Tuesday, March 30, 8945

Eric Clapton (b. 1945) - Cream

Eric Patrick Clapton, (b. March 30, 1945) is an English blues-rock guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only person who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times; as a solo performer, as well as a member of rock bands The Yardbirds and Cream. Throughout his career, Clapton has been viewed by critics and fans alike as one of the most important and influential popular-music guitarists.

Although Clapton has varied his musical style throughout his career, it has always remained grounded in the blues; despite this focus, he is credited as an innovator in a wide variety of genres. These include blues-rock (with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds) and psychedelic rock (with Cream). Clapton's chart success was not limited to the blues, with other chart-toppers including Tears in Heaven and Bob Marley's I Shot the Sheriff; he is often credited for bringing reggae and Bob Marley to the mainstream).


I Shot the Sheriff (1973) is a song written by Bob Marley, told from the point of view of a man who admits to having killed the local sheriff, but claims to be falsely accused of having killed the deputy sheriff. The song was first released on The Wailers' album Burnin'.

Eric Clapton recorded a cover version that was included on his album, 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974). It is the most successful version of the song, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Clapton's only chart-topping hit in the U.S.

"I want to say 'I shot The Police' but the government would have made a fuss so I said 'I shot the sheriff' instead... but it's the same idea: justice." — Bob Marley

During the controversy over the Body Count song Cop Killer, it was frequently pointed out that there were no similar complaints about Marley's song even though they had similar themes.


Two of his most successful recordings were the hit love song Layla, which he played with the band Derek and the Dominos, and Robert Johnson's Crossroads, which has been his staple song since his days with Cream.


Cream was a 1960's British blues-rock band and supergroup consisting of bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, and drummer/vocalist Ginger Baker. Their sound was characterised by a hybrid of blues, hard rock and psychedelic rock, combining Eric Clapton's blues guitar playing with the voice and basslines of Jack Bruce and the jazz-influenced drumming of Baker. Wheels of Fire was the world's first platinum-selling double album.

Cream is widely regarded as being the world's first notable and functioning supergroup.

Cream's music included songs based on traditional blues such as Crossroads and Spoonful, and modern blues such as Born Under a Bad Sign, as well as more eccentric songs such as Strange Brew, Tales of Brave Ulysses, and Toad. Cream's biggest hits were I Feel Free,

Sunshine of Your Love, White Room, Crossroads,
and Badge.

Cream made a significant impact upon the popular music of the time, and along with Jimi Hendrix popularised the use of the wah-wah pedal. They provided a heavy yet technically proficient musical theme that foreshadowed and influenced the emergence of British bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and The Jeff Beck Group in the late 1960's. The band's live performances influenced progressive rock acts such as Rush, jam bands such as The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Phish and heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath.

Cream was ranked #16 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

By July 1966, Eric Clapton's career with The Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers had earned him a reputation as the premier blues guitarist in Britain.

Clapton's virtuosity and raw power with the guitar inspired one fan to spray paint the words "Eric Clapton is God" on the wall of an Islington underground station.

Clapton, however, found the environment of Mayall's band confining, and sought to expand his playing in a new band.

In 1966, Clapton met Baker, then the leader of the Graham Bond Organisation, which at one point featured Bruce on bass guitar, harmonica and piano. Baker, too, felt stifled in the GBO and had grown tired of Graham Bond's drug addictions and bouts of mental instability. "I had always liked Ginger," explained Eric Clapton. "Ginger had come to see me play with the Bluesbreakers.

After the gig he drove me back to London in his Rover. I was very impressed with his car and driving. He was telling me that he wanted to start a band, and I had been thinking about it too."

Each was impressed with the other's playing abilities, prompting Baker to ask Eric Clapton to join his new, then-unnamed group. Clapton immediately agreed, on the condition that Baker hire Bruce as the group's bassist; according to Clapton, Baker was so surprised at the suggestion that he almost crashed the car.


Derek and the Dominos were a blues-rock band formed in the spring of 1970 by guitarist and singer Eric Clapton with keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon, who had all played with Clapton in Delaney, Bonnie & Friends.

