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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member Yannick333's Avatar
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    Firebird Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    With all the firebird "porn" going on around here, I thought it would be a good idea to put up an E.C. firebird folder!

    Enjoy and ... !!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Yannick333's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:






  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Yannick333's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:












  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Yannick333's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:












  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Yannick333's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:


















  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Yannick333's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:








  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Yannick, Many thanks for posting these pictures. We've all seen many/most of EC with his Burst's but not to many with his Firebird 1. Please keep them coming and thanks again for taking the time to post ALL of your pictures.

  8. #8

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    one of the greatest tones known to mankind!
    thanks for posting pics

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member 59gibson's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:



    Thanks Yannick333,

    What a cool pic!!! No roadies required.

  10. #10

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    makes mke think of bubble gum cards

  11. #11

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by guitarchitecture View Post
    one of the greatest tones known to mankind!
    thanks for posting pics
    I've been playing since the '70s, but I've never played a Firebird, or seen a show where you could actually hear the subtleties of the instrument. What distinguishes it's tones from other Gibsons? Any listening suggestions? Thanks.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member bern1's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Great Yannick, I love seeing these pics. The Firebird is a visually perfect complement for this era Clapton's persona, dress, demeanor and playing. Modern and adventurous.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by Swinguit 57 View Post
    I've been playing since the '70s, but I've never played a Firebird, or seen a show where you could actually hear the subtleties of the instrument. What distinguishes it's tones from other Gibsons? Any listening suggestions? Thanks.
    Vintage birds REALLY have their own personality, you need to check one out in person. I agree with many who have said that they occupy their own sonic space in-between typical Gibson vs Fender tones. Brighter than most PAF/P-90 guitars, fatter than strat tones.

    Here's some cool vintage bird tone: notice he's mostly on the neck pup:

    http://www.nme.com/nme-video/youtube...152Lr4/search/

    http://www.nme.com/nme-video/youtube...ch/Kal%20David

    Of course, lot's of vintage Johnny Winter....

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member roadrunner's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by Swinguit 57 View Post
    I've been playing since the '70s, but I've never played a Firebird, or seen a show where you could actually hear the subtleties of the instrument. What distinguishes it's tones from other Gibsons? Any listening suggestions? Thanks.
    Youtube's always your friend, when you need to check something out...

    Here ya go. FB1 into a 100 half stack, with the amp turned down a lot lower than it was usually set.
    The tones' pretty clear on this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNU7gOF-n7A

    More Firebird action:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL2UY2Uq7Tk

    Good ol' Phil, demo'ing a 'bird. This is great because you can really hear how they sound:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPBtZSnagsA
    Achieve the Possible!


  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member spidey's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    I saw what is suspected to be the cream firebird at Frankfurt last year on Mathias jabs stand. V cool!!!!!!

  16. #16
    olgabowl
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by Yannick333 View Post


    Yeah, according to this site, that's the first night (5/17/68) at the Anaheim Convention Center...
    Spirit opened...

    The next night he played the red 335, and it was fascinating to hear the difference between the two guitars...

  17. #17

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by 59gibson View Post


    Thanks Yannick333,

    What a cool pic!!! No roadies required.
    you mean no roadies allowed to touch those tuned guitars
    Very interesting photo.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Wonderful pictures! He sure got his money's worth out of that guitar in a short period of time.
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Yep, Clapton had it right...Firebird for #1, burst backup for string breaks.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by olgabowl View Post
    Yeah, according to this site, that's the first night (5/17/68) at the Anaheim Convention Center...
    Spirit opened...

    The next night he played the red 335, and it was fascinating to hear the difference between the two guitars...
    I've never heard or seen anything suggesting Clapton used the 335 with Cream in the US or anywhere else before the single Farewell Concert at RAH. Do you have a photo of him playing the 335 anywhere in the US with Cream?

  21. #21

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Eric was playing so much upper register work during Live Cream era-
    The FB made sense.

  22. #22

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    I've never seen a lot of these photos; thanks for posting!
    - Matt

  23. #23

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by olgabowl View Post
    Yeah, according to this site, that's the first night (5/17/68) at the Anaheim Convention Center...
    Spirit opened...

    The next night he played the red 335, and it was fascinating to hear the difference between the two guitars...
    Also, I thought he only played the 335 at the Farewell concert at the RAH, and everything else was either FB, SG, or LP?

    Edit: I see J45 beat me to it!
    - Matt

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by MBrown View Post
    Also, I thought he only played the 335 at the Farewell concert at the RAH, and everything else was either FB, SG, or LP? !


