Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blackie and The Red Special

After "Blackie" was auctioned off for a stunning $959,000, Clapton's iconic axe travelled to the Fender Custom shop to be studied, analyzed, and probed. Only cigarette burns on the headstock gave any hint of the debauchery seen by this most revered Strat. Although... when air hosing the deeply embedded dust from around the single coils, The Rawkin' The Labcoat team found that the particles gleaned had a white, crystalline appearance. Strangely, the lab then remained locked from the inside for the rest of the day and night. Sniffity Sniff!

Here's the thing about Clapton. Amongst his many virtues, loyalty and good sportsmanship can be counted high on that list. Evidence of these wonderful character traits are clearly illustrated when one views the 1969 footage of Slowhand guesting with the Plastic Ono Band at the "Live Peace in Toronto" gig at Varsity Stadium(13 hours! 18 bands! $6.00 bucks!). There's Yoko wailing away, doing her avant-garde thang does one say this gracefully...sucking bigtime and there's Clapton hammering away, supporting and by the very token of his appearance on that stage, endorsing and lending his cred to the woman his buddy John was absolutely entranced with. You can almost read his mind, "John, dude. You owe me one." Not to in any way undermine Lennon's sincerity and commitment to the peace movement, but often I tend to wonder if there was not a stronger,way more personally motivated subtext to his philanthropy. Like, every time he was singing his famous anti-war anthem he was pleading concurrently "All I am saying, is give Yoko a chance...she gives me great sex."

Here's the other thing about Clapton. The general consensus is that dude is God in guitar circles, but never has such a hero to the masses had such an air of non-descriptiveness to his person(more so in his early days). He just appeared sort of generic next to the more flashy turnout of his contemporaries.
Would you have been able to in-a-flash identify Clapton in this pic if it wasn't labelled? I wouldn't. Not right away. It's the, what I like to call, The Steve Miller Complex. Everyone and his uncle owns Miller's "Greatest Hits 74-78". For camping excursions here's the dealio-unpack the car, fire up the Steve Miller, start drinking the Miller and then fire up the outdoor Griller. And yet, how many people really know what dude looks like? That's right. 86. Not counting the gangster o' love, the space cowboy, and wait for obvious...Maurice. Steve's like the Unknown Comic of the music world. What a Joker.

On the other end of the scale,everyone recognizes Brian May. Instantly. Must be the hair, which of course hasn't really changed since he first started comin' round. His current complex is one I like to call the Oldguyface/Youngdudehair Complex. But Brian wears it well, unlike that dickhead Don Imus.

Brian's Red Special guitar deserves special mention because it was completely handcrafted by Brian and his hip dad, Harold. Legend has it Brian spent a grand total of 17 and a half British pounds to make it. I think he made a return on his original investment. It is also quite interesting to note that May has been known to use a sixpence coin as a pick. Facts like this thrill me. I need to get out more.

The final complex I want to discuss is my own Giant Complex. I don't mean that I have a huge complex towards something. I simply mean that I have a fear of giants. The Godzillas, and the Goliaths. Gentle Giant is rad, but evil giants scare the shit out of me. My nightmares almost always involve being chased down by a giant. I completely blame Queen for this. As a little girl I would freak out whenever I saw this album.

EWWWWW....I still have trouble lookin' at it...I feel a freak out comin' on...gotz ta get! Bye!

currently listening to: DJ Champion, Chill 'Em All


Invisible said...

Love Clapton, May?? umm let me take a guess.. REO? .. and gotta love the musical bigs of QUEEN!!!


SamuraiFrog said...

Brian MAY!! Thank you for rectifying that. He was tapping years before Eddie Van Halen.

SamuraiFrog said...

Oh, and any mention of Gentle Giant... very cool.

Allan said...

Great post! "John, yo owe me one...HA!" Talk about suffering for art...
I'll get some Gentle Giant on the waves for ya Sunday!
ya know, I had this weird dream the other night...

bonjourtristesse said...

Visi!! AW heck, I love the Speedwagon! LOL! Don't TELL me you saw them in concert!
"Heard it from a friend, who
Heard it from a friend , who-o
Heard it from another you were messin' around.
LYRICAL GENIUS!! BOOMKAT!! ( i like saying boomkat now! LOL!)

SF! Hey! you are so welcome! Yeah, May was doing the finger tap dance way before Eddie...hey...amazing Indiana Jones post today, brother! Big ups to you! You totally get the DECLINE of SPIELBERG.

Todd and in Charge said...

Great post, but I was also thinking about Clapton rainbow pyschedelic guitar, that he gave to Todd Rundgren, who makes excellent use of it in concert every so often.

And Gentle Giant! -- I have a soft spot for those guys, always laboring the shadow of Genesis, Yes, etc.

I was listening to Giant for a Day the other day, good stuff, those guys should have been a lot more popular.

bonjourtristesse said...

Allan! Thanks dearest! Yay! Thanks in advance for the impending Giant,you know what I like! Hey , I had the same dream ! Go figure! LOL! Saturday PM okay wit ya? lemme know...E.XXX

Allan said...

Yes. 5-6 ish?

bonjourtristesse said...

Hi Todd! I know the Todd guitar...wasn't that designed by the Fool, that artist/hippie collective that painted the Apple store?...before it was whitewashed over by the nervous establishment! LOL!...gotta do a google search...thanks for mentioning that...
I think Gentle Giant will live on in cool cult status...but you never know, some future inclusion on a movie soundtrack may change that...

Allan! 8-9ish is way better, but let me know...

Godwhacker said...

What a beautifully written post! But hey, like mold, Yoko grows on you. While the "Live Peace" concert was... loud, I can hear her influence in everyone from Led Zeppelin to Cyndi Lauper. Recently, she's been "rediscover" by NY DJs who have remixed many of her contemporary and classic tracks. In this venue, Yoko is revered as a ground-breaking artist and she has even had several #1 selling hits!

PS: John Lennon was a god.

bonjourtristesse said...

Hey GW! Thanks so very much! :D!!!
So glad you enjoyed it! You are absolutely right, despite my snarky Yoko bashing, I am really fascinated by her. I mean, she challenged John and encouraged and inspired him to reconnect with his love of art. And, I must say "Oh Yoko" is such a gorgeous love song! You can hear her influence on the B-52's "Rock Lobster", that's fer shure! And sometimes I wish more people would understand that The Beatles broke up The Beatles...not Yoko! Have you ever heard the music from Hedwig and the Angry Inch? Amazing song called "Midnight Radio" including these lyrics:
"Here's to Patti
And Tina
And Yoko
And Nona
And Nico
And me"
Great movie! Great soundtrack. John Cameron Mitchell is such a hero to me!
as is John Lennon...there's a god worth worshipping!
Good to see ya, as always, GW!

Allan said...

8-9 it is, then! :)

Godwhacker said...

Funny, I just downloaded two versions of that song from itunes. The one you mentioned and one sung by Cyndi Lauper. Thanks for the cool recomendations!!

Doctor Mooney said...

The beards were in full effect that night in Toronto. Then Yoko came out and caterwauls from under a white sheet! I might have to put that performance up...

Thanks for a rollicking good post!