Eric Clapton - The 1960s Review

In this extraordinary film, his life and career throughout these crucial ten years is put under the microscope, and with the help of archive interviews with the man himself, exclusive contributions from friends, band mates and colleagues, rare and classic performance footage, seldom seen photographs plus a host of other features, the story in question is told in a manner it never has been before.
Rob Johnstone
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Sexy Intellectual
Content advisory
Violencefoul language
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4.1 out of 5 stars

17 global ratings

  1. 57% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 27% of reviews have 4 stars
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  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 9% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

DrdaystrumReviewed in the United States on August 23, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Inaccurate, sloppy production & misleading
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This movie did a huge disservice to Clapton and his more discriminating fans from his Blues Breakers-Cream period which was, without doubt, his most important, incendiary & influential representing the epitome of his career. The movie interviews individuals who played a minor role in his career excluding Mayall & a few others but they include a corpulent individual who constantly disparages Eric at every chance which contradicts the point of demonstrating & illuminating the audience on EC's greatness & virtuosity. Secondly, many of the film clips and still photos are totally misrepresentative of Clapton's chronology, for instance, showing him with the Yardbirds while discussing his tenure with Mayall & the Blues Breakers or inserting stills of EC with Blind Faith during the segment on Cream.
The producers were sloppy and reckless with their presentation, worst of all, never once do they showcase a *complete* guitar solo either from a recording or video, i.e., the BBC movie of Cream's Farewell Concert on November 26, 1968, at London's Royal Albert Hall, however; even though it shows clips from the BBC event the never allow the viewer to really see and hear Clapton play one of his massive, vocal, fluid majestic solos with the one exception of 1 clip at the beginning (and 1 later in the movie) taken from the BBC film showing Clapton demonstrate his SG & wah wah, a clip which was actually chronologically months before they played their farewell show at the Royal Albert Hall, also evidenced by EC's looks, long hair and mustache vs his more clean-cut look & Beatle hairstyle during their US Farewell tour & final RAH performance later that fall. The clip showing EC demonstrate his SG was from backstage at Winterland Auditorium from around February or March 68.
Conversely, they *do* devote an entire segment to Hendrix showing him play "Voodoo Child" from the Woodstock concert which defeats the entire point of showing a movie about Eric Clapton, not JH.
Lastly, being a Clapton fan for years & seeing him live with Cream in 1968, Blind Faith in 69, B&D&Friends in 70 and Derek & The Dominoes in October 70, it's important not to misinform the viewer as what his main guitars were during those periods. Being a guitarist myself, it's important to have some semblance of accuracy.
This movie continually uses static photos from their Farewell Show at the Royal Albert Hall and the earlier rehearsals showing Eric on his "newly acquired" Gibson ES-335 which contrary to the false myth created by the Burst Brothers who hyped the guitar as his "Crossroads Guitar" after purchasing it from the 1993 Christies Auction, gives the impression EC used that guitar throughout his tenure in Cream which is patently false. The Gibson SG standard, painted by "the Fool", was his primary ax throughout most of Cream, starting in February 67 and with few exceptions, like a backup Les Paul, etc. it was used throughout the spring & summer of 67 into 68 during their extremely long US "Disraeli Gears" tour where his iconic SG is heard on Eric's most incendiary performances like Winterland's "Crossroads", "Spoonful", "Sleepy Time Time" and others including the Fillmore that were recorded for Wheels of Fire, Live Cream & part of Live Cream II.
Eric's SG was used for all the dubbed on solos on "Disraeli Gears", all of "Wheels of fires" studio tracks except "Deserted Cities of the Heart" which was recorded much later in the spring of 68 being the only track featuring his new acquired Gibson Reverse Firebird. Eric purchased his Firebird during Cream's first visit to Philadelphia on the weekend of April 19th, 1968 where he used it on one out of the three nights they played, trying it out while still using his main SG.
During early Cream August 66 through January 67, EC used a variety of Les Paul standards, including 2 or more standards, one Gold top, two or more Black Beauty Customs, a Les Paul Jr., & even a Danelectro until he found the Gibson SG standard and decided to make that his primary guitar. He also used a Guild acoustic flat top, and other guitars he acquired during Cream's long US tours, including a few Strats & Teles he took back to England but never used on a Cream recording. Eric retired his SG "Fool" by early June, giving it to George Harrison who passed it on to Jackie Lomax. The guitar was eventually purchased by Todd Rundgren years later when it was in total disrepair.
