Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars

The Grammy nominated film “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars” is currently screening on BBC I Player and provides a fascinating insight into the UK’s foremost blues guitar pioneer

Understandably, the role of West London and The Ealing Club merge way into the background in this particular movie which beautifully illustrates the drive and inspiration behind some of Eric Clapton’s most revered guitar playing and songwriting. 

Alexis Korner, The Crawdaddy, Jack & Ginger, Cream, Marshall Amps are never far away from Eric Clapton’s story and of course get a mention in this movie. 

Understandably, there is not enough time to discuss how Eric Clapton used to fill in for Mick Jagger on vocals down at the Ealing Club (mentioned in his biography). Neither will you hear about becoming inspired to purchase his first ‘Kay’ electric guitar spurred on by a Blues Incorporated gig (at the Marquee) or trips out to Hanwell (Ealing Borough) to try out the latest offerings from Marshall Amplification.

Turn to Eric Clapton’s European Tour Programme of 1978 and within, Pete Frame’s “Rock Family Tree” clearly illustrates the path of the great British Bluesman up to the “Backless” Album era.

Ilustration of Pete Frame’s Rock Family Tree that was included within the Eric Clapton 1978 European Tour Programme

For more on the Ealing Club, Alexis Korner and Chris Barber, Jack, Ginger, Cream, Marshall and a great deal more check out Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of The Ealing Club. 

The DVD can be purchased at www.ealingclub.com

 

The Rolling Stones @ The London Stadium: 25th May 2018

25th May 2020 marks a special anniversary for the Ealing Club. Travel back to 2018 and Mick Jagger was fronting The Rolling Stones at the London Stadium, where he announced the following:

“Playing Harmonica is significant to me .  We’re going to play a blues number like we did in the Ealing Club” … a few more people here tonight though ….. but same numbers” 

The band proceeded to deliver a blistering version of Little Walter’s “Just Your Fool” to > 70,000 + fans packed into the former London 2012 Olympic Venue….

This announcement followed a series of special ‘Ealing Eclectic Gigs” held in collaboration with fans from Argentina and Brazil who had travelled to London to experience their legendary band on their home-turf. On May 24th, Chris Jagger and His Band played at ‘The Red Room’ following in the footsteps of the Ali Mac Band and Ben Waters.

The Ealing Club Community Interest Company was set up to ‘curate’ Ealing’s Rock ‘n’ Roll music roots and it was an honour to host these fans from afar who had been following plaque commemorations, exhibitions, festivals & development of the Ealing Club feature film documentary: Suburban Steps To Rockland.

In the coming months, we hope to see the Ealing Club film reaching out to more fans around the world having screened on TV in the UK, Ireland, NZ, Belgium & The Netherlands.

Of course, it’d be great to see The Rolling Stones back in action, playing together in the same room!

Special thanks go out to 40x5TributoBar in Buenos Aires, Stones Planet Brazil & Fan Club Patagonico Rolling Stones. We hope you are keeping Safe & Well!

The Pretty Things

The Pretty Things were one of the most influential bands to emerge from the London ‘R & B’ scene of the early 60’s. Regretfully, their lead singer Phil May passed away last week following complications from a Cycling accident as reported in the wider media. 

The Pretty Things fronted by Phil May were closely linked to the Ealing Club scene through their lead guitarist Dick Taylor. Prior to forming the band, Taylor was a regular visitor to Ealing Broadway, where he would travel with fellow Dartford residents, Mick Jagger & Keith Richards.

As most Ealing Club followers are aware, in July 1962 Dick Taylor would become a member of the ‘formative’ Rolling Stones, eventually deciding to move on and take up Art College. Following his departure, Bill Wyman would take over the bass guitar role becoming a permanent part of the legendary Stones line-up. 

The full story is detailed in the movie Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of the Ealing Club. 

Formation of The Pretty Things

In 1963, at Sidcup Art College Dick Taylor formed a group alongside Phil May that would start to follow the footsteps of The Rolling Stones, challenging & emboldening their pursuit to become the bad-boys of mid 60’s London Music. Both bands were heavily based on the blues and the Pretty Things would build up a catalogue of self-penned songs that epitomized the raw, frenetic and pounding attitude of certain bands born out of the London R & B scene.

The Pretty Things would innovate and become early adopters of the psychedelic & counterculture movements integrating those influences into tracks such as LSD (released in 1965) and later creating what is considered to be the first Rock Opera Album,  (SF Sorrow) in 1968. This record debuted prior to the release of the Who’s Tommy and was released on a Motown subsidiary, another first for any UK band. 

The Pretty Things have been feted and admired by David Bowie (Oh – You Pretty Things). David Bowie, mentioned Phil May and The Ealing Club in his ‘Pin Ups’ Broadcast in 1973. Jimi Hendrix, The Clash: (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais, Nirvana were also admirers.

Their final 2018 show saw David Gilmour & Van Morrison playing in support of the band. 

Listen to tracks such as ‘Buzz The Jerk’ and the likes of ‘The Jam’ are very close by. TURN IT UP LOUD!