Of all the people I’ve ever wanted to interview, Eric Clapton and George Harrison are equal at number one. George, of course, can never happen now and Eric’s looking pretty unlikely.
But back in 1999 Clapton sold 100 guitars to raise money for his rehab centre, Crossroads. I was Guitarist editor and we did a big feature on the event. I helped select photos of him playing the actual guitars so they would be accurately depicted in the brochure. Eric loved our coverage, so I was invited to the sale preview in London, where he asked to thank me in person.
At the prescribed moment his assistant escorted me to him in the middle of the crowd of guests, which included George Harrison. It’s weird, because you’d think I’d have so much to say to Eric. And yet, after his, “Thank you” and, “It came out really well,” I struggled to make easy conversation. I remember thinking I mustn’t slip into ‘interview mode’ and barrage him, so we talked about a few of the guitars and that was about it.
I got to chat to George that day too. He’d actually seen me play with Marty Wilde and came up to say hello – to ME! He went off and came back several times, finishing off by showing me a ‘Rutles’ guitar that Rob Armstrong had made him, with a cut-out of the band in the soundhole. They say don’t meet your heroes, but I’m glad I met mine.
Finally, if I may, a quick commercial. Of course, I hope you love GT, but have you thought of subscribing – or re-subscribing should yours be lapsed? We have some great offers on at the moment: in print and for our excellent digital version. Why not nip over to our website (see the flash above) where you can get a year’s subscription for the cost of a couple of guitar lessons! Go on, you know you want to!
Neville Marten, Editor