Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Keltie's comments on "Clapton" autobiography!

I've yet to read the book, but I love a good (auto)biography, and especially when its about an artist I admire and enjoy. 

I agree with what Brad said. Its astonishing how prolific EC (and many other artists) was, when they were in the clutches of drug or alcohol addiction. I sometimes take a different view on things and wonder if it wasn't for the substances, would art have even been created? We all know the story behind the creation of Eric's "Layla" album (under the guise of "Derek & the Dominoes": Full blown cocaine and heroin addiction, a torrid affair with his best friend's wife and the emotional roller coaster this brought on, and the drugs to numb the pain and frustration. According to keyboard player Bobby Whitlock, during the "Layla" sessions, "there were no grams of stuff. There were bags laying around everywhere." Yet you listen to the "Layla" album and its an absolute masterpiece. It really is amazing that considering the substances involved and such, how this album stands up and is a legend. Which leads me to ask "would this album be just as good if it wasn't for the drugs?" I guess we'll never know.

An artist's back catalog, the albums created at the time, really are products of their time. Would "Layla" have been the same if it was recorded stone cold sober? Would "Easter Everywhere" be just as profound if it wasn't for the LSD? While I don't condone drug use in any way, shape, or form, you have to think "what if (so-and so) was not drunk or stoned at the time."

As with many of my favorite artists, I'm very happy to see Clapton clean, sober, happy and still making music his way. His last album ("Clapton") was no mind blowing revelation, but a sturdy, solid set of tunes that make for good listening anytime. And when I hear of a favorite artist enjoying live and thriving and living a clean life, it really makes me wish that addiction was not a part of our society.

I can't wait to give this book a good read. Now I must put on some Clapton. I just bought his album "Pilgrim" at a thrift shop today and am eager to give it a spin. 

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