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  1. #41
    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

    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.!

    Not a whole lot of pics actually playing it on stage in '68. I know I have him playing the burst on that last tour during the show at Denver Collseum '68 and at the Spectrum on Nov. 1, 1968, as well as Oakland. A few others but can't recall exactly which right off wityhout digging. The Firebird was heavily favored from summer '68 until the end. My theory has been like yours for the past 6-7 years. Hundreds of thousands of witnesses, probably thousands of photos but no one out of many thousands that have participated in providing info has ever seen anything of the ES-335 until RAH (or at least a photo). I saw Hendrex July 20, 1968 at Independence Hakll in Baton Rouge. I swore for years he played a black, rosewood board Strat that night.... until some local photos showed up recently with a white/maple Strat at that exact show. The poster that hung over my bed must have somehow blended with my memories of that show...not the first time either...

  2. #42
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Thanks, J45 (Kerry, I believe) - by the way, I'm Alex.
    That's what I understood about Nov. 2 '68 MSG- in fact, when I saw the photo of Eric carrying the two guitars down the hallway, I remembered that as being MSG. Funny, at the time, we all associated him with the SG, so the Firebird is not what we expected, maybe. And when you say a 'burst in that period, which 'burst was that? Certainly not his "beano" guitar, right?
    And it seems he mostly played the Firebird, then in that period.
    Glad this is getting clearer, because a few years ago when all this started about Clapton's "famous" red 335, I my first reaction was "what 335"? I saw Cream twice, once at one of the Murray The K shows where they played like 2 songs, and that was probably the SG, and then at the Garden. Revolving stage, too- no wonder I couldn't see the gear well- that and the mescaline... if you weren't there at that time, you can't possibly understand... can you possibly post that 'famous image' from MSG for me? Thanks..

  3. #43
    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
    I'd love to see a photo of EC playing the 'burst during any of those shows.
    Here's a couple of quick ones:


    At the Philidelphia Spectrum Nov. 1, 1968


    At Denver Colluseum Oct 6, 1968


    I made a huge blunder as my computer was crashing a couple of years ago and transfered my photo files quickly to a hard drive via a careless drag-and-drop that literally landed the files everywhere and I've yet to re-organize. I knew these two from memory but will have to search for others.

  4. #44
    Les Paul Forum Member andreja marovic's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Nice...what can I say?
    Great thread thanks to all of you boys.
    Andreja
    Turn it louder please...
    Hendrix is God on guitar.

  5. #45
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Here's a few more quickies that Yannick33 has not included.... some are different shots from same shows as well as other 68 Cream shows. As soon as I get more uploaded to Photobucket i'll get some more FB pics up. Some of the pics in Yannuck333's posts are right after Cream broke up, some at the Super Show and some with Blind Faith (and yes, the 335 is with him on that tour).. I've got a lot of Blind Faith Firebird shots to add to the "Clapton Firebird Iolder".














  6. #46
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Amazing photos!! Thanks for posting, as I don't recall ever seeing a photo of EC playing any sort of LP onstage during this era. I've said all along that I could be mistaken, but those were my recollections. I am a huge EC/Cream fan and feel very fortunate to have seen them twice during their all-to-brief existence.
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  7. #47
    Les Paul Forum Member Yannick333's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Thanks for keeping this thread alive and kicking guys!! I'm loving it !

  8. #48
    olgabowl
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    Not a whole lot of pics actually playing it on stage in '68. I know I have him playing the burst on that last tour during the show at Denver Collseum '68 and at the Spectrum on Nov. 1, 1968, as well as Oakland. A few others but can't recall exactly which right off wityhout digging. The Firebird was heavily favored from summer '68 until the end. My theory has been like yours for the past 6-7 years. Hundreds of thousands of witnesses, probably thousands of photos but no one out of many thousands that have participated in providing info has ever seen anything of the ES-335 until RAH (or at least a photo). I saw Hendrex July 20, 1968 at Independence Hakll in Baton Rouge. I swore for years he played a black, rosewood board Strat that night.... until some local photos showed up recently with a white/maple Strat at that exact show. The poster that hung over my bed must have somehow blended with my memories of that show...not the first time either...
    OK, here's another memory from the first night at Anaheim (3/17/68) that I've carried around for years, but never has been confirmed...

