I’m a little reluctant to write about Don Preston and his 1968 debut, Bluse as I feel the story is deserving of more time than I currently have (or am willing) to give to it, save to say, it wasn’t anything that I thought it was, in the best way possible. Purchased as a joke, whose backstory will be saved for another time, I foolishly discovered that Mr. Preston is (still alive) a stellar guitarist, and has played with some of the very best: Rick Nelson, George Harrison, JJ Cale, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, The Righteous Brothers, and Ritchie Valens, to name a short few. Bluse is classic blues-rock (bluse-rock?), and is as anything spectacular as you would think, having read the list of unquestionable legends above.
1966’s Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, aka The Beano Album, is John Mayall’s first studio album, and his second overall. Featuring a comic-reading, and marginally defiant Eric Clapton, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is widely considered John Mayall’s most popular, although not best, output, and is ranked by Rolling Stone magazine at number 195 of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Also, I found it at my local brick and mortar for only $1 (hence the title of this post).
Bend your mind one side at a time with 1977’s Guitar Boogie. Fix yourself a heaping plate of last night’s grub, pour out a pint of your favorite brew, dim the lights and drop the needle, because it’s damn near boogie time. Have you heard of these young, up-and-comers? Eric Clapton? Jeff Beck? Jimmy Page? Nah, me neither, but this comp of classic blues-infused slut-rock is essential Monday night listening material, or, at least it is around our household. Sometimes, Mondays need that extra boogie…
Partially because I was too busy to snap a pic this morning, and partially because the importance of this “happened-upon” comp LP is the newest in my collection, I’ll milk the blues from this dry cow, and complete the front/back circle and, once again, suggest its esteemed seeking out.
If an endorsement by Jimmy Page isn’t enough… an endorsement by Jimmy Page should be damn well enough.
Cover distracted, ditsiness aside, The Beginning British Blues is a hint of British Blues history the laypeople (especially including myself) may not have otherwise been hip to. Bridging the Eric Clapton gap between The Yardbirds and Cream, the momentary glimpse of Clapton’s collaboration with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers seems to be the bulk of the focus here. With back sleeve write-up by Jimmy Page (together with Miles Road, a duet with Mr. Clapton), The Beginning British Blues is a hidden treasure of historical significance, something this guy here just discovered he needed to possess.
John Lennon is known for many things, and cloning himself and inhabiting two geographical locations at the same time is certainly one of them. Take for example the 1969 release by The Plastic Ono Band, Live Peace in Toronto 1969. Apart from being the first live album recorded by any member of the Beatles, solo or together, Live Peace in Toronto 1969 brought together the monumental talents of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Eric Clapton (Eric Clapton performs by courtesy of Atlantic Records).
Ok, all that is well and good… but what about this cloning nonsense you speak of? Take a look at the label. It’s an album of material that was recorded live in Toronto, Ontario, BUT, it was, apparently, also an album that was recorded in England.
Think about that for a moment. Performed in Canada… recorded in England.
Why didn’t they just record it in Canada? A fair and reasonable question. I’ll tell you why. It’s because John Lennon cloned himself and was performing live with Yoko and Mr. Slowhand while simultaneously sitting behind the boards at Apple Corps Ltd back in London. Quite an astounding feat, even for John Lennon, but anything is possible if you Imagine. See what I did there?