Friday, October 4, 2019

#2 Eric Clapton (+ George Harrison bonus)

Onto card #2!

1991 Pro Set SuperStars MusiCards #2 Eric Clapton
Looks like this was a contemporary photo judging by the haircut. He was still very much a relevant artist on the popular music scene at the time, and in fact his most successful hit was right around the corner, with "Tears in Heaven" becoming one of the top songs of '92.

Eric Clapton has two cards in the set-- in addition to this one, he's got another card in the Legends subset right after this at card #3-- plus there's a Cream poster in the Historic Concerts subset (#251). He doesn't have a card in the UK edition, which seems strange since he's British, after all.

As the card states, Clapton is among the top rock guitarists of all-time. If you've got the time and interest, he's got quite the Wikipedia entry coving his eventful life.

Like with the rest of the acts in the Legends subset, his heyday was before my time, so while I've got an appreciation for his music, I can't say I was ever a huge fan of his or anything.

I think my first introduction to Clapton was "Tears in Heaven" and the acoustic rendition "Layla" from his 1992 Unplugged album. I liked them fine, but grew sick of them getting played so frequently on the radio and MTV.

Eric Clapton - "Cocaine" (Live)

It wasn't till I was older that I dug into his earlier work. Kinda blew my mind that the original Derek and the Dominos' "Layla" was basically a totally different song that rocked hard, not the lullaby-ass version from Unplugged. And you got "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room" from his time in Cream (that I'm sure I heard as a kid, but didn't realize they featured Clapton). "Wonderful Tonight" is a pretty song. And his J. J. Cale cover of "Cocaine" might be my favorite thing he's done.


Clapton famously played the guitar solo on George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from the Beatles' White Album (1968). (And he infamously broke the bro code and hit on Harrison's wife at the time, Pattie Boyd, eventually marrying her years later.)

And so I figured I'd pair this Clapton MusiCard with a George Harrison custom. The Quiet Beatle doesn't have a solo card in the set (unlike John, coming up at card #15), though The Beatles have a card in the UK edition (which we'll eventually cover, assuming this blog has the longevity to get to that point). Seems crazy Pro Set wouldn't give The Beatles a Legend card in the US version of the set (Led Zeppelin has 5 cards, by comparison!), but it was probably a licensing issue and they couldn't secure stateside rights.

The custom looks pretty cool, I think. Does that photo remind anyone else of 1991 Topps Wade Boggs? And yes, I know that George has earned a "Legends" status in the set, but since we're already in the middle of that subset, I figured I'd keep the customs a base card for a change of pace rather than keep on hitting you over the head with the gold borders of the Legends design.

I love me some George Harrison. His songs helped give variety to many classic Beatles records, sort of a secret weapon of the band. There are lots of great songs from his solo career, as well. Growing up, in addition to a few Beatles records, my mom owned one George Harrison solo LP, Dark Horse (1974). We didn't play it too often, but dusted it off and slapped it on the turntable once in a blue moon. I seem to recall it was slightly warped and that affected some tracks, so that was probably a factor why we didn't listen to it more often. And honestly it didn't do much for me at the time with the exception of the title track which I absolutely loved.

George Harrison - "Dark Horse"

I wasn't super familiar with his solo work until checking it out more when I got older, but I remember being a fan of "Got My Mind Set on You" and its silly music video. I also liked what I heard from the Traveling Wilburys, the supergroup he was in.


Now's the time where I try to narrow down my favorite George Harrison songs onto a hypothetical mixtape to play on repeat whilst stranded on a desert island. I'm trying to grapple with if I should include his Beatles tunes in the compilation or keep it fully solo tracks.

George Harrison "desert island disc" mixtape
1. Dark Horse
2. My Sweet Lord
3. What Is Life
4. Let It Down
5. All Things Must Pass
6. Blow Away
7. The Rising Sun
8. Stuck Inside A Cloud
9. Brainwashed
10. Got My Mind Set on You
11. Far East Man
12. Wake Up My Love
13. I Really Love You
14. Greece
15. Dear One
16. Hear Me Lord
17. Dream Scene
18. On The Bed
19. Any Road
20. Isn't It A Pity

As you can see, I ultimately kept it confined to his solo career. Were I to include Beatles songs, slam dunk picks would be "Here Comes The Sun", "Long, Long, Long", and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (which I probably would have went with the symphonic remix from Love over the White Album version, though I really like both). Oh, and can't forget "Taxman" (a song whose bassline I talked about on Baseball Card Breakdown back in 2017).