    I remember vividly that they did an acoustic version of "As You Said"...
    I didn't recognize the song when they played it, as it hadn't been released yet...
    When "Wheels of Fire" came out, I recognized it, and it became (and still is) my favorite Cream tune...

    But, as the years went by, the story that I heard them play it live met with gafaws...
    There is no evidence out there--on bootlegs or pics--that the song was ever played anywhere, and I began to wonder if I had just imagined the whole thing...

    So-ooo yesterday, while trying to find pics of Clapton playing a 335 at Anaheim, I ran into this page, that has this description and pic:

    "Also from the (Anaheim) Convention Center, Jack plays acoustic guitar during a performance of As You Said.
    This may very well be the only time Cream ever performed the song live!"





    I've got some pics coming from the second night at Anaheim, so we'll know soon (hopefully) what the guitar was that Clapton was playing...
    It was not the Firebird or the painted SG....

  9. #49
    Les Paul Forum Member andreja marovic's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by olgabowl View Post
    OK, here's another memory from the first night at Anaheim (3/17/68) that I've carried around for years, but never has been confirmed...

    I remember vividly that they did an acoustic version of "As You Said"...
    I didn't recognize the song when they played it, as it hadn't been released yet...
    When "Wheels of Fire" came out, I recognized it, and it became (and still is) my favorite Cream tune...

    But, as the years went by, the story that I heard them play it live met with gafaws...
    There is no evidence out there--on bootlegs or pics--that the song was ever played anywhere, and I began to wonder if I had just imagined the whole thing...

    So-ooo yesterday, while trying to find pics of Clapton playing a 335 at Anaheim, I ran into this page, that has this description and pic:

    "Also from the (Anaheim) Convention Center, Jack plays acoustic guitar during a performance of As You Said.
    This may very well be the only time Cream ever performed the song live!"





    I've got some pics coming from the second night at Anaheim, so we'll know soon (hopefully) what the guitar was that Clapton was playing...
    It was not the Firebird or the painted SG....
    Olgabowl....
    Great pics.
    Many thanks for the link
    I recommend to check out AGAIN and AGAIN...
    http://www.angelfire.com/ca/oldtimers/1968.html

    THANKS
    Andreja
    Turn it louder please...
    Hendrix is God on guitar.

  10. #50
    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
    But, as the years went by, the story that I heard them play it live met with gafaws...
    There is no evidence out there--on bootlegs or pics--that the song was ever played anywhere, and I began to wonder if I had just imagined the whole thing...
    live!"[/I]



    I've got some pics coming from the second night at Anaheim, so we'll know soon (hopefully) what the guitar was that Clapton was playing...
    It was not the Firebird or the painted SG....
    This pics I've seen. I have a super rare pic of Clapton playing with Cream in Europe summer of '68 using his Telecaster Custom already with Brownies' neck on it!! I posted it here several years ago but will dig it up. I forget the exact date but the SG ls seen last about March 29, the next week the Firebird shows up on the Spring tour permanently. The SG makes one more appearance that May and then is probably left in England when they returned. Funny that he changes his hair from mod perm up high to straight hanging low the same week he changes from the psychedelic SG to the FB. You think he wasn't already bowing to peer pressure?

  11. #51
    olgabowl
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    I forget the exact date but the SG ls seen last about March 29, the next week the Firebird shows up on the Spring tour permanently. The SG makes one more appearance that May and then is probably left in England when they returned. Funny that he changes his hair from mod perm up high to straight hanging low the same week he changes from the psychedelic SG to the FB. You think he wasn't already bowing to peer pressure?
    On the two Anaheim nights, not only was it two different guitars, but two different hair styles...

    I remember being bummed that the SG wasn't on hand, as I was very fond of that guitar from seeing it at the Whiskey...

