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Steven Lister

So why did Clapton pass on the tone, SGs & LPs that made him God?

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As a newbie here, but a guitar player for 40+ years, I'd like to add my .02

When I was a pimple-faced teen, you where either a Gibson guy, or a Fender guy, and extremely loyal to which ever brand was your guitar of choice. (Strat players were sissys). I've since changed my way of thinking, but to this day, the only Fender product I've ever owned is a '51 Squire, that I bought specially to set up as my "keef" 5 string, G tuning. I just don't feel comfortable on Fenders.

I always played Gibson because EC/Page/Beck played one. When I came home with the FRESH CREAM album, my folks thought that I was surely going to hades.

Anyway, I was disapointed when EC went to Strats, and I too lost interest in his work.

And when I saw the reunion concert, I was very disapointed that he didn't use Gibsons, to me, it just didn't 'feel' or 'look' right that he used Strats, instead of using the gear that he made all those great licks on.

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As a newbie here' date=' but a guitar player for 40+ years, I'd like to add my .02

When I was a pimple-faced teen, you where either a Gibson guy, or a Fender guy, and extremely loyal to which ever brand was your guitar of choice. (Strat players were sissys). I've since changed my way of thinking, but to this day, the only Fender product I've ever owned is a '51 Squire, that I bought specially to set up as my "keef" 5 string, G tuning. I just don't feel comfortable on Fenders.

I always played Gibson because EC/Page/Beck played one. When I came home with the FRESH CREAM album, my folks thought that I was surely going to hades.

Anyway, I was disapointed when EC went to Strats, and I too lost interest in his work.

And when I saw the reunion concert, I was very disapointed that he didn't use Gibsons, to me, it just didn't 'feel' or 'look' right that he used Strats, instead of using the gear that he made all those great licks on.[/quote']

 

While I respect your opinion, I guess I just don't 'get' this viewpoint.

 

I don't feel that my identity is wrapped up in my choice of guitar, although it is certainly reflected in the music I play. Of course, that latter point can sometimes be linked to the choice of instrument. Some things I use my Strat for, and for other things I use my Epiphone (or maybe another of my guitars). Still, I guess we all have a favorite 'desert island' guitar - like Paul McCartney and his Epiphone Casino.

 

Mr Clapton has chosen to make his music with a Stratocaster for many years now. And he's still damned good at it.

The 2005 Cream reunion gigs sounded great, IMHO. He didn't demean those legendary songs by playing them on a Fender rather than a Gibson. Besides, as I recall, Jack Bruce wasn't using an EB-3 bass either. An individual's tastes and styles change over time. Why slavishly recreate 1968 40 years later?

 

Like I said, I just don't understand total brand loyalty to guitars.

 

My old man was a Ford man. He hated any car that came out of Flint, MI on principle. I've never understood that, either. When I was 19 I bought a Skylark, just to piss him off.

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I don't think Clapton's right to move on and seek out new sounds is the issue here, and I definitely don't think anyone expects him to be true to a brand, not even Gibson.

 

Isn't the real question something like: "Was the move from the sound of "White Room", "Sunshine of your Love", etc. (Gibson years) to the sound of "Lay down Sally", "Wonderful Tonight", etc. (Fender years) really such a great choice?" Some might even see such a development as "selling out" to the mainstream. Clapton could have done that, i.e. selling out, with a Gibson as well, but the fact is: He did it with a Strat.

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I'm going back to my orginal post on this subjet - strats sound better.

 

I actually like his early solo stuff with his strat better than cream, John mayall, or yardbirds - I enjoy those gibson/marshall years, but I like the solo strat stuff better.

 

Why did Jeff Beck switch from Les Paul's to Strats?

Why is Jimmy Page primarily known as a LP marshall guy when he used a Telecaster and Danelectro so often in the studio? Why why why?

