“Layla,” Eric Clapton, Derek and the Dominos, 1970


uploaded to Youtube.com by Sam Berry on October 24, 2009

Eric Clapton’s signature classic love song, “Layla,” which he and co-writer Jim Gordon originally wrote as a ballad, was released in 1970 on his band Derek and the Dominos’ album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.  Responsible for this masterpiece were also Derek and the Dominoes band mates Dave Mason (lead guitar), Bob Whitlock (guitar), Jim Gordon (piano), Carl Radle (percussion), and producer Tom Dowd.

Inspiration came to Clapton in the form of his friend relating to him the famous Arabic legend about forbidden and unrequited love love– The Story of Leila and Manjun (authored by classic twelfth century Persian poet, Nizami Ganjavi).  The story had appeal to Clapton because it paralleled his growing and, at the time, unrequited love and desire for Pattie Boyd, who was married to George Harrison, Clapton’s friend and fellow musician.  Upon Harrison’s divorce from Pattie Boyd in 1977, Eric Clapton capitalized on the opportunity and married Pattie in 1979 with the blessing of George Harrison, who, obviously, was a member of The Beatles.

Duane Allman, of the (Greg)Allman Brother’s Band, joined Derek and The Dominoes as a guest and had an amazing synergy with Eric Clapton when they worked on Layla, with Duane playing the slide guitar (responsible for the ethereal bird call sound at the end of “Layla” that to me, symbolizes eternity and the love that never dies, or transcends death in the way that Emily Bronte’s classic novel Wuthering Heights characters Cathy and Heathcliff’s love refused to die).









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