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johnnyguitar
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This is becoming like a really bad grapevine. Jim Gordon killed his own mother.

Clapton was adopted, so he has two moms; I suppose his odds for having his mother killed are higher than normal.

Oh, je vois... I didn´t know it was Jim Gordon but I remember Jim Gordon did something...strange...

Clapton wasn´t adopted, he always thought his mother was the lady who raised both him and his sister... it was his sister who was actually Clapton´s mother... and yes, you might be right then, he was adopted by his grand-mother...

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Oh, je vois... I didn´t know it was Jim Gordon but I remember Jim Gordon did something...strange...

Clapton wasn´t adopted, he always thought his mother was the lady who raised both him and his sister... it was his sister who was actually Clapton´s mother... and yes, you might be right then, he was adopted by his grand-mother...

What the heck, more about Layla:

"Layla" is the title track on the Derek and the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, released in December of 1970. It is considered one of rock music's definitive love songs[2], featuring an unmistakable guitar figure, played by Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, as lead-in. Its famously contrasting movements were composed separately by Clapton and Jim Gordon, similar to the combination of fragments John Lennon and Paul McCartney used to create "A Day in the Life". Clapton was inspired to write the piece by his burning unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend George Harrison.

Contents [hide]

1 Background

2 Recording

3 Structure

4 Beyond the album

5 Quotes

6 Sample

7 Notes

8 References

9 Further reading

10 External links

[edit]

Background

In 1966, George Harrison married Pattie Boyd, a model he met during the filming of A Hard Day's Night. During the late 1960s, Clapton and Harrison, as two of the top English guitarists of the day, became firm friends. Clapton contributed guitar work on Harrison's song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on The Beatles' White Album, and Harrison played guitar pseudonymously on Cream's "Badge" from Goodbye. However, trouble was brewing for Clapton. His supergroup Cream had angrily broken apart, his growing heroin addiction threatened his life, and, when Boyd came to Clapton for aid during marital troubles, Clapton fell desperately in love with her.

The title, "Layla", was inspired by a love story, The Story of Layla / Layla and Majnun (ليلى ومجنون), by the Persian classical poet Nezami. When he wrote "Layla", Clapton had recently been given a copy of the story by a friend, Ian Dallas, who was in the process of becoming a Muslim. Nezami's tale, about a moon-princess who was married off by her father to someone other than the man who was desperately in love with her, resulting in his madness (in Persian, Majnun, مجنون, means "madman"), struck a deep chord with Clapton. "Layla" was the result — a powerful and moving statement of unrequited love for Pattie Boyd-Harrison, with an immediately recognizable guitar riff, always remaining a vivid memory for anyone who has heard it. The influence of Clapton's affection for Boyd is obvious; compare the striking album cover by Frandsen-de Schonberg to the picture of Boyd in the bottom right.

GORDON HAD AN AFFAIR WITH CLAPTON'S GRANDMOTHER

In 1977, Boyd divorced Harrison and married Clapton in 1979. Harrison was not bitter about the divorce and attended the wedding with Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. During their marriage Clapton wrote another love ballad for her, "Wonderful Tonight". Their marriage later developed difficulties over Clapton's alcoholism and his extramarital affair with Yvonne Khan Kelly and in 1985 he left Boyd altogether for Italian model Lori del Santo, with whom he had a child. Clapton and Boyd divorced in 1988 after three years of separation. Boyd currently lives with the property developer Rod Weston.

George Harrison with Pattie Boyd.Bobby Whitlock, who was a member of Derek and the Dominos and good friends with both Harrison and Clapton, explains the situation between Clapton and Pattie around the time he wrote Layla:

"I was there when they were supposedly sneaking around. You don't sneak very well when you're a world figure. He was all hot on Patti and I was dating her sister. They had this thing going on that supposedly was behind George's back. Well, George didn't really care. He said, 'You can have her.' That kind of defuses it when Eric says, 'I'm taking your wife' and he says, 'Take her.' They got married and evidently, she wasn't what he wanted after all. The hunt was better than the kill. That happens, but apparently Patti is real happy now with some guy who's not a guitar player. Good for her and good for Eric for moving on with his life. George got on with his life, that's for sure."