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Well, as always...this is "opinion," fueled by Our various preferences...not EC's. He still "tears it up,"

on a regular basis...as far as I'm concerned. But, I've Always loved his playing and his singing too,

especially now. Other's may not...and, that's ok. And actually...I think his "Tone" has more to do with

little Fender amps, than his choice of guitar(s). Fender's do not sound like Marshalls! They both have

their nitches, and strengths...but "Mayall/Cream" era was all Marshall/Gibson. His playing, has been

consistantly getting better, and more relaxed, as the years go by. The youthful "fire" as it may have

been, has been replaced by the relaxed confidence, and knowledge of age. If anything, he's better

now, playing and singing...writing, too. But...again, IMHO.

 

CB

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I want to expand on the Fender/Marshall thing...for a minute. His Fender (and all Fender open back amps) had a

decided "boxy" tone (lots of treble and mid-range, less bass), than even Fender closed back amps (Bandmaster,

Dual Showman, etc.)...Marshall "Stacks" being closed backed, have a decided advantage, with bottom end, as well.

What I've always missed in EC's tone, from the "Cream" days...is that "Bottom end" fullness! It's not his playing,

at all...but that fullness that seems to be missing, now. Of course, as has been mentioned, his various stylings,

can accomodate the differences in "open back" tone, and the heavier (closed backed) variety. Maybe what we're

"complaining" about (IF we are?), is that lack of "fullness" and punch, that he had with Cream. Then again, the

rawness of "Beano" was with a open backed Marshall and LP. So...who knows? But Hendrix used a Strat, (as well

as other Gibson guitars, too) and he never sounded "thin," because of his amps, more often than not. SRV used

a Strat, and an open backed Fender, quite often as well. But it was "hot rodded," and quite often, a 15" speaker.

Hendrix and SRV both used a load of bass response, comparatively, that EC doesn't seem to favor. THAT, I would like to see him change...but again, that MY personal prefernce. Anyway...I really don't think it's his "Playing," or even his choice of guitar...but more in his amp tone! Again, Just MY opinion.

 

CB

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As a newbie here' date=' but a guitar player for 40+ years, I'd like to add my .02

When I was a pimple-faced teen, you where either a Gibson guy, or a Fender guy, and extremely loyal to which ever brand was your guitar of choice. (Strat players were sissys). I've since changed my way of thinking, but to this day, the only Fender product I've ever owned is a '51 Squire, that I bought specially to set up as my "keef" 5 string, G tuning. I just don't feel comfortable on Fenders.

I always played Gibson because EC/Page/Beck played one. When I came home with the FRESH CREAM album, my folks thought that I was surely going to hades.

Anyway, I was disapointed when EC went to Strats, and I too lost interest in his work.

And when I saw the reunion concert, I was very disapointed that he didn't use Gibsons, to me, it just didn't 'feel' or 'look' right that he used Strats, instead of using the gear that he made all those great licks on.[/quote']

 

+1 At last someone who has the guts to say something that not everyone agrees on! I like that attitude! For me personally Clapton should lose a few pounds and lose that weird "old man who doesn't have any taste in styling" immediately! I was also really really disappointed when I saw the reunion concert, cause Cream = Gibson, that's it! No Strats involved!

The strat is the most boring guitar on the planet! Everyone has one, everyone plays one... :-k](*,)

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Well, I won't disagree on the "Cream Runion" thing...that (IMHO) should have been Marshall/Gibson combination, for

EC, at least. It did sound a bit "Strat thin" at times...and more like 3 great players "playing Cream Songs" than "Cream" itself. The playing itself was great, but the sound would have been more authentic, with a couple of "Marshall" stacks behind EC. Of course, in the interviews, that accompany the DVD, they talk about why they didn't use the old gear, because (for some reason) "It just didn't 'work!'" ??? One thing, nowadays, that I don't like is the over produced (even "live") sounds that so many CD's & even concerts seem to have. The "Rawness" (and to me, the "soul") of the "good old days" is gone. Some may like that fact...I do not! But, that's just me!