The band released only one studio album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, which featured prominent contributions from guest guitarist Duane Allman from the Allman Brothers Band. The album went on to receive critical acclaim, but initially faltered in sales and in radio airplay. Although released in 1970 it was not until March 1972 that the album's single Layla (a tale of unrequited love inspired by Clapton's relationship with his friend George Harrison's wife, Pattie Boyd Harrison) would make the top ten in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The album, which has received praise from both critics and fans alike, is often considered to be the defining achievement of Clapton's career.

Layla is a song by blues-rock band Derek and the Dominos and the thirteenth track from their album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, released in December 1970. It is considered one of rock music's definitive love songs, featuring an unmistakable guitar figure, played by Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, and a piano coda that comprises the second half of the song. Its famously contrasting movements were composed separately by Clapton and Jim Gordon.
Inspired by Clapton's then unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend and fellow musician George Harrison, Layla was unsuccessful on its initial release.

The song has since experienced great critical and popular acclaim. It is often hailed as being among the greatest rock songs of all time. Two versions have achieved chart success, first in 1972 and again twenty years later as an acoustic "Unplugged" performance.


Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend (b. May 19, 1945) is an English rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and author, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for The Who, as well as for his own solo career. His career with The Who spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the 60's and 70's.

Townshend is the primary songwriter for The Who, having written well over one hundred songs for the band's eleven studio albums, including concept albums and the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus popular rock and roll radio staples like Who's Next, and dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations like Odds & Sods. He has also written over one hundred songs that have appeared on his solo albums, as well as radio jingles and television theme songs. Although known primarily as a guitarist, he is also an accomplished singer, keyboardist, and also plays other instruments, such as banjo, accordion, synthesiser, piano, bass guitar and drums, on his own solo albums, several Who albums, and as a guest contributor to a wide array of other artist's recordings. Peter Townshend has never had formal lessons in any of the instruments he plays.

Townshend has also been a contributor and author of newspaper and magazine articles, book reviews, essays, books, and scripts, as well as collaborating as a lyricist (and composer) for many other musical acts.


The Who is an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums). They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction.

The Who have sold about 100 million records and have charted 27 top 40 singles in the United Kingdom and United States with 17 top ten albums, with 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.

The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with "I Can't Explain". The albums My Generation (1965), A Quick One (1966) and The Who Sell Out (1967) followed, with the first two reaching the UK top five. They first hit the US Top 40 in 1967 with "Happy Jack" and hit the top ten later that year with "I Can See for Miles." Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop and Woodstock music festivals. The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), The Who By Numbers (1975), Who Are You (1978) and The Kids Are Alright (1979).

Moon died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the UK and US top five Face Dances (1981) and the US top ten It's Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle's death at the age of 57 in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who, and in 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US.

The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility.

Rolling Stone magazine wrote: "Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock."


[Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1968 - Tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and John Fogerty'

John Cameron Fogerty (b. May 28, 1945) is an American rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known for his time with Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) and as a #1 solo recording artist.

He was born in Berkeley, California and is the younger brother of the late Tom Fogerty. He attended El Cerrito High School along with the other members of CCR.


[Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Sun [from the album Willie and the Poor Boys, 1969], as used in Forrest Gump [1994])

Creedence Clearwater Revival was an American rock band that gained popularity in the late 1960's and early 1970's with a number of successful singles drawn from various albums.

The group consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother and rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed rock and roll and swamp rock genres. Despite their San Francisco Bay Area origins, they are sometimes also cited as southern rock stylists.

CCR's music is still a staple of American and worldwide radio airplay and often figures in various media. The band has sold 26 million albums in the United States alone.

CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook (all born 1945) met in junior high school in El Cerrito, California and began playing instrumentals and "juke box standards" together under the name The Blue Velvets.

The trio also backed singer Tom Fogerty -- John's older brother by three years -- at live gigs and in the recording studio. By 1964, the band had signed to Fantasy Records, an independent jazz label based in San Francisco at the time.

