December 11, 2023

Money and Cigarettes

Are you feeling the fluidity inherent in a particular view of the universe? Or the united states of consciousness? I am.

Back in 1983 Eric Clapton released the Album Money and Cigarettes supported by the stellar backing band of Ry Cooder, Albert Lee, Donald Duck Dunn, and Roger Hawkins. Duck Dunn`s contribution to popular music beginning with Booker T and M.G`s and the Stax label in around 1965 is absolutely phenomenal and he must be one of the greatest unsung heroes of the popular music cannon. Here is his discography.

Anyway I digress, it`s a great record, and I managed to get my hands on an A1 hardboard copy of the cover album art which features a very heavily modded stratocaster appearing to melt in Dali-esque fashion from a table.

What a fantastic guitar to own – a bit of a dog to play unless you`re built like a paralellogram though –  Salvador Dali meets Eric Clapton for a cup of rhythm and blues.  It`s a tight band-  no shadow of a doubt – on this album, but, Clapton`s efforts  songwriting in the Stax genre just don`t  compare to his earlier 461 Ocean Boulevard efforts or the subsequent Behind The Sun album where the guitar playing re-enters the limelight and Clapton`s songwriting takes a backseat. It`s interesting to note that the absolutely stellar drumming of Jamie Oldaker appears on both 461 and Behind The Sun.

It might even be pertinent to suggest that Clapton`s career fluctuates heavily between his role as songwriter and all round musical explorer and that of guitar hero and blues pioneer. What you like about E.C. will determine exactly where on this spectrum your favour will fall, but it is perhaps healthier to consider the length of Clapton`s career and the broad depth of his contributions to music.

From the groundbreaking sounds of the Bluesbreakers, Cream, and The Dominos together with prescient cover choices such as JJ Cale and Bob Marley , Dylan and Martyn etcetera through to his highly emotional songwriting capabilities evidenced on such great songs as Layla, Bell Bottom Blues, Let it Rain, Easy Now, Presence of the Lord together with tour de force guitar pieces such as Blues Power, Double Trouble, Slunky, Crossroads….and the rest Clapton proves again and again that he`s got the mettle, the daring and the skills to pay the bills on all fronts.

Anyway the fact of the matter is YOU CAN own a dali stratocaster courtesy of the wild mind of Brian Eastwood guitars. Brian makes a series of highly unique and visually surreal but playable guitars in the form of his Bender series. Check them out here.

Smooth! Leopard skin throughout.Brian makes some even crazier pieces than these so check out his site here.

Keep it real;

Jake Edwards.

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