Firebirds and hair

Whilst ferreting about on YouTube trying to find videos to illustrate yesterday’s post about Glen Campbell, I stumbled across a video clip I’d never seen before and that I’d only heard.

It features Cream guesting on the Glen Campbell Show in 1968 performing ‘Sunshine of your Love’ live and was something I’d only ever heard on the Cream box set retrospective ‘Those Were the Days’.

It’s an interesting piece of footage for several reasons.

Clapton is the hairiest he’s ever been and looks somewhat like this:

Eric Clapton eric_clapton_cream

The guy’s a bit like a human chameleon – he’s gone through what seem like dozens of ‘images’ and never seems to look the same for very long.

He’s also toting a Gibson Firebird – as in the photo above.

Here’s a better picture:

eric18ps

There are lots more photos of a Cream-era Clapton with his Firebird here.

Associated with Les Pauls and SG Les Pauls up until then, Clapton seemed to like his Firebird a lot. He used it extensively in Cream’s last two tours right up until the RAH gigs in London when he used it for the early show, switching to the red ES335 for the late show – which is the one I saw.

It seems pretty obvious that the producer of the Glen Campbell Show told the band to play quietly – or at least turn it down – as Clapton’s tone lacks the distortion which was part of his signature sound at that time. In fact, it’s downright wimpy and takes all the OOOMPH out of the performance which was by the band at its height – after they’d been gigging extensively in the US and before their badly-rehearsed farewell tour when they seemed to be going through the motions.

Anyway, here’s the video in question – a fascinating document that I didn’t know existed, but fascinating for the wrong reasons!

To make up for the rather lacklustre performance, here’s a bit of video someone has cobbled together, featuring some interesting photos and a performance of ‘Sunshine’ that’s very early and very energetic! In fact, the band’s on absolutely blinding form – on fucking fire – with Bruce playing some great bass and Clapton freewheeling all over the top of it.

Stunning!

Masters of Reality – stoned brilliance

One of the things I hope this blog is doing is creating interest in some great musicians and bands that either went nova before their time, aren’t appreciated by enough people, have become forgotten or just aren’t very well represented on the interweb.

We’ve had Jellyfish and the Dictators and now it’s the turn of Masters of Reality.

“Who?” you may well ask.

Well, you may be more familiar with writer, singer, producer and guitarist Chris Goss who is the band really – especially if you’re a fan of Queens of the Stone Age and Stoner Rock in general.

Here’s the band with ‘She Got Me’ – a track from their “Sunrise on the Sufferbus” album.

Their eponymous debut album might just well be my favourite album of all time with its stoned, guitar-dominated and varied ambience. Not a duff track on it, with Goss in fine voice sounding very like Jack Bruce at times.

Incidentally, Ginger Baker features in the video above.

A new album is in sight – ‘Pine/Crossed Dover’ – but the release date keeps getting put back. At the moment it’s scheduled for some time this coming August but I’m not holding my breath…