    Now to find out what the "other" guitar was...
    Thanks for the memories, folks...

  12. #52
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    This pics I've seen. I have a super rare pic of Clapton playing with Cream in Europe summer of '68 using his Telecaster Custom already with Brownies' neck on it!! I posted it here several years ago but will dig it up. I forget the exact date but the SG ls seen last about March 29, the next week the Firebird shows up on the Spring tour permanently. The SG makes one more appearance that May and then is probably left in England when they returned. Funny that he changes his hair from mod perm up high to straight hanging low the same week he changes from the psychedelic SG to the FB. You think he wasn't already bowing to peer pressure?
    Aside from switching guitars, Clapton has always had the distinction (to me) of looking as different as a person can within a fairly short time frame..so many different hair styles, facial hair styles, hats, glasses, etc...I often don't recognize him.

  13. #53
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    You know, these discussions bring back to light how often these popular bands were sent on the road and performed in those days. I'd love to see the touring schedules of today's top acts and see how it compares to the grueling schedules of the 60's. No wonder so many bands broke up!
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  14. #54
    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
    You know, these discussions bring back to light how often these popular bands were sent on the road and performed in those days. I'd love to see the touring schedules of today's top acts and see how it compares to the grueling schedules of the 60's. No wonder so many bands broke up!
    You know for as completely different as most things are now than they were 40 years ago the one thing that really hasn't changed is the gruel of road work. There are more bands out there now than ever doing 200+ one nighters and for next to nothing once all is said and done. I won't travel for more than 4-6 hours in a day anymore but I have quite a few younger friends on major label tours I speak with on a weekly basis and pay has gotten so bad some of these incredibly skilled guys will take $100 per show as a side man just to stay busy. I'm talking about side men hired for tours with groups that have current, major radio hits.

    If you want to read something that would be hilarious if it weren't so true, search for "The Problem With Music" written by the awesome Steve Albini. It's become 10 times worse in the short time since he wrote that article.

  15. #55
    Les Paul Forum Member mistersnappy's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    I hope y'all don't mind me posting a couple from the Farewell Tour with the Burst:

    "That's what I love, man, to hear that backbeat popping, that damn bass plonkin' down. Jesus God!"-Duane Allman

  16. #56
    Les Paul Forum Member Yannick333's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Another one of the burst:


  17. #57
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    You know for as completely different as most things are now than they were 40 years ago the one thing that really hasn't changed is the gruel of road work. There are more bands out there now than ever doing 200+ one nighters and for next to nothing once all is said and done. I won't travel for more than 4-6 hours in a day anymore but I have quite a few younger friends on major label tours I speak with on a weekly basis and pay has gotten so bad some of these incredibly skilled guys will take $100 per show as a side man just to stay busy. I'm talking about side men hired for tours with groups that have current, major radio hits.

    If you want to read something that would be hilarious if it weren't so true, search for "The Problem With Music" written by the awesome Steve Albini. It's become 10 times worse in the short time since he wrote that article.
    Amen, which is why I got out of the biz years ago (after playing weddings for years just for decent pay and less travel). The guys I know still in it either have a solid teaching position or network gig. Even the Broadway guys are complaining, there's so few musicals now that you can be 3rd call and sitting home..Never been a WORSE TIME monetarily (in recent history) to be a musician. Hootenanies anyone?

  18. #58
    Les Paul Forum Member andreja marovic's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:


    Just to make sure we are talking Firebird 1
    Turn it louder please...
    Hendrix is God on guitar.

  19. #59
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Fantastic photo!! All the goodies, too. Here's the one I got after seeing EC back "in the day". 40+ years and 40- pounds ago!

    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  20. #60

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Very nice. I hope you still have that!

  21. #61
    All Access/Backstage Pass lpnv59's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    This shot reminds me of the cover pic used for Live Cream Vol I
    "It's a Marshall bubby. It gets loud." Ace Frehley

  22. #62
    Les Paul Forum Member andreja marovic's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by JRW8214@AOL.COM View Post
    Very nice. I hope you still have that!
    Sure I have it my friend.
    I should make some new pics and post them here...Kerry took that one when it was with him...That's a Bad Boy's Bird.
    Sounds better than all FB'l I had the luck to play. Greetings - Andreja
    Turn it louder please...
    Hendrix is God on guitar.

