Just as “Crossroads” introduced a new generation of music fans to the mystique of Robert Johnson, Cream’s “Spoonful” brought extra exposure to Willie Dixon, who wrote the song, and Howlin’ Wolf, who originally recorded it in 1960.
When I was a young'un in the early '80s, still new to the guitar and looking for great players to inspire me, I asked a few adults, including my father, to name some great guitarists, people I should be listening to and learning from. Every one of them, Dad included, mentioned Eric Clapton. (Note: He was cool enough to also mention Eddie Van Halen.)
A few years ago, the editors of Guitar World magazine compiled what we feel is the ultimate guide to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time. The list, which has been quoted by countless artists, websites and publications around the world, starts with Richie Sambora's work on Bon Jovi's “Wanted Dead or Alive” (Number 100) and builds to a truly epic finish with Jimmy Page's solo on "Stairway to Heaven" (Number 1).
"Supergroup" is a word that doesn't sit well with a lot of people. For some, it conjures up bloated egos battling for creative control. For others, it makes them think of flash-in-the-pan projects that never had much of a lasting impact.
For most of the past five decades, British guitarist Eric Clapton has been at the forefront of blues/rock guitar playing. Though he has incorporated many different stylistic elements into his music during his long and very successful career, Clapton’s legacy was forged long ago on his brilliance as a virtuoso soloist, and he will long be remembered as one of the most important and influential guitarists ever.
Guitar Legends: Eric Clapton is a must-have for fans of any era in Clapton's long career. The special issue, which is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $9.99, tells Clapton's story and transcribes five songs, including "Layla," "Cocaine" and "Sunshine of Your Love." It features several interviews, details his solo career and time with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds.
Another supergroup is on the horizon as members of Cream, Living Colour, Carlos Santana's live band and Medeski, Martin and Wood have joined forces in Spectrum Road. The group features Jack Bruce on bass and vocals, Vernon Reid on guitar, John Medeski on keys/piano and Cindy Blackman-Santana on drums.
It was in the early 1960s that Eric Clapton first grabbed people with the scream in his sound. People called it the "woman tone," but that was no woman -- that was his life. On songs like "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "Crossroads," he used his guitar to give voice to the emotions he couldn't, or wouldn't, vent as a singer or songwriter.