Beggars can’t be choosers

I felt like asking her where she buried her dead
She was dressed in a black bin liner that suited every word she said
Getting wreaked all night long on her homemade weed, wine and takeaways
Because beggars can’t be choosers on a wintery night in February

My partner in crime had disappeared with her flatmate
She said “come over here and put that guitar away”
Raining cats n dogs outside and stranded in a strange city
She said beggars can’t be choosers on a wintery night in February 

I played her a song or two but she didn’t give a damn
She liked music up tomidnightand after that a man
I told her I was a virgin waiting on the right girl to come my way
She said beggars can’t be choosers on a wintery night in February 

I tried wasting some time paying my respects
She just wanted to get as close as you can get
So I screwed her to the floor and not one bit sorry
Because beggars can’t be choosers on a wintery night in February 

I use to use it to stir my tea
Until that wintery night in February
I met up with inner city Josephine
The body snatcher of Bridgefort Street



Mental Torture

The light is painfully bright
The bedroom is full of draughts
The match just barely works
And when it does, the cigarette

Just makes me cough
The night reflects in the mirror
A wind swept gale of hail and rain
I’d like to crack my head in two

Leave it lying on the window sill
To wash away
Gate half open swings
Against a wall of rock

Voices seep into my consciousness
Saddest I have ever heard
Blades swaying backwards and forwards in my mind
Meaner than cold sunlight

On a clean switchblade
Images of the past project
As my eyelids shut
Underneath the blankets

I cradle my head
My headache moves into the slow lane
As a black iced cloud of depression
Takes over instead


Great Guitar Moments! Eric Clapton – Duane Allman.

Great Guitar Moments! Eric Clapton – Duane Allman

That Saturday afternoon Eric and the Band fumbled around in the studio until about seven, and then drove over to the Allman Brothers concert. They snuck up front and they crawled on their hands and knees so that they wouldn’t obscure the stage.

Duane was in the middle of a solo; he opened his eyes and looked down, did a dead stare, and stopped playing.

Dickie (Betts) was chugging along, saw Duane had stopped playing and figured he’d better cover, that Duane had broken a string or something. Then Dickey looked down, saw Eric and turned his back. That was how they first saw each other. 

If the concert was the start of a mutual love affair for each other’s music, the Layla album was certainly the consummation. As the out-takes from the sessions show, prior to Duane’s involvement with the album the band lacked the sparkle and bite that would later be evidenced on tracks like Key to the Highway. 

Sam the Sham (Woolly Bully) was in the studio and they heard him doing it in an adjacent room. They thought it was a great tune, Eric or Duane picked up on it, Carl Radle jumped in, Bobby Whitlock – who knew all these tunes – jumped on it and before you knew it everybody was trailing along. 

Producer Tom Dowd turned around and said “hit that goddamn machine!” 

From the moment the track kicks off it burns with the intensity of a Mississippi religious revival meeting. 

Had Eric not met up with Duane that fateful night, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1971) would have undoubtedly been one of Clapton’s finest hours. As things turned out, it was Duane’s incisive slide playing that was to prove the mystery element, the catalyst that turned a potentially fine album into a great one, an album regarded as one of the finest in rocks tortured history. 

I got the key

Key to the highway

Darlin’ about to go

Gonna leave here running

Walking’s much to slow.  

The sound that filtered through the control room door of that air conditioned Miami Studio was the sound of a raw bleeding 12 bar blues imbued with an almost painful intensity.

The sweat marks under Eric’s arms bore witness to the energy the band were pushing out. Across the room next to Eric’s small Fender Champ amp balanced precariously on a canvass chair, stood a skinny ginger-haired kid with mutton chop whiskers, cradling a Les Paul. 

Grinning, he slid a small glass slide up the neck as though his life depended on it. It brought the blues crackling into life and whoops of delight from Eric Clapton. 

Tragedy has always stalked greatness throughout the post office and rock and roll’s history and Duane was soon to go to that great stage in the sky following a motorcycle accident 

Just an unlucky 13 months later Key to the Highway would be played at his funeral inMaconto a shell shocked congregation. Duane Allman’s slide guitar skills and soulful phrasing made him one of the most venerated white bluesmen ever. He was a complete guitar player who could give you whatever you needed, rhythm, lead, blues, slide, bossa nova with a jazz feeling, beautiful light acoustic  and on the slide he had the magic touch. To get clear intonation with the right overtones that’s the mark of a genius. He was one of the few who could hold his own with the best of the black blues players, and there are very few.

You can count them on the fingers of one hand if you’ve got three fingers missing