    When I saw him at one of the 2 farewell shows he did in Oct. '68 at The Forum in Anaheim (L.A. area) he played both the 335 and the Firebird. Deep Purple opened the show, and Blackmore played his 335 as well.
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by BGReed2 View Post

    When I saw him at one of the 2 farewell shows he did in Oct. '68 at The Forum in Anaheim (L.A. area) he played both the 335 and the Firebird. Deep Purple opened the show, and Blackmore played his 335 as well.
    He only played his Les Paul and Firebird at the Forum shows and on that tour. The 335 was not with him on the fall of '68 US tour or any other Cream tour. Tons of pics out there from every show on that tour. Even a bunch of pics with Clapton in the Forum dressing room with his Firebird and backup burst. Not a single photo out of hundreds of the fall '68 tour show that the 335 was ever with him. Maybe you got that memory mixed up with the "Farewell" footage with the 335 at RAH?

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    You know Blackmore's #1 guitar in 1968 was his red ES-335. They taped "Playboy After Dark" in October of '68, Blackmore with his red 335 as well as several other clips that year. Blackmore had not yet switched to a Strat by Oct of '68. Deep Purple only played the first three shows on that tour before Cream's management pulled them. Maybe you saw Blackmore with his 335 and assumed it was Clapton's when these 335 internet stories started about ten years ago? Yours wouldn't be the first memory influenced by the incorrect suggestion by Gibson that the Christie's Auction 335 was the "Wheels Of Fire" "Crossroads" recording guitar (only the Fool SG was played at Winterland) and that Clapton had somehow had it on tour...which he didn't. Only the Farewell Concert at Royal Albert Hall.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member spidey's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Can somebody let me know what Cream albums featured the firebird? Or was it just used live?

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member Nobi's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Nice pics.

    btw Marc Ford reminds me of Clapton with the mustache

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member DHBucker's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobi View Post
    Nice pics.

    btw Marc Ford reminds me of Clapton with the mustache
    How cool! Never thought of that and you're RIGHT! Two of my favorite guitarists EVER!!

    "On a good day (I know it ain't everyday), we can part the sea. On a bad day (I know it's not everyday), glory beyond our reach."

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  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    He only played his Les Paul and Firebird at the Forum shows and on that tour. The 335 was not with him on the fall of '68 US tour or any other Cream tour. Tons of pics out there from every show on that tour. Even a bunch of pics with Clapton in the Forum dressing room with his Firebird and backup burst. Not a single photo out of hundreds of the fall '68 tour show that the 335 was ever with him. Maybe you got that memory mixed up with the "Farewell" footage with the 335 at RAH?


    To be perfectly honest in my mind's eye I do remember seeing the 335. Hey, I could be wrong, but that is the best of my recollection. I was only 18 at the time and wasn't doing drugs or drinking (thought I'd make sure and mention this!).

    At that point I had been playing guitar for a few years and was quite aware of the different models, and had also seen Cream earlier in the year in Santa Barbara. I stood about 40 feet from the stage, where EC played the SG and had the long hair & droopy mustache. I was turned on to Cream very early on by a friend that picked up the import LP. I also remember seeing the Farewell movie (as visually disappointing as it was) and noting that EC had the same haircut and played the same gear as the show I saw only a month before.
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by spidey View Post
    Can somebody let me know what Cream albums featured the firebird? Or was it just used live?
    Goodbye Cream live tracks would be the Firebird. Not some of his "best" tone but raw with some attitude for sure. There is also a video on Youtube from the Glen Campbell show with Clapton playing the Firebird live at very low volume and completely clean due to the show's taping environment.

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by BGReed2 View Post

    To be perfectly honest in my mind's eye I do remember seeing the 335. Hey, I could be wrong, but that is the best of my recollection. I was only 18 at the time and wasn't doing drugs or drinking (thought I'd make sure and mention this!).

    At that point I had been playing guitar for a few years and was quite aware of the different models, and had also seen Cream earlier in the year in Santa Barbara. I stood about 40 feet from the stage, where EC played the SG and had the long hair & droopy mustache. I was turned on to Cream very early on by a friend that picked up the import LP. I also remember seeing the Farewell movie (as visually disappointing as it was) and noting that EC had the same haircut and played the same gear as the show I saw only a month before.
    Well, a red ES-335 was certainly there that night if Blackmore was playing in '68 so the rest is definitely understandable.

  33. #33
    olgabowl
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    I've never heard or seen anything suggesting Clapton used the 335 with Cream in the US or anywhere else before the single Farewell Concert at RAH. Do you have a photo of him playing the 335 anywhere in the US with Cream?
    Nope, just my memory...
    But I remember it like it was yesterday....

    Quote Originally Posted by BGReed2 View Post

    When I saw him at one of the 2 farewell shows he did in Oct. '68 at The Forum in Anaheim (L.A. area) he played both the 335 and the Firebird. Deep Purple opened the show, and Blackmore played his 335 as well.
    Not the same show I was referring to, BTW...

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member D'Mule's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    Yep, Clapton had it right...Firebird for #1, burst backup for string breaks.
    Nah that just ain't right.

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  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member D'Mule's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Another great pic!
    I'll take one of each of what he's got.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Open your eyes, ears and mind.

