ROYAL ALBERT HALL BLUES SHOWS GUITARS & AMPS
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