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ERIC CLAPTON
One More Car, One More Rider

Review by Mark Wiechman

Stars: Eric Clapton, Nathan East, Billy Preston, Greg Phillinganes, Steve Gadd, Andy Fairweather Low, David Sancious                                                   
Director: Danny O’Breyen                 
Audio:   Dolby Digital 2.0, 5.0, DTS
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  Warner/Reprise
Features: See Review
Length: 2 hours, 4 minutes
Release Date:  November 5, 2002

Film ***1/2

Eric Clapton was the first white blues guitarist worthy of comparison to the great African-American blues greats such as B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, and Muddy Waters.   He has proven himself worthy of that comparison through his electrifying performances and recordings with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, and as a solo artist.  His searing solos on his Fender Stratocaster guitar /Marshall amplifier combination has been imitated but never surpassed.

While not prolific as a songwriter, he has penned several timeless rock anthems---Layla, Tears in Heaven,  and the recent Grammy winner My Father’s Eyes.   He has also continued to produce excellent new recordings, and new standards are regularly introduced in his concerts, which cannot be said for most of his English rock-god contemporaries.  Long-forgotten blues standards such as Crossroads, Key to the Highway, and Spoonful have become rock standards thanks to his red-hot fusion of emotional blues with rock’s pure power.

This concert is available on two audio CDs or on DVD.  A set of all three is also available.

TRIVIA QUESTION: For whom was Clapton’s legendary anthem Layla written?   The answer is below.

In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Clapton admitted this last tour would probably be his last large-scale endeavor, though he will probably continue to record.  So when I saw this baby for sale, I had to grab it.

There are only  few reasons I did not give it four stars: 

1)      Like most fans I cannot help wishing that he would just cut lose completely as in his Cream days.  Just as Sting was far more exciting in his writing and performing with the Police because of the personal and musical friction between the three talented musicians, so Clapton may never be quite that hot again.  On the other hand, Clapton’s solo projects and performances are far better than Sting’s, and that friction is what caused Cream and the Police to burn out quickly.  His solos also continue to be first-rate.

2)      Why is he wearing tiny-rimmed glasses and an old white shirt like an old man?  Just because you are not young anymore, Eric, does not mean you have to dress like an old fogie!!! 

3)      Practically no special features, but so what?  Live versions of Sunshine of Your Love,  and anthem every garage band in the world learns, and Bell Bottom Blues, Clapton’s other compositional collaboration with George Harrison (the first being Badge), which was long overdue for a concert video.

Set list:

1. Key To The Highway
2. Reptile
3. Get You On My Mind
4. Tears In Heaven
5. Bell Bottom Blues
6. Change The World
7. My Father's Eyes
8. River Of Tears
9. Going Down Slow
10. She's Gone
11. I Want A Little Girl
12. Badge
13. Hoochie Coochie Man
14. Have You Ever Loved A Woman
15. Cocaine
16. Wonderful Tonight
17. Layla
18. Sunshine Of Your Love
19. Over The Rainbow

Clapton’s ensemble features longtime band members Nathan East on bass, the legendary Steve Gadd on drums, and Billy Preston on Keyboards.  Andy Fairweather Low is on rhythm guitar and vocals, Greg Phillinganes is also on keyboards, and David Sancious rounds out the ensemble on keyboards and guitar.  Billy Preston’s solo on  I Want a Little Girl is classic and ignites the rest of the ensemble.

Video ****

No complaints, plenty of shots of all the band members, but not too busy either.  The video quality itself is excellent.

Audio ****

The mix is just right, very live sounding, not too much crowd noise, and the DTS is welcome of course.  Background vocals are clearly heard and in tune. 

Features (zero stars)

None except subtitles (so your kids can learn all the words to Sunshine, as all children should) and a weblink to news about Slowhand.

Summary:

If you are not already a Clapton fan, this DVD will make you one.  Hopefully not his last live DVD, but definitely a lasting documentation of one of rock’s few timeless pioneers.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Layla was written for Patti (Boyd) Harrison, who was married to George Harrison at the time.