[edit]

Recording

After the breakup of Cream, Clapton tried his hand with several artists, including Blind Faith and a husband and wife duo, Delaney and Bonnie. However, in the spring of 1970, he was told that Delaney and Bonnie's backup band, consisting of bassist Carl Radle, drummer Jim Gordon, and keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, was leaving the group. Seizing the opportunity, Clapton formed a new group. Their original title, Eric and The Dynamos, was apparently mispronounced as Derek and the Dominos, a name which stuck.

In April 1970 Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band joined Clapton's fledgling band as a guest. Clapton, having heard Allman's work on Wilson Pickett's "Hey Jude" cover, and finding himself in the same area as Allman, was introduced at an Allman Brothers concert by Tom Dowd. The two hit it off well and soon became good friends. Dowd was already famous for a variety of work (including Aretha Franklin's cover of "Respect"), and had worked with Clapton in his Cream days (Clapton once called him "the ideal recording man"); however, his work on the album would be a crowning achievement. For the making of his biographical documentary The Language of Music, he remixed the original master tapes of "Layla", saying "There are all my principles, in one form or another." With the band assembled and Dowd producing, "Layla" was recorded as it was then written. However, Clapton found Gordon playing a piano piece he had composed separately and convinced him to let it be used with Clapton's song. "Layla" was complete.

[edit]

Structure

Note the two clearly defined movements, the first tapering off into the second."Layla" is centered around two musical themes. The first, a D minor guitar piece performed at several different octaves, composed of a quick series of hammer-ons and pull-offs, is considered the "signature riff". The second is played at various points on piano, acoustic guitar and slide guitar. (The entire song is in 4/4 time; the section order is intro-verse-chorus-v-c-v-c-c-solo-coda.)

In essence, "Layla" is split into two segments. The first, after its emotional verses and pleading choruses, segues into the thickly overdubbed solo. As Clapton with "Brownie" (a Fender Stratocaster that later sold at auction for nearly half a million dollars) plays the gripping melody, Allman's incendiary slide work on a Gibson Les Paul channels Clapton's pain into music. The second is Jim Gordon's piano coda. It is altogether a more sublime, peaceful segment, as both guitarists contribute quiet, lofty slide guitar in the background. The recorded version of the second half is in no discernible key. Originally played in C, the tape was slowed down during playback to a slightly lower tone (less than a half-step to B) making the solos and chords an arduous task to notate simply from listening. The contrast between the emotional beginning and mild ending is uncommon in rock music, and highly effective as a result; compare to other classics of the era, such as "Stairway to Heaven", which builds from a mild introduction to a hard-rock finale.

The lyrics are written in the second person. The speaker is talking (possibly in his mind) to the object of his affection. The second verse is usually the only verse with an agreed meaning; it describes Clapton's involvement with Boyd ("Tried to give you consolation / When your old man would let you down"). The other verses are somewhat more abstract, describing Clapton's general state of mind and hopes at the time.

As Eric Clapton commented on his signature song:

"'Layla' is a difficult one, because it's a difficult song to perform live. You have to have a good complement of musicians to get all of the ingredients going but, when you've got that… It's difficult to do as a quartet, for instance, because there are some parts you have to play and sing completely opposing lines, which is almost impossible to do. If you've got a big band, which I will have on the tour, then it will be easy to do something like 'Layla' — and I'm very proud of it. I love to hear it. It's almost like it's not me. It's like I'm listening to someone that I really like. Derek And The Dominos was a band I really liked — and it's almost like I wasn’t in that band. It's just a band that I'm a fan of. Sometimes, my own music can be like that. When it's served its purpose to being good music, I don't associate myself with it anymore. It's like someone else. It's easy to do those songs then."

Or, as his inspiration Pattie Boyd once said, "I think that he was amazingly raw at the time... He's such an incredible musician that he's able to put his emotions into music in such a way that the audience can feel it instinctively. It goes right through you."

