The Guitar Player interview mentioned in Tuesday’s post had more info, beyond just Cream. Here are the tonealicious highlights of that, starting with a Les Paul and Marshall rocked on a Beatles tune:
GP: By the way, was that you playing the lead guitar part on “As My Guitar Weeps” on the Beatles album? There were some rumors that you took George Harrison’s place on that track.
That was me. George and I were doing something the day he was to record that track. He had to go down to the studio that day, and cut the track with the rest of the group. They were all waiting for him, and he wanted me to play the guitar on the cut because he thought he couldn’t do it the way he wanted to hear it.
I didn’t agree with him. I thought he should have played guitar on it, but it was great for me to do it. We agreed that I wouldn’t get paid for it, or have my name mentioned.
Did you use your Les Paul on that track?
Yeah, the Les Paul through a Marshall amp.
[To quote Ed McMahon: I did not know that!]
[You can really hear those light-gauge strings in the tune.]
Delaney and Bonnie Era
GP: When I saw you recently with Delaney and Bonnie, I noticed you weren’t using the Les Paul you used with the Cream.
Clapton: I still play a Les Paul. But with Delaney and Bonnie, I used an old Stratocaster I’d acquired. It’s really, really good—a great sound. It’s just right for the kind of bag I was playing with them. [Heavy bag, man….]
Have you done anything to the Stratocaster—like modify the pickups, or have the frets shaved?
No. I just set the switch between the first and middle pickups. There is a little place where you can catch it so that you get a special sound somehow. I get much more rhythm and blues or rock kind of sound that way.
[That was before the 5-position Strat switch, which was made 5 positions (from 3) because Hendrix, Clapton and others were using the “inbetween” positions.]
With the Cream you used big Marshall amps, right? Lately you’ve been using smaller Fender amps.
With Delaney and Bonnie, I used a Dual Showman—a big Fender amp. But I hardly ever jack it right up, you know. I’m not getting the sustain or hold-over sound I used to get. It’s still there a bit, but that’s the Stratocaster.
D&B, Clapton on the LP, Harrison on the Strat. Holy crap! That Tele sounds pretty damn great too….