Derek and the Dominos Book Update: December 2015

As 2015 comes to a close I want to say a big thank you to everyone I have spoken to this year. Since the start of the year I have spoken to hundreds and hundreds of people who saw Derek and the Dominos live and it’s been a thrill hearing all the stories from shows in the UK and the USA.

The book is coming together very nicely indeed, I am very excited for everyone to read it. But there is still work to be done which will continue into 2016 as I make this book the most in-depth biography on Derek and the Dominos ever written with the most detailed and extensive live history ever put together.

A big thanks goes to Bobby Whitlock for his continuing support and enthusiasm as I write the book, but also to everyone I have spoken to so far. It’s going to be great, bring on 2016!

Happy New Year!

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RARE FOOTAGE: Derek and the Dominos live at Fillmore East, October 23rd 1970

For whatever reason, Derek and the Dominos are one band where very little video footage exists from their time together and considering the Layla song and album are seen as some of the best music of all time, it’s mind blowing that very little is out there. To put it into perspective for you, there’s more footage of Duane Allman than there is of Derek and the Dominos…and there isn’t much of Duane. The only officially released video footage that exists is from their performance on The Johnny Cash Show on the 5th November 1970 and even then there are only two videos.

But that was an official TV performance. When it comes to actual live shows from their UK or US tours, there’s absolutely nothing which is a real shame. The only fan footage that does exist is from the 23rd October 1970 when they played two shows at the Fillmore East in New York City. You can check it out below.

Yes, I know that clip is 8 seconds in length but that’s all that exists of Derek and the Dominos outside of the Cash performances. That clip isn’t the full thing though, there’s supposedly around 40 seconds of footage out there which I’ve been told will be used in an upcoming documentary on Eric Clapton and his career. When that will be released I do not know but I can assure you that I am always looking for more previously unseen video footage while I’m writing my book on the band.

Derek and the Dominos Book Update: October 2015

It’s been a number of months since my last book update and since then I have been working hard on my book on Derek and the Dominos. I started just over a year ago and in that time I have spoken to hundreds of people who saw the band play in both the UK and USA. I’m hugely thankful to everyone I have spoken to, a day doesn’t go by where I don’t speak to someone I haven’t spoken to already who saw the band live in 1970.

Having spoken to hundreds of people since last year I have been sent a vast number of previously unseen live photos of the band taken in the UK and USA. These photos have never been seen before by anyone apart from the people who took them and I’m excited to say that they will debut in my book when it is released. Projects like the one I am doing take a lot of time and effort, and I am very confident in saying that when my book is released it will be the most in-depth book ever written on Derek and the Dominos.

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Derek and the Dominos Live With B.B. King: Everyday I Have The Blues

On the 26th November 1970, Derek and the Dominos played at the Music Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. The band at the time were nearing the end of their US tour and a recording of the performance shows it to be one of the best the band ever played. As an added bonus, if seeing Derek and the Dominos wasn’t special enough, B.B. King joined the band for an encore of Everyday I Have The Blues. Take a listen:

This would be the only time that B.B. King joined the Dominos on stage, although they did have a number of other musical guests join then in the US from Delaney Bramlett, Neal Schon and Duane Allman. As you can hear, the Dominos music is considerably “harder” than the music B.B. King was used to playing at the time but his voice rises over the music and doesn’t fail to give you goosebumps. Eric and B.B. played together multiple times over the years and while this is one of the lesser known performances it’s certainly one of the most special and now that B.B. King is no longer with us it’s these recordings that will continue to live on and show every new generation what kind of person, singer and guitar player he was.

On a final note, more info on this show (along with every other show the Dominos played) will be in the book I am writing on the band. Head over to my Facebook Page for all info on the book as it becomes available.

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Photo taken at the Music Hall in Cincinnati, 26th November 1970. Photographer unknown.

Jim Gordon Isolated Drums: What Is Life

When you think about some of the greatest drummers of all time, the name Jim Gordon should automatically be near the top of your list. In 1970 he would play on George Harrison’s debut studio album All Things Must Pass as part of the main backing band, Derek and the Dominos. There were a number of other guest musicians on the album (including Ringo and Ginger Baker) but the Dominos were the main musicians. This track, What Is Life, is the fifth track on All Things Must Pass and contains some gorgeous drumming from Jim Gordon. Take a listen:

After the end of Derek and the Dominos in 1971, Jim Gordon would go on to work with a long list of big name artists throughout the 1970’s including John Lennon, Traffic, Frank Zappa, Jack Bruce and Joan Baez to name just a few. There was no doubting his ability as a drummer and a musician. However there were a number of underlying issues, most notably undiagnosed schizophrenia, which in 1983 led him to murder his own mother due to the voices he had been hearing in his head for many years.

In the book I am writing on Derek and the Dominos, Jim Gordon will naturally be covered heavily, from the Blind Faith tour where he played with Delaney & Bonnie, the formation of Derek and the Dominos, the All Things Must Pass sessions, the Layla sessions, Dominos UK and US tours and the Dominos second album sessions. He is without a doubt one of the greatest drummers the world has ever known and hearing him play with all the other instruments stripped away is spectacular.

Layla: A Live Comparison

I’ve spoken to many people who consider Layla to be a great song because of Duane Allman, but the band played the song live without Duane on a number of occasions. It’s important to note that even though Duane played a huge part during the recording of the Layla album sessions, he was never a member of Derek and the Dominos. When the band came back from recording Layla in Miami they continued with their UK tour before packing up the gear and heading to America. Now it wasn’t until mid-late November that the band started to play Layla at shows. Looking back it’s hard to see why the band didn’t play Layla as soon as they finished recording the album, but at the time the band were still finding their feet and Layla was far from being the landmark recording that we all see it as today. As the Dominos embarked on their US tour, the chemistry between the members grew and grew as each show went by. By mid-late November Layla found it’s way into the setlist and would remain there for when Duane joined the band at the start of December, however it would be dropped again before the tour wound up on the 6th December in Selden, NY.

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