Friday, January 14, 2011

Back When Clapton Was “God”

DVD Review: Eric Clapton: The 1960’s Review

The DVD Eric Clapton: The 1960’s Review came out last fall and, despite its rather vanilla title, it does make for interesting viewing. The 2-hour documentary covers arguably the most exciting time in Clapton’s illustrious career – his formative years from the start of the Yardbirds to Cream and Blind Faith and ending with Derek And The Dominos. The era when “Clapton Is God” was a familiar rallying cry.

Even without the advantage of new Clapton material, the filmmakers utilize well-chosen old Clapton clips, new interviews from Clapton’s musician colleagues (like John Mayall, Manfred Mann’s Paul Jones and Bonzo Dog’s Neil Innes) and journalists (including Cream biographer Chris Welch and Yardbirds biographer Alan Clayson) to stitch together an insightful and engaging look into this very exciting, greatly influential time period of Clapton’s career. It’s hard to imagine that he was just 24 at the end of Cream.

The unauthorized biography also is jammed with some marvelous archival footage, from photos of Clapton as a kid through his time in Blind Faith. There also are some nice vintage clips of Clapton influences Muddy Waters, Freddie King and Jimi Hendrix, as well as a special segment on Sonny Boy Williamson in the Extras. Also, you can have fun of seeing Clapton’s wide range of Sixties hairstyles (short crop, long locks and curly afro) too.

The DVD doesn’t pretend to be a definitive look at Clapton’s storied career. It does, however, prove to be a highly successful look at his early career – packed with information and an entertaining array of footage. Any Clapton fan, and fan of Sixties rock ‘n’ roll, would find this DVD a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening flashback to this golden musical era.

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