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    Well, a red ES-335 was certainly there that night if Blackmore was playing in '68 so the rest is definitely understandable.


    Yes, I will reiterate. I do remember EC playing a red 335 and the Firebird, and also recall Ritchie Blackmore playing a red 335. I had heard Deep Purple's music and was very impressed by the band that night, especially Ian Paice on drums. Many, many Marshalls on stage!

    I'm not saying anybody is right or wrong, but that is my recollection of that amazing evening. There were two shows, on consecutive nights at the Forum, and I attended one. :>)
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by BGReed2 View Post

    Yes, I will reiterate. I do remember EC playing a red 335 and the Firebird, and also recall Ritchie Blackmore playing a red 335. I had heard Deep Purple's music and was very impressed by the band that night, especially Ian Paice on drums. Many, many Marshalls on stage!

    I'm not saying anybody is right or wrong, but that is my recollection of that amazing evening. There were two shows, on consecutive nights at the Forum, and I attended one. :>)
    Possible but would be really odd. The 335 has never shown up for a single photograph or any "consistent" eyewitness accounts on any Cream tour whatsoever. It was only played at Royal Albert Hall. There are significant amounts of photos that seem to have documented the entire tour. I have not fully labeled my personal data base but i believe I have every stop on each Cream tour documented in well over 200 Cream tour photos I've personally collected. Many more out there and still not a single piece of evidence that would suggest Clapton ever used the ES-335 on any Cream tour, period. Really odd that with so many great photos of each show that have turned up, nothing at all exists for those who have put lots of effort (like me) over several years into the search for quite sometime that would suggest otherwise. the largest display of "personal" photos taken of the Cream tours was on a site launched in 2004. It was when the reunion tour was first being discussed. An literal flood of Cream photos were posted by excited fans all over the world. The site was forced down by owners of rites to publishing Cream photos. Really sad, I wish I would have grabbed them at the time. One thing that seemed to be certian from that massive collection of Cream photos was that the 335 was played and photographed for one concert only. The final performance at Royal albert Hall When GC and Gibson released the "Crossroads ES-335" as the guitar Clapton used on the WOF version I think a lot of fans took exception. That particular show and tour was very well documented , photos and eyewitnesses and all indicates it was the Fool SG played on the the night "Crossroads" was recorded for WOF. My claim along with many other Cream fans that the ES-335 never saw a Cream tour still stands uncontested by solid evidence for the past several years and welcome anyone to disprove it with photos. I would not mind one bit to be proven wrong, though... would be truly amazed!!
    Last edited by j45; 02-07-12 at 08:17 PM.

  38. #38
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    first off, have to thank Yannick for posting these; there are many many images I've never seen before, and it's fantastic to see.
    @ J45 and the other poster, about the red 335 and the fall '68 tour- I saw Cream @ Madison Square Garden on my 14th birthday, 2. NOV '68. Seats were quite far away, and though I too was already a player and quite guitar-aware (but not drug free, I'm afraid to say) but I really couldn't see enough to register what Eric was actually playing. Does anyone here have good knowledge what he played most of at the '68 MSG show?
    My memory is that it wasn't really SG most of the night, so perhaps it was the Firebird. Fascinating, really.
    I always assumed WOF/ Crossroads was the SG, seems that was correct.... intersting stuff...

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by schultzville View Post
    first off, have to thank Yannick for posting these; there are many many images I've never seen before, and it's fantastic to see.
    @ J45 and the other poster, about the red 335 and the fall '68 tour- I saw Cream @ Madison Square Garden on my 14th birthday, 2. NOV '68. Seats were quite far away, and though I too was already a player and quite guitar-aware (but not drug free, I'm afraid to say) but I really couldn't see enough to register what Eric was actually playing. Does anyone here have good knowledge what he played most of at the '68 MSG show?
    My memory is that it wasn't really SG most of the night, so perhaps it was the Firebird. Fascinating, really.
    I always assumed WOF/ Crossroads was the SG, seems that was correct.... intersting stuff...
    Nov. 2, 1968 he used the Firebird and burst, the SG was not on that tour. Stephen Paley's famous photo of that night is actually the cover of Live Cream. I have lots of photos from MSG including many of the dressing room with his guitars that night. The photo of Clapton in above posts walking down the hall with Firebird and Les Paul is from that show.

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    I am totally cool with whatever direction this takes, and have taken nothing in this thread personally. I was told that the Forum held approximately 18,000 people in that era, and I recall the place was packed that night. I'd love to hear from anyone else that attended those two shows. I thought I read about this same topic in the Vintage pages a while back, so maybe we can get others to chime in.

    I'd love to see a photo of EC playing the 'burst during any of those shows. I've seen the one of him playing it during the Oakland soundcheck, and the one posted earlier in this thread. Those are great shots, so thanks for sharing them. I'm eating all this up - it's all good!
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

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