The fact the Easter is tomorrow has absolutely nothing to do with this post; it’s just a freaky coincidence precedented by the fact that Christianity simply hijacked a pagan holiday to commemorate the death of their savior (that’s why Easter is always on different dates–it follows the moon, just like whatever pagan holiday it used to be). No, today’s (first*) post is to celebrate a different kind of religion.
No, not the return of Doctor Who, although the second half of season seven is premiering tonight, with a new companion. (Although I just read this over at IMDB, and I got all aflutter. Ten and Rose!) Now let’s get on with the celebrating, for today is Eric Clapton’s 68th birthday.
Yeah, there are better examples of his playing out there, but this is one of my favorite Slowhand tunes. It’s got a neat chunky rhythm and a nice little solo. It’s from his 1985 release Behind the Sun, which was his divorce album and features contributions from a number of popular musicians (most notably Phil Collins, who could still rock the drums then and was at the absolute height of his creative powers). This song is a man reminding someone that his lady is going to dump him for someone better if he doesn’t change his lousy behavior: “You’ve been abusing her for far too long, think you’re a king and she’s your pawn. Get ready now, cause pretty soon she’ll be gone and you’ll be on your own.” At this point in his life, Clapton might well have been singing to a mirror. His marriage to Patti Boyd was in tatters; Boyd actually left him during the recording of Behind the Sun for a “trial” separation. This particular track exemplifies the peculiar mood of this album–sadness, chagrin, grief, regret. There’s even a weird sort of elation to a lot of the tracks, like the burden of uncertainty was finally being lifted from his shoulders.
That’s sort of Clapton in a nutshell. He’s a bluesman with pop tendencies, who puts all his heart and soul into his music. He might be all over the map, but you know that whatever you get, it’s going to be genuine.
*There’s another post right on the heels of this one, sad news that hit the music world today.