By the fall of 68, Cream launched their long US Farewell Tour in October where he primarily used, per every single venue in the US, a Les Paul cherry sunburst standard and his Gibson Firebird. Not one photo of any Cream performance during that US Farewell Tour shows Clapton on a 335, never. Doesn't exist.
There is one rare photo of EC playing an ES-355, the custom version of the ES-335 thin body line at an unknown venue but it is not known whether he owned that guitar, just purchased it, or borrowed it. However; contrary to the Burst Brother's perpetuated myth that EC owned a 335 since his Yardbird days, as per the excellent documentation & book on the history of the ES-335 by Tony Bacon, Bacon discovered that the original ES-335 block inlay was owned by the Yardbirds Chris Dreja, not Clapton, who's main ax during the Yardbirds was his Telecaster & later a Gretsch & Fender Jazzmaster. Bacon discovered via careful research and comparing serial numbers, that Dreja's block inlay was made *before* the block inlay ES-335 played by Eric during their Cream Farewell show at the Royal Albert Hall. He discovered that Clapton purchased what he calls "the Albert Hall 335" from London's Selmer's Music store and even interviewed the salesman, an American named Jerry Donahue who will never forget selling the guitar to Clapton just TWO weeks before their Royal Albert Hall show on November 26, 1968. Donahue even remembered that Clapton offered to give him tickets to the show but Donahue already had a pair and said he was "proud to watch Clapton using that 335 during the show".
So Clapton never owned his own block-inlay ES-335 (or at minimum, shared it with Dreja) and after Dreja's original 335 was destroyed by a PA cabinet falling on it during a Yardbirds performance, Dreja later purchased a replacement ES-335 with DOT inlays. This guitar can be seen in Dreja's hands even after Clapton left the Yardbirds when Beck already took over the lead guitar role.
The point is, the average viewer won't care or know the difference as far as guitars or accurate chronology regarding photos and film but for the discriminating Clapton fan, the movie is an amateurish, poorly produced and written movie. I strongly recommend avoiding this flick & instead just watching the original BBC 1968 movie of Cream playing the Royal Albert Hall which is available on DVD or VHS or reading a multitude of books, one of the best being, "Cream" by Chris Welch.
2 people found this helpful
ukemanReviewed in the United States on October 16, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Spot on
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I was a young teen in SF when EC was in had left Yardbirds, and was treated to Bluesbreakers which made an indelible impression on me, lasting though his stints with Cream and Blind Faith. At the time I felt none of the myopic fandom of those latter groupings, which tended to put EC under a microscope, whereas the Bluesbreakers material was such a well rounded showcase of the genre for EC's guitar playing. Nonetheless this is a great doc accentuating the young EC's work in one memorable decade.
Buddy1492Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Clapton at his best
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I would have liked a little more music. There are a few clips of old interviews with Clapton, but he wasn't interviewed as part of this movie. It gives a clear picture of his origins, when he was completely immersed in blues, and how he progressed, moving from band to band throughout the 60s. The people they interviewed were part of it while it was happening and provide valuable insights.
William C. MalvenReviewed in the United States on March 5, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Generally excellent bio of Eric Clapton's early years
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Show tracks the early years of Clapton's long and varied career. Not a lot new here but some tidbits of information I've not heard before. Good production and well worth watching for any fan of Eric Clapton.
2 people found this helpful
Absorbing it all.Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best guitar players of all times.
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Good bio of the early days of Eric, cream, touching on Hendrix coming into the UK music scene .
Conclusion: Even to this very day in oct 2019 Eric has a his own style few can match but he makes anyone who plays with him ,Shine Brighter With Him.
Roger S.Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Roughshod production, few people of substance give interviews, generic soundtrack not Clapton
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Roughshod production, few people of substance give interviews, generic soundtrack featuring none of Clapton's music due to lack of permission. Mostly just a running photo collage and old fanboys speaking inarticulately about their favorite musician.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 22, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A must see for Clapton fans
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Lots of info about Clapton's early days. Worth checking out for sure>
One person found this helpful
mikeinunionReviewed in the United States on November 2, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Tons of info
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Very thorough
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