 

CB

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...One thing' date=' nowadays, that I don't like is t[b']he over produced (even "live") sounds [/b]that so many CD's & even concerts seem to have. The "Rawness" (and to me, the "soul") of the "good old days" is gone. Some may like that fact...I do not! But, that's just me!

 

Just what I was saying in a discussion the other day about one of the reasons why I don't buy major-company CDs any more and stick to small-studio ones that I buy directly from the musician(s) via MySpace and similar sites.

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The 1994 CD ''From the Cradle'' is vintage Eric Clapton to me.

A almost live in the studio recording with Gibson ES all over the tracks.

 

Peter

 

Exactly...which shows you' date=' that it CAN be done, even today...if you allow

the musicians, and have an engineer/producer, that [b']knows the music[/b]...

and what NOT to do, as well as what can and should be done.

 

"I actually don't mind a bit of tape hiss, and scratchiness! All the records I buy

are scratchy!" (George Harrison)...some years ago. ;>)

 

CB

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While I respect your opinion' date=' I guess I just don't 'get' this viewpoint.

 

I don't feel that my identity is wrapped up in my choice of guitar, although it is certainly reflected in the music I play. Of course, that latter point can sometimes be linked to the choice of instrument. Some things I use my Strat for, and for other things I use my Epiphone (or maybe another of my guitars). Still, I guess we all have a favorite 'desert island' guitar - like Paul McCartney and his Epiphone Casino.

 

Mr Clapton has chosen to make his music with a Stratocaster for many years now. And he's still damned good at it.

The 2005 Cream reunion gigs sounded great, IMHO. He didn't demean those legendary songs by playing them on a Fender rather than a Gibson. Besides, as I recall, Jack Bruce wasn't using an EB-3 bass either. An individual's tastes and styles change over time. Why slavishly recreate 1968 40 years later?

 

Like I said, I just don't understand total brand loyalty to guitars.

 

My old man was a Ford man. He hated any car that came out of Flint, MI on principle. I've never understood that, either. When I was 19 I bought a Skylark, just to piss him off.

[/quote']

I guess you missed the part where I said I never was comfortable playing Strats

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I'm another one for whom the Cream reunion stuff just didn't work, partly because of the sterile flat tone of the Strat in that instance. I don't like Claptons' Strat tone when he plays it so very clean....but if you listen to the Layla album he plays a Strat with some overdrive and bite and it's a whole different feel....it works, as does SRVs and Nils Lofgrens' Strat work with some gain on it.

 

For me, the Les Paul sound he used on the John Mayall album was electric in all senses, but so was the Strat stuff on Layla. However, a lot of his later Strat stuff, especially with lace pups, is played too clean and lacks bite.

 

Having said that, he inspired me to start playing, and those recordings still inspire me now. As does some of the Yardbirds stuff (eg Aint Got You) using a Tele. I still play licks I borrowed from him when I gig now, and I don't criticise the bloke for doing some MOR stuff and banking some money along the way. He's taken Freddie King, BB King, Buddy Guy and Chuck Berry, and blended them into what works for him.

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I guess you missed the part where I said I never was comfortable playing Strats

 

Not especially, but I still don't understand the relevance. If you don't like Strats, then fine - don't play them. Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Rory Gallagher, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Buddy Holly, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, all had a different opinion. And we are fortunate to have their music.

 

The only thing I didn't like about this thread was the "Clapton sucked / lost it / sold out etc., the moment he picked up a Strat" element that seemed to develop here.

 

I don't believe that's true.

 

I guess I started lurking here because I have an Epiphone I like.

Not because I like Epiphones / Gibsons over everything else.

Am I in the wrong place?

