ROYAL AL­BERT HALL BLUES SHOWS GUI­TARS & AMPS

Guitarist - - Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ -

For 1994’s se­ries of RAH blues shows, Eric was us­ing around 18 gui­tars per night through an as­sort­ment of amps. For the qui­eter ‘old blues’ num­bers it was a choice be­tween a blonde 50s Gib­son L-5 and Byrd­land through Lee Dick­son’s own tiny Na­tional combo, “half the vol­ume of the Fender Champ spare,” he told us. Eric chose P-90s over hum­buck­ers as the early artists to whom he was pay­ing homage would also have used them. Gib­son built the beau­ti­ful Sun­burst Les Paul for Eric as he’d mis­tak­enly be­lieved the shot on Fred­die King’s Let’s Hide Away And Dance Away al­bum

was a Sun­burst with P-90s, when in fact the cover’s orange hue had ren­dered that ef­fect on the guitar’s dished goldtop. Eric’s acous­tics were a vin­tage Martin 000-28, a cou­ple of an­cient Do­bros (one in open E) and a spare Martin 000-42. The main amps were a heav­ily mod­i­fied ’58 Fender Twin and a signed Soldano SLO-100 head (Mike Soldano wrote: “Eric, thank you very, very much and keep on play­ing those same old blues!”). This head went through EV-loaded Mar­shall cabs. The Strats were Clap­ton mod­els, but he wanted them with­out his name on the head­stock.

1. The heav­ily mod­ded Fender Twin saw a lot of ac­tion on the rock­ier sec­tion of the show, as did one of two Soldano heads (Lee ro­tated them each night). The straight-front Mar­shall cabs were loaded with Electro-Voice speak­ers

2. This heav­ily in­laid Do­bro was prob­a­bly the spare, as was the vin­tage Martin 000-42. Clap­ton used var­i­ous tun­ings dur­ing these shows

3. The gor­geous ‘faux Fred­die King’ Les Paul was built to Eric’s spec by Gib­son’s Cus­tom Shop. The EC Strat has a flamed maple neck, Lace Sen­sor pick­ups, but no ‘Clap­ton’ logo

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