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My lunch with Eric Clapton

blewsbreaker

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
1,090
Hi guys, just want to share my experence with meeting a guitar “legend”....

Being a Mastering Engineer at Capitol Records in Hollywood brings me in touch with the odd music “celebrity” every now and then..... so for me, with doing this job for 20-odd years, I’ve seen them come and I’ve seen them go.....But when I found out 2 1/2 weeks ago that Eric Clapton would be recording a new album in studio “B” here at Capitol with JJ Cale,....I got VERY excited....

Since Clapton and Co. were “recording” an album instead of “mastering” an album, I had to figure out a way of meeting him without coming across as some nerd/fan or whatever.....

Well on the second day of the session, my friend Jimmy who was the assistant engineer on the date, called my studio to ask if Eric and Simon Clime could come up to listen to the vinyl copy of Eric’s new record “Coming Home” to check the vinyl pressing on my turntable.......Are you kidding me....HELL YES!!!!

I couldn’t believe it...WHAT LUCK!!!! SO I immediatley drove home and got my 66’JTM45 and LES Paul, and camera and got back to my studio in less than one hour, hoping to get a few autographs and pictures after the “listening” session in my studio......
I was READY......

The session was supposed to start at 6:00pm that day.
I got a call at 5:30pm from my friend Jimmy saying “So sorry dude, only Simon the producer is coming up to your studio”.........

FAAAAHHHHCCCCKKKKK!!!!!

After a few days I learned that Eric and everyone on the session would have lunch everyday at 1:00 in the Artist lounge. Up until this point the closest I got to Eric was checking out his “rig” in the studio and hanging out with Lee Dickson a bit. Eric was using one reissue ”low powered” Fender tweed twin , one black custom shop strat and one very old L5. No stompboxes or effects whatsoever....

Well, with not having any clients attending my session last thursday, I decided that THIS was the day...... I got my lunch about 12:50pm and went up to the Artist lounge to eat. There were a few folks already hanging out there so I picked the booth closest to the window.

At almost 1:00pm on the dot, Eric bounded up the stairs. I’m sitting there eating my lunch and find it strange that NOBODY seems to want to sit with me at this booth.....Suddenly Eric comes over to me and asks, “Do you mind if I join you?”....”NO , not at all! “ I say, now realizing that no one was sitting with me because I ‘m at Eric’s bloody table!

So he sits down and I introduce myself while shaking his hand....He say’s “Hi I’m Eric”...... So here I am sitting two feet away from one of my guitar heroes watching him eat his chicken taquitos (with tabasco sauce), trying to think of something appropiate to talk about.....I can feel the beads of sweat starting to form on my brow..... Eric mentioned to another fellow that his daughters just went to a “Wiggles” concert last night. I immediately piped in saying my two small kids were into the Wiggles too... He asked how old my kids were and we both laughed about how popular Dora the Explorer is in each of our households. Eric says, “Dora is VERY powerful stuff”.

I asked him how long he’s been using the “low powered” tweed twins and he said “quite a long time”. He said the new ones are more “robust” for the road. I then mentioned the circuit for those amps is not that different than the old JTM-45 he used to use....He piped right in and “yes it is a similar sound when cranked up..” He said he used 2 of those twins for the Cream shows and he only needed one because Ginger plays “very quiet”...I asked him what happened to that BB combo and at first he didn’t remember, but then he did saying he left it in Greece when he was playing with the Glands after he left Mayall. He said that was a real special amp and that he hasn’t heard one like it since. I said, “I have a 66’ style 1 BB combo” in which Eric said “oh yes, with the thick lip, my one had the flat front on it”.....I asked him if he ever plugged into a 18watt “mini-bluesbreaker” and he said “no”, but he seemed interested when I told him they have a similar sound to the JTM-45’s but at a lower volume....I said to him I had my amp up in my studio and he was more than welcome to use it if he liked.....

He politely declined....(DAMN!!!)

I wanted desperately to get a picture or have him sign my amp but the appropiate time never transpired. I feel very lucky though, to have been able to hang with Eric for 20 mins or so.....

blewsbreaker
Lee Dickson and I
 
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marika

New member
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
186
i have heard of this Eric dude, but who are the Wiggles?

:bug
mark
 

bluespckr

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Jun 8, 2005
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2,073
... ah, yes ...autographs and such might fade or be destroyed, but memories are forever. Great story.
 

Mainah

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Joined
Jul 9, 2004
Messages
1,081
marika said:
who are the Wiggles?

I'm guessing you don't have any young children? They're real big with that particular demographic. ;)

VERY cool brush with greatness story, BTW.
 

hottub

New member
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
2,946
damn good story! thanks! man, that would be cool to have lunch with a guitar hero and talk guitar stuff!
 

vic108

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
380
I heard that Eric and JJ were doing a recording together
from my friend and bass player extrodinare, Tim Drummond.
Seems JJ called Tim to show up but Tim's been on hard times
lately and couldn't make it.

Tim has done many albums with JJ before and recorded the
RUSH soundtrack with Eric too. I wanted to see him get back
into the fray. I pushed him to GO! to no avail....DAMN!

Great story there, man!
 

kerryboy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
1,199
blewsbreaker said:
...I asked him what happened to that BB combo and at first he didn’t remember, but then he did saying he left it in Greece when he was playing with the Glands after he left Mayall. He said that was a real special amp and that he hasn’t heard one like it since. [/URL]

How casual is that.... oh i just left it behind

Its hard to believe that he just left (that famous amp) behind in Greece. Its probably being used as a karaoke amp in one of those crappy beach bars.
 

illinimax

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
170
Great story. My brother lives in Columbus, OH and ran into EC at a Starbucks.

"Hi, I'm Eric" - ya kiddin' me ???!!! How you didn't break into a Wayne's World "I'm Not Worthy" bit speaks highly of your professionalism. :biglaugh:
 

lefty64

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Joined
Dec 6, 2003
Messages
483
Congratulations! That is a great memory to hold on to. Sounds like you handled it well. I met Elliot Easton (of Cars fame) when I was 18 years old in a book store in Woodstock NY. The Cars were at the height of their fame. Elliot was a pretty big hero of mine at the time, not only liked his solos but he was also a left handed guitarist. He was really ultra cool and stood there talking to me in that bookstore for like 15 minutes about music and guitars. He was incredibly down to earth and friendly and even invited me to come jam with him! He was doing some other project other than the Cars at the time, they were on a break I guess. I was to chicken and insecure to go jam with him (I regret that). I'll never forget that meeting.
 

blewsbreaker

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
1,090
kerryboy said:
How casual is that.... oh i just left it behind

Its hard to believe that he just left (that famous amp) behind in Greece. Its probably being used as a karaoke amp in one of those crappy beach bars.

Well, there's more to the story....
See, the Glands were playing at this hotel for awhile and they weren't getting paid by the owner. When they confronted him about getting paid, and I believe they were chased out by gunpoint or something along those lines.... Eric was barely able to grab his Les Paul on the way out... He had no choice but leave his amp...
:dang
 

Jackyrhode

New member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Messages
640
Wow! That's a great story. Sure beats the old 'I saw so and so on the street' tales.

So Clapton's playing tweed twins with Cream? Interesting he's not going back to his old equipment for those shows. I can't wait to see them but I must admit I really wnated to see Clapton play a solid body Gibson through a Marshall.
 

spidey

Active member
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Messages
3,257
What a great story! Hey, we have the Wiggles and Dora on our TV too thanks to my daughter. Its crazy to think that maybe Eric's watching the same things as us mere mortals!
 
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