Fantasy had released Cast Your Fate to the Wind, a national hit for jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi. The record's success was the subject of an NET TV special, which prompted budding songwriter John Fogerty to contact the label.

For the band's first release, however, Fantasy co-owner Max Weiss renamed the group The Golliwogs (after the children's literary character, Golliwogg), apparently to cash in on a wave of popular British bands with similar names.

During this period, band roles underwent some changes. Stu Cook had gone from piano to bass guitar and Tom Fogerty became the band's rhythm guitarist. John Fogerty also began to write much of the band's material. Most notably, the young guitarist had taken over lead vocal duty.

As Tom would later say, "I could sing, but John had a sound!"

The group had suffered a setback in 1966 when the draft board called up John Fogerty and Doug Clifford for military service. Fogerty managed to enlist in the Army Reserve instead of the regular Army while Clifford did a tenure in the United States Coast Guard Reserve.

In 1967, Saul Zaentz purchased Fantasy Records from Weiss and offered the band a chance to record a full-length album, but only if the group changed its name. Never having liked The Golliwogs, the foursome readily agreed. Zaentz and the band agreed to come up with ten suggestions each, but he enthusiastically agreed to their first: Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band took the three elements from, firstly, Tom Fogerty's friend Credence Newball, (to whose first name Credence they added an extra 'e,' making it resemble a faith or creed); secondly, "clear water" from a TV commercial for Olympia beer; and finally "revival," which spoke to the four members' renewed commitment to their band (Rejected contenders for the band's name included "Muddy Rabbit," "Gossamer Wump," and "Creedence Nuball and the Ruby," but the last was the start that led to their finalized name).

By 1968, Fogerty and Clifford had been discharged from military service. All four members subsequently quit their jobs and began a heavy schedule of rehearsing and playing area clubs full-time.

The resulting 1968 debut album Creedence Clearwater Revival struck a responsive note with the emerging underground pop culture press, which touted CCR as a band worthy of attention.

More importantly, AM radio programmers around the United States took note when a song from the LP, Suzie Q, received substantial airplay in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as on Chicago's WLS. Blues aficionados doubtless appreciated the similarities between CCR's tough style and R&B artists on the Chess and Vee-Jay labels.

A remake of a 1956 song by rockabilly singer Dale Hawkins, Suzie Q was the band's second single, and its first to crack the Top 40. Reaching #11 nationally, it would be Creedence's only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty. Two other singles from the debut were released: a cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell On You (which made it to #58) and Porterville, written during John Fogerty's Army Reserve stint.

While undertaking a steady string of live dates around the country to capitalize on their breakthrough, CCR also was hard at work on their second album Bayou Country at RCA Studios in Los Angeles. Released in January 1969 and becoming a #7 platinum hit, the record was the first in a string of hit albums and singles which continued uninterrupted for the next three years.
Bayou Country's seven songs were well-honed from Creedence's constant live playing. The album showed a distinct evolution in approach, much more simple and direct than the band's first release. The single

Proud Mary, backed with Born On the Bayou, went to Number 2 on the national Billboard chart. It would eventually become the group's most-covered song, with some 100 cover versions by other artists to date, including a hit version in 1971 by Ike and Tina Turner. Bob Dylan named it his favorite single of 1969. The album also featured a blistering remake of the rock & roll classic Good Golly Miss Molly and the band's nine-minute live-show closer, Keep On Chooglin'.

Only weeks later, in March 1969, Bad Moon Rising backed with Lodi was released and peaked at #2 on the charts. The band's third album, Green River, followed in August and quickly went gold along with the single Green River, which again reached #2 on the Billboard charts. The B-side of Commotion -- a one-chord two-step about the perils of city life -- peaked at #30. The bar-band story of "Lodi" became a popular staple on then-emerging FM radio. The band's emphasis on remakes of their old favorites continued with The Night Time Is the Right Time, which found its way into the band's live set as a crowd sing-along.

