By Damian Fanelli
From the Bluesbreakers through Cream (1966 through 1968), Eric Clapton was — simply put — one of the best, most explosive and influential guitarists on the planet — and Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck lived on that planet. And while footage of Clapton during this era is rare, we have access to a very fine (although oddly edited) video of Cream's farewell concert, which was filmed November 26, 1968, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the site of their 2005 reunion.
The video, which you can watch below, captures the explosive version of Clapton. It also shows him (and Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker) backstage, explaining how a Gibson's volume and tone knobs work and demonstrating his celebrated "woman tone." (Head to 16:53 to see him backstage with his guitar.)
I've grown up a lot since my Money and Cigarettes disappointment days; I can appreciate exactly what Clapton was going for; I know he got very tired of the long, loud jams with Cream (as would I).
Anyway, here's hoping you enjoy this little bit of time travel.