Eric Clapton and his legacy
Posted by Dan O'Brien on 3/6/2013 2:21:00 PM.
Eric Clapton said in an interview recently, that he is considering calling it a day (as far as touring goes) within a few years.I must admit,the story caught me just a bit off guard..The notion of the great Clapton approaching age 70 set me to ponder the enormous impact the guitar player has had  over  last the six decades.Whether you love him or hate his music,Eric defined the modern guitar sound!!...The sound that virtually everyone who picks up an electric 6 string emulates,know it or not.If Eric is remembered for one thing it must be the fact that he first married a Gibson Les Paul (with humbucking pickups) to a Marshall amp(JTM45 in a 2x12 combo) channelling that wonderfully robust,harmonically dense overdrive and distortion that we now see as mainstream.The irony was that Eric was trying to imitate the Chicago blues sound of guitarists like Freddy King,Otis Rush and Buddy Guy when he bought the Les Paul,the same guitar that King had on one of his album covers.Almost accidentally, when plugged into the Marshall(a Fender Bassman clone) the thick,beautiful overdrive coupled with a blues style similar to King,Rush and Guy,started a guitar revolution that still reverberates..EVERY guitarist worth his mojo,from Hendrix and Page to Duane Allman,Billy Gibbons and Richie Blackmore raced to keep pace.In 1966 the young Clapton recorded the Bluesbreaker album with John Mayall.It was on this LP that Eric debuted this "new" sound that shook up the world!..Many guitar slingers feel this album is EC's finest and evergreen effort  and I must agree.A club player for many years,the "Bluesbreaker sound" to me is still the muse and I probably listen to the record at least a couple times a month, even now...I know every lick by heart but its that "sound" that still gets me!!.....I was going up to a Bruins game a couple of weeks ago with an old college friend and dropped in the Bluesbreaker CD in the car player.My friend had never heard it before and was so taken back by the sheer power of the album, that he vowed to pick it up the very next week..."Dont bother,"I said..."keep it"..I didnt mention I had four other copies,two of which were vinyl! The Bluesbreakers,John Mayall with Eric Clapton,1966....This record changed everything.........Thanks Eric...... ......Dan OBrien WNLC radio....

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