[edit]

Beyond the album

The album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs opened to mixed critical reviews. Sales were lackluster (the album never reached the charts in Britain), as, with Clapton unmentioned except on the back, it appeared to be a double album from an unknown band. Also, the song's length proved prohibitive for radio airplay — only top sellers from established bands, such as Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" or The Beatles' "Hey Jude", could afford to be over seven minutes long. Clapton went into a drug-filled depression when the single tanked in 1971. He couldn't understand why it wasn't a hit. The main reason for its lack of instant success was that the record company did very little to advertise the album, figuring any project with Clapton would get plenty of publicity. It eventually did, and the record company made out very well.

However, when "Layla" was re-released on the 1972 compilation The History of Eric Clapton and then released as a single, it charted at #7 in the UK and #10 in the U.S. In addition, critical opinion since has been overwhelmingly positive. Dave Marsh, in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll, wrote that "there are few moments in the repertoire of recorded rock where a singer or writer has reached so deeply into himself that the effect of hearing them is akin to witnessing a murder, or a suicide... to me, 'Layla' is the greatest of them."

"Layla" is featured on a number of "greatest ever" lists:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll

27th place on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

16th place on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Rock and Roll

The 14th greatest guitar solo ever at Digital Dreamdoor

17th place on Digital Dreamdoor's 100 Greatest Rock Songs

33rd place on Virgin Radio's All Time Top 500

In 1992, Clapton was invited to play for the MTV Unplugged series. His subsequent album, Unplugged, featured a number of blues standards and his new "Tears in Heaven". It also featured an "unplugged" version of "Layla". The new version was received as more reflective than emotional; it slowed down and reworked the original riff and dispensed with the piano coda. This version climbed to #12 on the U.S. charts, making Clapton one of only two artists known to have made the Billboard Hot 100 with two different versions of the same song (the other being Neil Sedaka). As mentioned above, the original arrangement of Layla requires a large complement, and is quite difficult to orchestrate live. For this reason, Clapton often plays the acoustic version at live shows.

"Layla" also has had an effect on popular culture:

The piano coda of "Layla" was featured in the 1990 film Goodfellas. (Incidentally, the same film featured another of Clapton's hits, "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream.)

John Fahey covered "Layla" on his 1984 album Let Go.

Andy Summers of The Police named his daughter Layla after this song.

[edit]

Quotes

"'Layla' is pure catharsis, followed by a coda written by Jim Gordon that is nothing less than bliss, the sound of love fulfilled." —Stephen Thomas Erlewine[3]

"But with the addition of Gordon's plaintive piano movement, over which Clapton and Allman wove filigree guitar lines, it became a staggering piece of music." —Nigel Williamson[4]

[edit]

Sample

"Layla" (info)

27 second sample of the song

Problems listening to the file? See media help.

[edit]

Notes

^ Song Review. URL accessed on June 22 2005.

^ Derek and The Dominos - Layla & Other Assorted.... URL accessed on June 22 2005.

^ The exact time given varies depending on the source; All Music Guide and the CD give 7:02, whereas the vinyl album gives 7:10. This may be due to remastering.

[edit]

References

Paul Gambaccini et al. "Super Seventies- Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs". Derek and the Dominoes (sic) - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Accessed on July 6, 2005.

The Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. News - 500 Greatest Songs. URL accessed on July 6 2005.

Hrano, Mike. Eric Clapton- The Mike Hrano Interview. Eric Clapton Interview- Reptile. URL accessed on July 6 2005.

Leopold, Todd: “Harrison, Clapton, and their museâ€, CNN, 3 February 2005.

Remembering Tom Dowd

Klassen, Gerd. "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs". Slowhand Blues Guitar- Eric Clapton Guitar Styles. Accessed on July 6, 2005.

100 Greatest Rock Guitar Solos. URL accessed on July 6 2005.

100 Greatest Rock Songs. URL accessed on July 6 2005.

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