What did Clapton think about almost joining the Beatles?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by deadbirdie, Mar 31, 2007.

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  1. Mike Dow

    Mike Dow I kind of like the music

    Bangor, Maine
    Not that it really matters since Clapton's pursuit of Patty continued into the 70's but "Layla" was recorded and released in 1970. The edited single was a belated hit in 1972.
  2. protay5

    protay5 Member

    Washington, DC
    My favorite fantasy from this period (if I could have the Beatles as they were) is Crosby, Stills and Harrison ...
  3. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX

    Well... the news about the marriage was largely eclipsed by the news
    about the after-wedding reception....

    Live - on stage - for one night only:

    Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Denny Laine

    There was also apparently a Cream reunion at the same event.

    I think this happened in either 79 or 80.

    John was still alive at the time - but he wasn't at the wedding.

    I believe there was an account of the event that ended up in Rolling

    I seem to recall the jam session starting with "Sgt. Pepper" and no
    other songs that were played merited mention in the story.

    Denny Laine seemed like the lucky one on the stage - imho.

    I'm guessing it had to be summer of 79 - given that Denny's involvment
    probably happened before the Japan pot bust in 1980.

    The funny thing about the story was the person telling the story
    (perhaps Derek Taylor??) freely admitted to being somewhat drunk
    and that was why we only got a mention of the first song they played.

    I specifically remember there being a question "So what did Cream
    play?" and the guy said "I don't remember - I was really really drunk
    by that time... I guess they played Cream songs"

    I wish I knew what I did with the clipping (which I was prone
    to put into a little book at the time for all Beatle related news)
  4. Ern

    Ern Forum Resident

    Here’s a snippet of an Eric Clapton interview to Mojo Magazine in April 1998:

    Mojo_’Wasn’t there a suggestion, in January 1969, that The Beatles would ask you to join?’
    Eric_’There may have been. The problem with that was, I had bonded or was developing a relationship with George – which was exclusive of them. I think it fitted a need of his and mine, that he could elevate himself by having this guy, that I could be like a gun-slinger to them. Lennon would use my name every now and then for clout, as if I was the fastest gun. So I don’t think I could have been brought into the whole thing, because I was too much a mate of George’s.’

    Mojo_’It was quite a brave move of George too, because he seemed to have his own insecurities about his guitar playing…’
    Eric_’I always felt he was actually pretty secure in what he was doing. He knew he was developing something unique of his own. He plays at being humble. Not that he’s a big-head, he’s a very well-balanced man. But I think his experience with them was quite humiliating a lot of the time; I just saw it from a distance, as a fly on the wall. Not that they directed insults or were offensive, but they just had that thing going between John and Paul which sort of said, We are better than you guys, and I think it was hard to be around.’
  5. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Senior Member

    My take is John was being tongue in cheek when he made the comment about Clapton.
    In another interview, the PBS series Rock and Roll interviewed Jeff Beck, talked about back in the 60's when he was contacted by some associates that said "You're going to be asked to join a band". Jeff's reply was "Is it the Beatles?"
  6. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX

    Thank you very much for finding this interview snippet.

    Claptons insight into the dynamic - with regard to the different
    players - seems to be very very intune with reality.

    Note that Eric states whether or not he thought it would work
    (it wouldn't), how John was prone to throw his name around but Eric
    didn't apparently consider it serious (meaning John didn't actually
    have Eric's buy-in nor would he have gotten it), and he says some
    nice things about George and how he probably felt...
  7. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Searching For Simplicity

    Eastern Iowa
    Clapton joining The Beatles. I don't picture that one...Clapton would've taken over the guitar duties from Lennon in heartbeat. How about Clapton joining The Band?! It's often been said after hearing Big Pink and meeting the guys, he wanted out of Cream and desired to be in The Band. Harrison is said to have had similar thoughts.
  8. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Senior Member

    Although the grass is always greener, isn't it? By all accounts, the relationship between Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm eventually became even more strained than that between McCartney and Harrison.
  9. longjohn

    longjohn New Member

    Ontario, Canada
    For some reason, the idea of Jeff Beck as a Beatle appeals to me a lot more than Eric C. as a Beatle... maybe it's Jeff's contributions to the Yardbirds which seem to me much more adventurous than Clapton's. Although later on Beck was no slouch when it came to long solos, he was a master of the brief solo during his Yardbirds stint... I'm sure he could have made some equally pithy contributions to Beatles sessions. John, Paul, Jeff and Ringo - wow, what a fantasy. (Not to demean George in any way shape or form; the ideal guitarist for the Beatles, period.)
  10. Stefan

    Stefan Forum Resident

    Montreal, Canada
    I actually could see Jeff fitting the Beatles well. I could also see him in the Stones. I wonder if this was around the time Mick Taylor joined.

    However, don't forget that he was apparently quite temperamental. The brief Yardbirds lineup with him and Jimmy Page on dual lead guitar might have had potential (imagine if it had evolved into Led Zeppelin with both of them on guitar!).

    Mind you, Jeff's meltdown supposedly happened because he didn't like touring so maybe he would have fit nicely into a studio-only Beatles.
  11. longjohn

    longjohn New Member

    Ontario, Canada
    Rather than a dislike of touring, I think the "meltdown" was due to overindulgence in the "fringe benefits" of touring (which means, IMO, that he liked touring plenty). Jeff is on record somewhere as saying the reasons he dropped out of that Yardbirds tour were because he had "inflamed tonsils, inflamed brain, inflamed c**k, inflamed everything".
  12. musicalbeds

    musicalbeds Strange but not a stranger

    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, that Layla tune sucks, Wonderful Tonight is boring, Tears In Heaven is tripe...not much of a songwriter at all. :rolleyes:
  13. edmund_k

    edmund_k occasionally worth reading

    Leicester, UK
    I seem to recall that John said he would have gone to the wedding as well, but knew nothing about it. Was he invited or did 'someone in the Dakota' just never pass him the invite? If he had attended it would not have been Eric joins the Beatles, but the Beatles join for Eric!
  14. Stefan

    Stefan Forum Resident

    Montreal, Canada
    Ok, well some of the inflammations wouldn't have happen ed had he joined the Beatles, but others perhaps would have still occurred. :)
  15. kentb47

    kentb47 Forum Resident

    Hot Springs Ark.
    Thanks from me as well for finding that Eric quote.

    Look, I don't think for a minute anyone -- John or George -- ever considered adding Eric to the Beatles.

    I've always interpreted Lennon's comment about 'getting Clapton in' to simply mean to play lead until George came back.

    And while John was clearly a fan and friend of Eric's, it can't be overstated that it was George and Eric who were close. I think it's fairly inconceivable that Eric would've ever joined in George's place.
  16. soundQman

    soundQman Forum Resident

    Arlington, VA, USA
    Yes, that was indeed quite cringeworthy, IMO.
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