But back to the mixtape, it's heavy on All Things Must Pass, which I think a lot of Beatles fans consider the best post-Beatles album from the Fab Four, respectively. I put "Isn't It A Pity" last because it's such an epic song.. figured it'd make a good closer. I could have added a few more songs, but I like trying to cap these mixes at 20 tracks.

Speaking of "Isn't It A Pity", the band Mercury Rev do a nice version.

Mercury Rev + Dean & Britta "Isn't it a Pity" at the Mystery Spot, Phoenicia, NY 8/15/10

That's gonna wrap up this post. I'd love to hear your thoughts and memories regarding Eric Clapton and/or George Harrison, so chime in down in the comments if you're so inclined. Thanks!

Next up is another Eric Clapton card. I'll come up with a Desert Island Disc for him, plus we'll take a closer look at J.J. Cale.



Kim Shattuck
July 17, 1963 – October 2, 2019

Sucks to hear about Kim Shattuck's recent passing. Here's a custom card I made for Dimebox Nick's dad a while back. I thought I was pretty clever using a Burger King design for a photo where she's wearing a Burger King crown. The Muffs were a really good band, as were the Pandoras. I was bummed when Kim Deal left the Pixies (one of my favorite bands), but I thought it was cool when Kim Shattuck replaced her, as she brought a new dynamic to the band. Unfortunately she got the boot by the band's management because they wanted someone who just stood there silently and played bass, but she was a punk at heart who liked doing her own thing. She'll be missed.


  1. I just bought a copy of Clapton's autobiography at Goodwill. I didn't start really listening to him until I learned we shared a birthday, and have become a fan of his work. His blues album with B.B. King, "Riding With The King" is heavily recommended!

    1. Checking it out now on Spotify.. thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Always loved Clapton. Check out this video around the 16:50 mark as he explains to the interviewer about his guitar playing.

  3. I have never heard anything by George Harrison I haven't liked. I would have placed "Crackerbox Palace" on my top 20 list but that's just me. Funny, I like a lot of Clapton's work but not in huge doses. I thought he work in the late 80's into the 90's was kind of bland, considering his immense talent. Oddly, the only time I ever saw him live was when he was in Roger Waters' band in 1984.

  4. When I grew up, "Layla" was a rock radio staple and I was never fond of the slowed down version. It bugs me even more hearing that younger fans found the original Layla unusual because all they heard was the unplugged version.

    Harrison has some great songs. For me only McCartney tops him among solo Beatles stuff.

  5. You picked a song from Wonderwall! THAT is badass. Of the songs you pick, "What Is Life" is one of my favorites records of all time by anyone, and "Blow Away" and "Any Road" are really, really great as well. I like his version of "I Really Love You" a lot too. My favorites that didn't make the list would include "Dream Away", "Awaiting On You All", "So Sad (No Love Of His Own)", and "Flying Hour". Jamie's choice of "Crackerbox Palace" is a fine one, too.

    I was only lucky enough to see George live once, but it was at the amazing Bob Dylan tribute concert at MSG in 1992. Clapton was there as well. I has actually seen Clapton and Elton John at Shea a couple months earlier, and was disappointed, but his performance of "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" at the Dylan tribute was probably the best single performance of a song I've ever seen. Simply transcendent. Later they each took a verse of "My Back Pages" along with Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Dylan himself.

    Nice job on the Harrison custom, too.

  6. My brothers and my childhood best friend were big fans of Clapton. I listened to it and appreciated it... but wasn't begging my mom to buy me his albums. I totally recognize him as a legend, but I just think there are so many other great bands from the 70's that I find myself listening to than him.

  7. MTV Unplugged was also my first exposure to Clapton, and I didn't really get why my parents were eye-rolling at the sad songs this old dude was putting out at the time.

    Pixies were pretty much dead to me when Kim Deal finally left, but I know Kim from the Muffs was a legend in her own right, so it sucked to hear about her passing.

    Taxman is an amazing headphones listen.