to be that creative to make it as a musician. “I Shot the Sheriff”? Written by Bob Marley. “Cocaine” and “After Midnight”? Both written by J.J. Cale. “Crossroads Blues”? Written by Robert Johnson (and the devil). Eric Clapton is what happens when you mix a talented musician with an extraordinarily talented thief. Granted, in any field where creativity is involved, you learn one thing: it’s all been done before. But COME ON, Eric! Even when he did an original song like “Tears in Heaven”, he copied the unplugged style pioneered by Southern Culture On the Skids and mimicked Mark Knopfler’s fingerstyle play (everytime I see Knopfler and Clapton playing together in a youtube clip, I want to scream, “Don’t play with that guy, Knopf, he’s only there to cop your style!”). Even the drugs he was into weren’t anything new; Miles Davis had been all over the heroin long before Clapton came along.

Even with all that, Clapton was the player that brought the lead guitar player to an elevated status. “Clapton is God” was showing up on the London subway walls even before Hendrix made his mark. While players like SRV, Mark Knopfler and Hendrix may have been more original in style and innovative in technique, Clapton helped get them there. Plus, if you watch the video, you’ll see he was a snappy dresser back in the day.

1 Response to “Clapton, O My Clapton”

  1. 1 Peter
    June 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I stole the beat from oh boy by cam’ron. I turned that into black history. It was the greatest rap song ever written.

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June 2009

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