ERIC CLAPinN 'at 'the ='Rainbow
by Robin Denselarv
SATURDAY NIGHT at the Rainbow
Theatre will be remembered as one o!
the great occasions in the history of
rock‘ music.‘ Eric Clapton — the best-
loved British“guitarist_ -- was coaxed
back to play in puhhc after over .a
year in which worrymg stories of 1118
isolation and illneSS had spread. The
Who’s leader, Pete Tewnshend, amply
made up for last month’s “Tommy”
bhmder by persuadmg Qlapton to play.
and providing hing wzth the ﬁnest
backing band imagmahle. The Faces’
Ron Wood joined Townshemd
wood was on beorboerds., Rick Gre'dh
on brass, .and Jim Capagdi ‘end two
Others on daums. ‘ ~.
Clapton came on lookmg Hale and
luneasy. 'From the ﬁrst exhilaratmg
bars of “Layla" it wag clear that he
had lost none of his shll. Insplred by
rhythm guitar, Trafﬁc's Steve With.
‘ the backing band. he played a daizling
set even by his gwn standards, dipping
back mto the songs and styles that
made him fqmuus in the, days‘ When
he played Wlth John Mayall, Cream,
and Derek and the Dominoes. rltie
showed that he is still the master'ot}.
fast and furious R and B stompers ”158'
“Cmssroads” and “Roll it Oven!"
whxeh he treated with ﬂuency “and
feelmg. He embroidered the songs',,on ,
which Steve meood took the, v0' 313 '
mth slower, more delicate r 95,:
Qlapton’s own singing improved $813113; ‘
tlcalnly during the evening. , ~ "'3. ..
None of the celebrities on stage triea,
t9 stead Clapton’s- limelight; they'
sgmply. formed an attacking, highly
dlscnplmed hand. After, a particulalﬂy ‘
ﬁne Clapton solo on “Belt Bottom‘
Blues,” Townshend pointed at him and
Joked “ He’s got a good doctor—qne." '
thh happens to be the tmth.