Wednesday, 13 January 2016

JOHN MAYALL: Memories Of The Young Eric Clapton at Guildford’s Harvest Moon Club

Dave Reading was an 18-year-old reporter for the Surrey Advertiser when he watched a young Eric Clapton begin to make his mark on the world of popular music. Here he recalls seeing and hearing him play at the Harvest Moon Club in Guildford nearly 50 years ago in 1966.

People who know rock guitarist Eric Clapton only from his later work may find it hard to understand why the words “Clapton is God” were sprayed on walls across the South of England in the mid-1960s.

1960s graffiti proclaiming 'Clapton is God'.

“Clapton’s popularity is a mystery,” wrote Kieron Tyler in the Guardian in 2007. “There’s no fire, no abandon, no musical identity. Given a platform, Clapton will either send you to sleep or offend your musical sensibilities with pap.”

Even while the graffiti artists were at work, there were some who didn’t get it. Although Clapton had ambitions as a blues guitarist, there was nothing new about white men playing black men’s music. The territory had already been captured by Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies, the Rolling Stones and, of course, John Mayall.

The Lost Broadcasts
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