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Not especially' date=' but I still don't understand the relevance. If you don't like Strats, then fine - don't play them. Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Rory Gallagher, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Buddy Holly, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and on, and on, and on, and

 

 

[/quote']Beck, haha...he's a perfect example. I saw him do Blow By Blow when it came out, great tone out of a Les Paul. I saw him like 20 years later and a few years ago, both times he had a strat and the sound was so bad it nearly made me sick. Some folks can make a strat sing...others make it sick.

 

Hendrix knew how to get a good tone out of one, Band Of Gypsys is proof enough. Some folks like Eric need an LP to have a decent tone. Eric has never made a killer tone with his strat setup. And he obviously does not care about his tone.

 

Buddy Holly, when was the last time you heard someone say they wanted the Buddy Holly tone? Buddy Guy, Rory Gallagher, both have no tone to die for. Gilmore is another of the few that can milk a great tone out of a strat.

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Beck' date=' haha...he's a perfect example. I saw him do Blow By Blow when it came out, great tone out of a Les Paul. I saw him like 20 years later and a few years ago, both times he had a strat and the sound was so bad it nearly made me sick. Some folks can make a strat sing...others make it sick.

 

Hendrix knew how to get a good tone out of one, Band Of Gypsys is proof enough. Some folks like Eric need an LP to have a decent tone. Eric has never made a killer tone with his strat setup. And he obviously does not care about his tone.

 

Buddy Holly, when was the last time you heard someone say they wanted the Buddy Holly tone? Buddy Guy, Rory Gallagher, both have no tone to die for. Gilmore is another of the few that can milk a great tone out of a strat.[/quote']

 

Well, yes, I take your point re: Buddy Holly. I guess I was fishing for Strat players off the top of my head.

 

But I dispute your point with regard to Rory Gallagher.

Somehow, incredibly, I overlooked the other great Strat bluesman - Stevie Ray Vaughan. The epitome of the Texas blues tone. And what a tone he achieved.

 

I think Strats are truly utilitarian. From blues to surf rock and all points in between. You can't do that with a LP, an SG or a 335. But, like all utilitarian things, versatility also (sometimes) demands compromise. That said, if you can coax out those beautiful silvery tones, or the famous 'quack', then your audience will probably be happy.

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Haven't posted here for awhile and I have to say that you guys still amaze me. The knowledge, experience and opinions here, in just this topic on EC is quite entertaining and takes me way back. Changing from an SG to a Strat in the early '70's opened up vast tonal possibilities, particularly for stage work and in IMHO, pushed me and allowed me to become a much more versatile guitarist. I will admit that I had to experiment with several amp combos to get to the Gibby tone, but I was able to get to a satisfactory sound by tweaking the tone and volume knobs on the guitar and amp. Never had a Gibby LP that I really thought could come near my Strat in versatility. But, when I found my Epi LP, WOW, the versatility was there. Maybe I'm lucky? Maybe I can't hear? Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about! But to me; just my opinion..........You CAN make a Strat sound like a Gibby and still have the versatility. Whereas, you can't make a Gibby sound like a Strat and you're stuck in the "mud". Doesn't SRV sound like he's playing a Gibby sometime? Back to the topic; I think EC's playing and tone improved when he changed to a Strat and although his fans labeled him GOD, I'm convinced his ego never allowed him to get too far from his humble personality..........J

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Hey JEPI welcome back!! Hope things are good' date=' we've missed you here. Stan.[/quote']

 

Thanks Stan....... Things are good. I'm healthy....lol..........J

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Yeah, Jepi...good to see your Avatar and postings, again! I agree (for the most part) on the EC/Strat thing, and only add that he plays for the song. Some, a lot of the later stuff, sounds better with his "Strat" tone. The "Cream" stuff (to me) was better with the Gibson/Marshall tone. So, playing it on a Strat, just seems a bit "thin" to me. But, a lot of what he's done, on his Strat(s), is great! EC always sounds like EC...no matter what he plays! I think you either like it (and/or Him) or, you don't.

 

CB

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