In 1969, Harry Shearer interviewed Cook and John Fogerty for the Pop Chronicles radio documentary.

Creedence continued to tour heavily including performances at the Atlanta Pop Festival and Woodstock. Their set was not included in the Woodstock film or its original soundtrack because John Fogerty felt the band's performance was subpar. (Several CCR tracks from the event were eventually included in the 1994 commemorative box set.) Stu Cook's view: "The performances are classic CCR and I'm still amazed by the number of people who don't even know we were one of the headliners at Woodstock '69." The band also complained that they had to take the stage at three in the morning because The Grateful Dead had jammed far past their scheduled set time. By the time Creedence began playing -- "the hottest shot on Earth at that moment," said John Fogerty bitterly, nearly 20 years later -- many in the audience had gone to sleep.

"Creedence Clearwater Revival, which disbanded in 1972, were progressive and anachronistic at the same time. An unapologetic throwback to the golden era of rock and roll, they broke ranks with their peers on the progressive, psychedelic San Francisco scene. Their approach was basic and uncompromising, holding true to the band members’ working-class origins. The term “roots rock” had not yet been invented when Creedence came along, but in a real way they defined it, drawing inspiration from the likes of Little Richard, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and the artisans of soul at Motown and Stax. In so doing, Creedence Clearwater Revival became the standard bearers and foremost celebrants of homegrown American music.” -- from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's website.

Woodstock wasn't a cause for concern. Creedence was busy honing material for a fourth album, Willy and the Poor Boys, released in November 1969. Down on the Corner, a good-time street-corner number, and the famously militant "Fortunate Son" climbed to #3 and #14, respectively, by year's end. The album was Creedence in its standard form, featuring Fogerty originals and two reworked Leadbelly covers, Cotton Fields and Midnight Special. Both the latter songs also had been performed by actor Harry Dean Stanton in the movie Cool Hand Luke, suggesting a subtle non-conformist theme to an apparently tradition-oriented album.

1969 had been a remarkable chart year for the band: three Top Ten albums, four hit singles (charting at #2, #2, #2, and #3) with three additional charting B-sides. On November 16, 1969, they performed Fortunate Son and Down on the Corner on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Just after the new year, 1970, CCR released yet another new double-sided 45, Travelin' Band/Who'll Stop the Rain. John Fogerty has said that the flip side was inspired by the band's experience at Woodstock. The speedy Travelin' Band, however, bore enough similarities to Good Golly, Miss Molly to warrant a lawsuit by the song's publisher; it was eventually settled out of court. In the meantime, the single had topped out at #2. The band also recorded its January 31, 1970, live performance at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in Oakland, California, which would later be marketed as a live album and television special. In February, the Creedence foursome was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, although only John Fogerty was interviewed in the accompanying article.

In April 1970, Creedence was set to begin its first European tour. To support the upcoming live dates, Fogerty came up with Up Around the Bend, and the brooding Run Through the Jungle, about the burgeoning problem of societal violence in the United States. The single -- written, recorded, and shipped in only a few days' time -- went to #4 that spring, enjoying enthusiastic response from European live audiences and high commercial success in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

The band returned to Wally Heider's San Francisco studio in June to record what many consider their finest album, Cosmo's Factory. The title was an in-joke about their various rehearsal facilities and factory work ethic over the years (Drummer Doug Clifford's longtime nickname is "Cosmo," due to his keen interest in nature and all things cosmic). The album contained the earlier Top 10 hits Travelin' Band and Up Around the Bend plus highly popular album tracks such as the opener Ramble Tamble, an ambitious and snarling seven-minute cut about life in urban America with its "police on the corner, garbage on the sidewalk, actors in the White House."

Cosmo's was released in July 1970, along with yet another #2 national hit, Lookin' Out My Back Door/Long As I Can See the Light. It was the band's fifth #2 single. Though they topped some international charts and local radio countdowns (such as WLS's, which rated three of their singles at #1), Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit. Their five #2 singles were exceeded only by Elvis Presley and Madonna with 6 each. CCR has the odd distinction of having the most #2 singles on the Billboard charts without ever having had a #1.

