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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Eric Clapton: "Another Ticket" Isn't Just Another Song

I can't put my finger on the truth of the matter (since I've never read anything on Clapton or by him), but I want to praise this creation.

Never before had I actually felt the desire to buy an album with his name on it, regardless of my upbringing on the band Cream. But 1981 was a sad time, of course, so close after John Lennon's death that a young boy could read into any song that it meant more than it probably did.  So, seeing billboards on the Sunset Strip for this album after hearing the cool-groove of "I Can't Stand It", I was looking forward to one day having a listen.  Back to reality, I was too young to have money, so I wasn't gonna ask my father or my foster parents for money for a Clapton album. It just wasn't worth my time, so I wouldn't have a copy of this album until the '90's.

The first thing that impressed me about the record was that it was subtle. A beautiful, rich, burgundy color with a little pink ticket.  Secondly, no picture of him on it. Third, it's named after the best song from the album ... best musically, best lyrically.

Clapton seems to be one of those artists so focused on guitar that anything else impressive on his albums is a bonus.  I'd like to think he meant this song as more than just about a woman's love.  I'd like to think he was taking stock on life after the loss of Lennon. Funny that he was so close to George Harrison who was the absolute opposite lyrically.  [Harrison is in my top three of writers with John Lennon and Ray Davies. Clapton, of course, is not even on the list.]

A nice little guitar motif and carefully delivered vocal culminating into the passionate chorus makes this the equivalent of Paul McCartney's "Little Lamb Dragonfly" to me. I only wish there were more heavyweight tunes on the record of that ilk.  Instead , it's back to Bluesman basics, but because I love the sound of the band, I very much enjoy all the songs if only to hear the production, players techniques, and lament of the era.  As such, when I look at this record, I think of the only thing that matters when listening to a favorite record ... I'm inside the room of some great players having fun in a studio jamming-out their favorite type of tunes in a non-party-hardy way from them to all of us.  And as long as that could please somebody, "there's nothing to get hung about".

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