As a legendary guitarist, Eric Clapton has few peers. Even in 1975, relatively early on in a career that continues to this day, he was already able to reminisce about working with Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, Duane Allman, Jimmy Page, and Jimi Hendrix. He was touring in support of There's One in Every Crowd at the time with a band that was assembled for the previous year's release of 461 Ocean Boulevard partly as a reaction to his distaste with the supergroup format. And, at least here, it sounds like they were having fun.
Indeed, this recording works almost as well as a snapshot of the band's life on the road as it does as a exploration of Eric Clapton. There are a number of distractions, especially in Part 1. Eric starts the interview with an acoustic guitar in hands, and shortly after he puts it down, Marcy Levy and Yvonne Elliman stumble through the door trying to remember details of the events from the previous evening and morning. Combined with Clapton's seeming discomfort with his success, there are few stretches of meaningful, uninterrupted material. However, the interview does seem to gain some momentum after a short break at the end of Part 1, resuming with the lighting of cigarettes and an increased pace.
00:00 - Intro / who gave Eric a guitar?
00:34 - Staying the same in the face of success
01:50 - "Make it two"
02:20 - Roots: American, British, Canadian
03:53 - Hearing American blues / affinity with simplicity
05:35 - Playing spoons, defining folk music
06:54 - Incorporating reggae into the music / graphic artists
08:02 - The girls show up and settle in
10:22 - Bob Marley the revolutionary / no good reggae musicians (except Carl Radle)
11:43 - Hoodwinked by Bob Marley and Bob Dylan?
12:37 - [Interlude - COVER YOUR EARS AT 12:50]
13:05 - Not getting days off / remembering last night / nasal spray
14:36 - [Interlude - making drinks, teaching the blues, plans for a jam]
16:16 - Life as an itinerant musician
18:19 - Learning to sing from Delaney Bramlett / making Eric Clapton / Barry Feinstein
21:44 - Lessons learned from Duane Allman
22:46 - Not knowing Jimmy Page / sociological implications of living on an island
24:20 - The most peaceful spirit he's ever worked with
25:06 - Learning from other performers / the benefits of sticking together in a band
28:25 - Cream / the current band / John Mayall
29:30 - [Interlude]
29:53 - Working with Bob Dylan / "music for the gods," the computational brain
00:00 - The next album / reviews of There's One in Every Crowd
01:24 - Making albums for critics, oneself / Bob Dylan's set at Newport
03:54 - Staying anonymous / surviving one's success
06:23 - Music becoming the most important thing / too much money, too little music
09:17 - Feeling competitive
10:05 - Leaving the Yardbirds / an impurist phase
11:57 - Tyrannical audiences / the biggest musical sin
14:43 - Unable to understand the success of Cream
15:55 - Outgrowing Cream
17:30 - "Layla": who plays what, how the song developed
18:57 - Re-mixing old songs
20:56 - Songwriting process: hotel > studio > stage / "Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
23:08 - Comparisons to Jimi Hendrix
24:34 - Playing with Jimi / remembering Robert Johnson
25:48 - Intuitions of impending death
27:08 - Other blues artist influences
28:32 - Three dead people you have to listen to
29:59 - Book recommendations