Other cuts on the Cosmo's Factory album included an incisive eleven-minute jam of the 1967 and 1968 R&B hit I Heard It Through The Grapevine (which would become a minor hit when an edited version was released as a single in the 70's a few years after the group's breakup) and a nearly note-for-note homage to Roy Orbison's Ooby Dooby. John Fogerty's musical range clearly had expanded. He now wove in slide guitar, keyboards, saxophones, tape effects, and layered vocal harmonies—and pushed himself vocally more than ever on Long As I Can See the Light.

The album, eleven songs in all, was Creedence's best seller and went straight to #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts and #11 on Billboard's Soul Albums chart.

The Cosmo's Factory sessions had seen the stirrings of tensions within the foursome as the incessant touring and heavy recording schedules took their toll. John had taken control of the group in its business matters and its artistic output. The situation began to grate on Tom, Stu, and Doug, who wanted more of a say in the band's workings. John resisted, feeling that a 'democratic' process would threaten their success. Other issues included John's decision at a 1970 Nebraska gig that the band would no longer give encores at its live shows.

Pendulum, released in December 1970, was another top seller, spawning a Top 10 hit with Have You Ever Seen the Rain? The album marked yet another shift in the band's approach: a more minimal approach to production values, as opposed to the "wall of sound" style of the previous three albums. The single's flip side, the ringing Hey Tonight, was also a hit. Somewhat experimental was the closer track, Rude Awakening #2, an unusual free-form instrumental in which the musicians seem to have thrown in every sound effect they could imagine.

But even continued musical innovation and success could not resolve the differences between John and Tom Fogerty. During the recording of Pendulum Tom Fogerty, who had already quit the band several times in disgust but was always talked into returning, left Creedence Clearwater Revival permanently. His departure was made public in February 1971. The band members considered replacing Tom but never did, Fogerty saying on an Australian TV broadcast that no new member could endure being in Creedence.

In spring 1971, John Fogerty informed a startled Cook and Clifford the band would continue only by adopting a 'democratic' approach: each member would now write and sing his own material. Fogerty also would contribute only rhythm guitar to his bandmates' songs. Cook and Clifford, who had wanted more of a voice in the band's music and business decisions, resisted this arrangement. Fogerty insisted they accept the new arrangement, or he would quit the band.

Despite the dissension, the CCR trio put its new work ethic to the test in the studio, releasing the Top 10 single Sweet Hitch-Hiker in July 1971, backed with Stu Cook's Door to Door. The band toured both the U.S. and Europe that summer and autumn, with Cook's song a part of the live set. In spite of their continuing commercial success, however, relations among the three had become increasingly strained.

The band's final album, Mardi Gras, was released in April 1972, featuring songs written by Fogerty, Cook, and Clifford and a cover of Hello Mary Lou (a song Gene Pitney originally wrote for Ricky Nelson.) It received mostly poor, even savage reviews: Rolling Stone reviewer Jon Landau called it "the worst album I have ever heard from a major rock band."

The sales of Mardi Gras were weaker than those of the previous albums, although the album was not a total flop commercially, peaking at #12, perhaps due more to the strength of the Creedence name than to the particular music on the record.

By this point, Fogerty was not only at direct odds with his bandmates, but he had also come to see the group's relationship with Fantasy Records as onerous, feeling that label owner Zaentz had reneged on his promise to give the band a better contract. Cook -- who holds a degree in business -- claimed that because of poor judgment on Fogerty's part, CCR had to abide by the worst record deal of any major American recording artist.

Despite the relatively poor reception of Mardi Gras and deteriorated relationships among the remaining band members, Creedence immediately embarked upon a two-month, 20-date U.S. tour. However, in October 1972 -- less than six months after the tour ended -- Fantasy Records and the band officially announced the disbanding of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Creedence Clearwater Revival never formally reunited after the break-up, although Cook and Clifford eventually started the band Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

[8946 Fripp / 8945 Clapton / 8945 Marley]