Chris Welch takes us on a visual tour through every aspect of the blues god’s long career and unearths some rare photographs and memorabilia that will make even the most jaded Slowhand aficionados take notice.
Few guitarists have been as documented, scrutinized, and analyzed as Eric Clapton. Since he burst on the scene with the Yardbirds, Clapton has spent nearly his entire adult life in the spotlight. In Clapton: The Ultimate Illustrated History, Chris Welch takes us on a visual tour through every aspect of the blues god’s long career and unearths some rare photographs and memorabilia that will make even the most jaded Slowhand aficionados take notice.
Rather than sounding like an overzealous fanboy, Welch discusses Clapton’s career like an insider offering you a peek behind the curtain. This is because Welch had a front-row seat during the ’60s British-blues explosion. As an editor for UK music magazine Melody Maker in 1964, he was given the dubious assignment of discoverying why the Yardbirds secretly hoped their new single, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” wouldn’t catch on. After that initial interview, Clapton took a liking to Welch and often included him in his band activities. Welch even attended Cream’s first rehearsal. Welch’s unique perspective gives the book a sense of authority and keeps the focus on music rather than Clapton’s personal dramas over the years.
In contrast to similar tomes, Welch does a great job of giving credit to the axes that helped shape Clapton’s sound. Throughout the Yardbirds chapter, you can see Clapton wielding everything from a Tele to a dot-neck Gibson ES-335—even a Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 during a TV appearance in 1964. A special spread is devoted to the “Beano” guitar, which Clapton played through a Marshall JTM45 on the John Mayall, and the Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton album. According to Welch, it was a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard that was purchased in ’65 from Lew Davis’ guitar shop in London. Soon after recording the Mayall album, the guitar was either lost or stolen— depending on who you ask—during a tour of Greece. Of course, both “Brownie” and “Blackie” get their due, given that both Stratocasters were huge parts of Clapton’s career, especially during the ’70s.
The book’s section that covers the era between Blind Faith and Clapton’s solo career is especially interesting. Looking through the pictures, you really get the sense that Clapton was searching for a look, a sound, and a musically fulfilling path. A great photo of him dressed like an extra from Benny Hill and holding a banana as if it were a phone illustrates his humor and willingness not to take himself too seriously.
Nearly every page is plastered with vintage gig flyers, ticket stubs, amazing pictures, and memorable tidbits that will raise the eyebrows of even the most ardent fan. Another memorable shot shows an obviously uninterested Clapton meeting disco stars the Bee Gees at a Copenhagen hotel. Both groups shared a manager, so it seemed (at the time) like an obvious photo op. The information in The Ultimate Illustrated History isn’t particularly revelatory—Clapton’s autobiography would be your first stop for that—but Welch adds many memorable anecdotes about his time in and around Clapton’s world. This is a first-rate read that connects a lot of the dots in the career of one of the most important guitarists of our time, and it does so in a captivating way. For both die-hard and casual fans, this book will be difficult to put down.
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Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
Mojotone will manufacture and market over 60 of their speaker cabinets and amp kits as “Licensed by Fender.”
This partnership marks Fender's recognition of Mojotone’s dedication to its craft, quality of products, and dependability of knowledge. Beginning November 29th and ranging from $327 - $1,016.
Amplifiers were among the first products to wear the official Fender seal. A qualified electronics technician by trade, Leo Fender developed his iconic amplifiers during the mid-1940s putting innovation at the forefront. To this day, Leo’s influence and innovative spirit can still be heard in today’s amps, as that same iconic, clean Fender tone continues to color new music around the world. As a result, the process for completing the exclusive licensing deal required Fender to carefully audit Mojotone’s amplifier kits, wiring diagrams, electronics, hardware, construction methods, and more to ensure this innovation carried on through the partnership. Mojotone’s many years of intense research, quality production, and favorable reputation solidified the deal.
Mojotone has always been determined to provide its customer base with the most sought-after parts with their insider industry-knowledge. They have spent the last 25 years helping musicians recreate what they deem to be the most famous and easily-recognized tones and aesthetics in the music industry. When purchasing Mojotone products, like Fender products, customers can be assured of unmatched quality and craftsmanship.
For more information, please visit mojotone.com.