Saturday, August 29, 2020

Better In The Video -- Rollin and Tumblin (MTV Unplugged) by Eric Clapton

For the next few Saturdays (until I run out of songs), I'm going to talk about songs that are good (or even just OK), but whom have a video that is something special.

The Song: Rollin' and Tumblin' is a stable of Eric Clapton's blues songlist. It's a classic, and every time he comes to it, he makes it special. The MTV Unplugged version here is a great and fun rocker. Clapton and the band had run through the songs to record the first time, and several takes weren't that good (the audience was too loud, the band was too tight, etc.). The band and crew went on break, but Clapton stayed out. Supposedly the audience talked Clapton into starting another song, and he got the band back out to run through Rollin and Tumblin again, jam style. The recording crew (audio and visual) had to run to get back into position to record, and they actually missed the first little bit of the song (the record catches Clapton's "Did you get that?" at the end of the song).

Why the video is better: Mr. Tamborine Man.

Ray Cooper is a percussionist most famous for playing and touring with Elton John, but he has played with Eric Clapton quite often, and Clapton tapped him for the Unplugged sessions as well. As you watch the Rollin and Tumblin video progress, you can see Mr. Cooper get more and more energetic and flamboyant with his tamborine, until the audience catches him and starts cheering around 3:15. Clapton at first doesn't really notice, but around 3:40 Clapton sees it (you can hear the little "Cought you" when he stops playing the guitar).

It's not quite a tamborine solo, but it's the best tamborine feature I've ever seen.

BTW, I'm using DailyMotion here instead of YouTube because the video quality is a LOT better...

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