Friday, November 29, 2013

The Fifth Beatle

I refer, of course, to Eric Clapton.  Who played the guitar solos on While My Guitar Gently Weeps.  I know this how?  I know this because everybody knows this.  Additionally, for you obsessives, here are two tracks from WMGGW.  First, the final published song; second, just the isolated guitar track of Clapton playing.

He plays all the way through because hey, he's Eric Clapton.  But the key work is at 1:55-2:30 and 3:33-4:25.  The idea is to listen to the song first, just to familiarize yourself.  Then re-listen to the above sections, just to bear down a little.  Then listen to the isolated guitar track, with special emphasis on the same sections (Note: the timing on the solo track is a little behind the timing on the full song, but you'll figure it out).  Then, if you're really feeling ambitious, you then go back and listen to the whole thing again.

Total elapsed time for this exercise: just less than twenty minutes.  Surely on the Friday after Thanksgiving you can spare twenty minutes to make yourself a better person.  If not a better person, then to perhaps gain a glimmer of insight into how rock and roll records are made.

Just to add to the intrigue, here's a picture of Pattie Boyd, looking outstanding on the cover of Vogue, no less.  This, friends, isn't chopped liver.  As everybody knows, Pattie was George's wife but left him to marry Clapton.  George's comment about it was something like "If she has to leave me, I'm glad she's hooking up with a friend."  That's not even close to right, but you might get the idea.  I'll look into it further.

Just for the record, Clapton wrote Layla and You Look Wonderful Tonight for her.  Harrison wrote Something.  So this is not chopped liver either.  I mean, the woman's a state-of-the-art muse!  And lest we think less of her for dumping my favorite Beatle, it should be noted that George was a notorious womanizer.  So there's always that.  Had I been a Beatle, I likely would have been too.

Brief personal note:  I had dinner last night with a group of people roughly my own age.  Several of them couldn't name all the Beatles.  This I find deeply troubling.


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