Eric Clapton - Guild
Backless - European Tour
Guildford, Surrey, England
December 7, 1978
Tarantura TCDEC - 18
2. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
3. Worried Life Blues
5. Tulsa Time
6. Early In The Morning
7. Wonderful Tonight
8. Inroducing Roger Forrester
3. Double trouble
5. Standing Around Crying
6. Sad Sad Day
7. Further On Up The Road
Eric Clapton guitar, vocals
George Terry guitar
Carl Radle bass
Jamie Oldaker drums
Pinetop Perkins (piano) on "Standing Around Crying"
Bob Margolin (guitar) on "Standing Around Crying"
Jerry Portnoy (harmonica) on "Standing around crying"
Elton John (piano) on "Further On Up The Road"
George Harrison (guitar) on "Further On Up The Road"
Guild is a collection by Tarantura presenting five shows over
a ten year span between 1978 to 1988 documenting these
shows in previously circulating and released tapes.
The sound quality varies, but in general all of the recordings
are at listenable and enjoyable with a natural sound and running
at the correct speed. This boxset is limited to
one hundred and thirty numbered copies.
Each of the concerts is in its own single cardboard sleeve with
relevant information, and the five sleeves fit in slots in a shuffle
pack to hold them all together. Each of the sleeves has
photographs from the era if not the specific gig in question,
and the only negative about this set is the fact that it is so limited.
This is one gorgeous production with definitive sounding,
rare recordings which every Clapton collector should have.
Final show of the European Backless tour immediately preceded
by two shows at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
This tour is notable for second guitarist George Terry not
accompanying Clapton on all of the dates and Marcy Levy parted
ways by this time to pursue her own career. The sound quality
is slightly distant but the music is very clear, enjoyable and natural
sounding. There is a small cut after “Early In The Morning” and
after “Layla,” but no music is lost. Previous releases of this tape
include Ripley’s Son(Blackie 10/11) and Homecoming
(Silver Horse SH-7802A/B) both in similar sound quality.
Guild 1978 sounds to be a slight upgrade over the other releases
in terms of sound quality.
The tape begins with Clapton saying “I’d like to dedicate this
show to Rose, Hank and Syd, Adrian, Sylvia and all the rest of the
family” and playing their cover of The Four Tops
“Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever,” written by Stevie Wonder
and Ivy Jo Hunter. The new song “Tulsa Time” is dedicated to the
new band ”except for me,” and segues perfectly into the slow
nine minute blues “Early In The Morning.”
The first disc ends with the thirty-six second introduction of
Robert Forrester, Eric Clapton’s manager.
“Crossroads” is played in a unique, heavy arena rock arrangement
in 4/4 time with a crash on the one.
Pinetop Perkins (piano), Bob Margolin (guitar), and
Jerry Portney (harmonica) join the band on stage for the first
encore “Standing Around Crying.” Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins
is most known as a blues piano player who had a hit with
“Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie” at Sun Records in Memphis
in the fifties and was a sidekick to Earl Hooker, Muddy Waters,
and Willie “Big Eye” Smith at the time of this recording.
At the age of 94, he is still active and recording, having won a
Grammy in 2008 for
Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas.
Bob “Steady Rollin’” Margolin was a backing guitarist for
Muddy Waters in the seventies and can be seen playing
in the movie The Last Waltz, and Jerry Portnoy is one of
the world’s greatest harmonica players and also was in
Muddy Waters’ band at that time before joining Clapton’s band.
Clapton and the band alone play the first encore “Sad Sad Day.”
The final encore is “Further On Up The Road.”
They begin playing the song and in the middle both
Elton John and George Harrison join in on piano and guitar.
There are no announcements (these two legends don’t need
an introduction), but their entrance is more than obvious
by the applause of the audience and the increase in volume
of the piano and Harrison’s guitar in the song.
Thankfully the taper was able to capture the historic performance
in its entirety. Backless is generally considerd a disappointment
after the excellent Slowhand and the limitations of his touring band,
together for five years at this point, were becoming apparent.
But in Guildford they were able to deliver an excellent performance
in front of a warm hometown crowd.