Links To Peel
Peel was a fan of the Yardbirds, John Mayall & The Bluebreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek And The Dominos, all bands of which Eric Clapton had been a member. After seeing Cream at London's Speakeasy club in 1967, Peel enthused about the band, and Clapton in particular, in his first Perfumed Garden column in International Times - "Clapton doing things with his machinery that you simply cannot do with a guitar untouched by magic" - and he continued to hold the guitarist in high estimation after Cream broke up. When Clapton went solo, Peel was initially enthusiastic about his material, with the man describing Eric Clapton's double LP as nearly indispensible on his show on 12 December 1970. On 16 August 1976, which was a record retrospective on Cream, Peel introduced the song "Blues Power" by stating:
"Obviously, doing a programme on Cream, there are dozens of records which we'd like to play which we can't but we thought we'd play something from Eric's period when he was trying to lose himself in a travelling circus of American groovers, and this is just about the best from that period, a song he co-wrote with Leon Russell."
After punk came in the scene, Peel became very dismissive of Clapton's work and on many occasions would criticise the man's musical talents. On 05 April 1993 (John Peel Is Jakki Brambles), while counting down the Album Chart on Jakki Brambles show, Eric Clapton's Unplugged album was at number 5, which Peel said in an amusing way:
"At number 5, "Unplugged" - Eric Clapton - if only..."
Also on 04 October 1993 (Ö3), he criticised Clapton's predictable music:
"I mean, who wants to listen to Eric Clapton? He can really play, but that's boring beyond measure."
On 24 June 1995 (BFBS), he stated that Eric Clapton was no way music in his sense:
"Call that music?" is the kind of thing people say to me from time to time. I mean I do, because music is something which ought to take you to places you've not been before, so things like Eric Clapton are not music really in a sense, because what makes his stuff so attractive to people, or Cliff Richard, is the fact that they take you where you've been before, and it's kind of reassuring, and you feel quite safe there, I suppose, but it's not for me."
Although Peel dismissed much of Clapton's solo work as middle-of-the-road and boring, he still appreciated the guitarist's earlier recordings, with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream and The Yardbirds. According to the DJ, Clapton's best playing was on the "Five Live Yardbirds" LP, and the only Clapton recordings featured on later Peel shows were by the above-mentioned bands.
(The list is incomplete. Please add further information if known)
- 15 November 1969: Crossroads (LP – What’s Shakin’) Elektra
- 06 June 1970: Teasin' (7") Atlantic (with King Curtis)
- 25 July 1970: Let It Rain / Lovin' You Lovin'Me / Slunky (LP - Eric Clapton) Polydor
- 01 August 1970: Blues Power (LP - Eric Clapton) Polydor
- 23 June 1972: Tell The Truth (LP – The History Of Eric Clapton) Polydor
- 15 August 1972: Crossroads (LP - The History Of Eric Clapton) Polydor
- 29 September 1972: Teasin’ (LP - The History Of Eric Clapton) Polydor
- 02 October 1973: Roll It Over (LP - Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert) RSO
- 04 July 1974: unknown (sourced from David Cavanagh's Good Night & Good Riddance book)
- 23 July 1974: unknown
- 06 March 1975: Don't Blame Me (album - There's One In Every Crowd) RSO 2479-132
- 10 March 1975: The Sky Is Crying (album - There's One In Every Crowd) RSO 2479-132
- 14 April 1975: unknown
- 18 August 1975: Rambling On My Mind (LP - E.C. Was Here) RSO
- 03 February 1976: I'm A Man / Too Much Monkey Business / Here 'Tis (LP - Eric (Slow-Hand) Clapton) Charly
- 06 August 1976: Unknown Tracks (LP - No Reason To Cry) RSO
- 16 August 1976: 'Steppin' Out (LP-Blues Breakers)' (Decca) (with John Mayall)
- 16 August 1976: 'Blues Power (LP-Eric Clapton)' (Polydor)
- 19 August 1976: Choker (LP – Blues Anytime Vol. 2, An Anthology Of British Blues) Immediate (with Jimmy Page)
- 11 October 1976: Double Trouble (LP - No Reason To Cry) RSO
- John Peel's 70's Mixtape 3A: Double Trouble (LP - No Reason To Cry) RCO
- 04 October 1977: Let It Rain (12", Album: Eric Clapton) RSO
- 28 October 1977: Wonderful Tonight (LP - Slowhand) RSO
- 11 September 1978: Promises