I Stand Corrected

In my most recent piece, entitled: "Dirty City feat. Eric Clapton", I made a mistake.  I substituted Gregg Allman’s name for Duane’s.

The line was: "Eric did his best work collaborating with Gregg Allman."

It should have read: "Eric did his best work collaborating with Duane Allman."

If you want to go even deeper, I’m not sure this is even true.  My favorite Clapton album remains the first, with "Easy Now" and "Let It Rain".  That first record, released around the same time as the even more legendary "Alone Together", Dave Mason’s solo debut, did not have the hype of records today.  Starting out under your own name meant that certain people didn’t get the memo, and therefore it was more difficult to reach critical mass.  Is that why Eric’s solo debut seems to have been forgotten?  I’m not sure.  Maybe it was because there wasn’t a big "hit".  Nothing that was ubiquitous on AM, like "Sunshine Of Your Love", which jumped from FM to AM in the summer of ’68.  Or "Layla", which dominated the suddenly dominant FM in ’71.

And it’s that album, "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs", that I was referring to here.  For further information on Duane’s contribution, how he got involved in the sessions, read "Skydog – The Duane Allman Story", by Randy Poe.

I might have heard "Layla" too many times in Dave McCormick’s room during freshman year, I needed some distance to fully appreciate it.  But it truly is great.  My favorite tracks are "Anyday" and "Little Wing".  The blast of guitar opening the former is the essence of rock power.  And even though everyone from Stevie Ray to Sting has covered Jimi’s "Little Wing", this is my favorite take (and yes, in yesterday’s piece entitled "Sit Yourself Down", I did say "Jimmy" instead of "Jimi"…I stand corrected there too).  Anyway, it has now been well documented that Duane came up with the "Layla" riff.  Although many believe he stole it from an old blues record.  But this might explain why "Layla" never quite gels in concert.  The riff just isn’t in Eric’s style.  Just like the break in "Badge" is pure George Harrison, and Eric can’t play it in the same magical descending way.

While I’ve got your attention, I’m going to cover a couple of other subjects.

I went to buy a replacement bulb for my flashlight today at Lightbulbs Unlimited on Wilshire.  When I came out, it was raining.  One of those bizarre sunshowers.  And stumbling at the end of the block was this elfin figure.  Wearing skintight pants.  And shoes with heels so high no wonder she was tottering.

I wanted to see how she would drive.  The heels were almost as big as she was.  That’s when I noticed the brand new Escalade had a driver, one of the Madden boys.  This, of course, was Nicole Richie.  She may look good in photographs, but in this sudden rainstorm, she was positively pathetic.  I guess you don’t want to get too up close and personal to fame.

"Never Stop"

You know I’ve got a Jackson Browne fixation.  And I’m not apologizing for it.  He made the best record I own, at least by my standards, "Late For The Sky".  There’s more truth in that one record than…  Fuck the analogy, I’ll just post a few of my favorite lines.

From "The Late Show":

Now to see things clear it’s hard enough I know
While you’re waiting for reality to show
Without dreaming of the perfect love
And holding it so far above
That if you stumbled onto someone real, you’d never know

That’s the essence of life.  What you find, what satisfies you, is not what you’re looking for.

"Late For The Sky":

You never knew what I loved in you
I don’t know what you loved in me
Maybe the picture of somebody you were hoping I might be

That’s so creepy, I’m not even going to comment.  Except to say if you haven’t been there, you haven’t been in a relationship.

Finally, "For A Dancer":

I don’t know what happens when people die
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try

I recited these lines at my father’s funeral.  I think of Tony Wilson, who would have been 58 years old Wednesday, when I write them now.

Anyway, none of these songs are on Jackson Browne’s soon to be released "Solo Acoustic, Volume 2".  But, "Never Stop", my favorite cut off his last studio album, 2002’s "The Naked Ride Home", is.

This solo acoustic take is different from the studio original.  It’s the same song, but sans the production, the focus is on the words instead of the groove.  And I always loved the groove.  Especially at this one moment, when suddenly, the song takes a left turn, when Jackson seems to get down on his knees and he sings:

Remember when you look into my eyes
I’m the one who took you by surprise
The time has come and gone and come back ’round again
And I’m still here to take you by surprise my friend

You can trade in your lover, shitcan your relationship and move on.  Repeating the same steps over again with someone new.  Or you can hang in there, through the pain, for further good times, grown out of the mutual understanding that only years together can bring.

You can’t hear this version online.  I’ll just point you to the live take on YouTube, which features Mark Goldenberg of the Cretones on guitar, but is somehow sans the magic of both the studio or live acoustic versions.  Oh, it’s good.  It’s just that if you’re not a fan, it might slip right off you:

Jackson Browne. Never Stop.

Anyway, and how many times have I said anyway in this piece anyway, I don’t like to make mistakes.  Nobody does.  But when the overwhelming feedback comes in, like an unending tsunami, I can’t stop it immediately, it takes time to send tens of thousands of e-mails, and everybody has to read the correction.  So I need to detach.  And the way I detach is to play stuff like Jackson Browne’s acoustic "Never Stop".  Because it’s got nothing to do with the economy, nothing to do with money, it’s like someone is bathing me, rubbing me ever so gently with hot oil.  I feel like I’m going to be okay.

I had a whole thing about Jimmy Iovine’s video I was going to write yesterday.  But I had to meet Lyor Cohen at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  Off the record, of course.  But I’ll say one thing, anybody who thinks that guy is stupid is plain wrong.  He’s highly intelligent.  You have to be to get that high in a worldwide organization.

But that was more about him and less about me.  This is about me.  And you.

I don’t want you to come over.  I don’t want to sit you down and play you records.  That’s unnatural.  When the sun goes down, and you’re alone, I want you to fire up your favorite record.  A quiet one.  That speaks to you.  And know what you’re feeling then…is exactly what I’m feeling now.

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