  23. #63

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by BGReed2 View Post
    Fantastic photo!! All the goodies, too. Here's the one I got after seeing EC back "in the day". 40+ years and 40- pounds ago!

    DESERT BOOTS! I remember wearing those ;-) Aside from the guitar, I hope you kept all those posters. Some of those are big money now.

  24. #64
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by JRW8214@AOL.COM View Post
    Very nice. I hope you still have that!
    Unfortunately I no longer have anything shown in that room. Yes, I wish I had the guitar and posters, but not the desert boots! A drummer ended up knocked the Firebird over at a jam and snapped the headstock off - major bummer. There's just not a lot of meat up there, is there. I had it fixed, sold it shortly thereafter, and bought my first Les Paul. I don't have that (a '54) either, but let's not get into the guitars that have come and gone, OK! (Much too painful for us all)
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  25. #65
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Bruce; Cool photo! Lobe the FB I & the posters...
    Desert Boots.. had me a pair of those once. I think I was like 13 (1965). We called them jesus floaters or Bethlehem Cruisers just to be obnoxious.. The white Levi's are/were a So.Cal. thang..

  26. #66
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Hey There! Does anyone know what year E.C.'s Firebird is?

  27. #67

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by BGReed2 View Post
    Unfortunately I no longer have anything shown in that room. Yes, I wish I had the guitar and posters, but not the desert boots! A drummer ended up knocked the Firebird over at a jam and snapped the headstock off - major bummer. There's just not a lot of meat up there, is there. I had it fixed, sold it shortly thereafter, and bought my first Les Paul. I don't have that (a '54) either, but let's not get into the guitars that have come and gone, OK! (Much too painful for us all)
    Yea we've all been there. Too bad about the headstock. I read from Johnny Winter once, he said every firebird he has ever owned has head a headstock break. Glenn Cornick of Jethro Tull fame said the same about his Thunderbird basses(except for the one he played at the I.O.W. Festival, that one was stolen before it had a chance to get broken).

  28. #68
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Does anyone know the history of the FB I? be nice to know how he got it and what happened to it after Cream split up. Supposedly someone in Denmark has it now, but how did he get it?
    Until 10 or 12 years ago, Clapton wasn't known as a guy who sold any instruments....I don't recall any getting stolen except for the 1960 Beano Les Paul in mid `66. It would be great to know the background on it..
    Thanks!

  29. #69
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by skamokawa View Post
    Hey There! Does anyone know what year E.C.'s Firebird is?
    It is a 1964 model.

  30. #70
    Les Paul Forum Member bern1's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    Does anyone know the history of the FB I? be nice to know how he got it and what happened to it after Cream split up. Supposedly someone in Denmark has it now, but how did he get it?
    Until 10 or 12 years ago, Clapton wasn't known as a guy who sold any instruments....I don't recall any getting stolen except for the 1960 Beano Les Paul in mid `66. It would be great to know the background on it..
    Thanks!
    Don, the story I heard....actually read in some book if memory serves...which it might not....note all the disclaimers but perhaps somebody else also read this in one tome or another...anyway here is the story:

    Two guys show up backstage at a Cream concert with the Firebird. They want to give it to Clapton, but there is one condition: they want him to play Crossroads for them right then and there, which he does. Thus is the ownership transfer accomplished.

    I can't remember where I heard this but it seems like a great story!

    Cheers...

  31. #71
    Les Paul Forum Member andreja marovic's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by bern1 View Post
    Don, the story I heard....actually read in some book if memory serves...which it might not....note all the disclaimers but perhaps somebody else also read this in one tome or another...anyway here is the story:

    Two guys show up backstage at a Cream concert with the Firebird. They want to give it to Clapton, but there is one condition: they want him to play Crossroads for them right then and there, which he does. Thus is the ownership transfer accomplished.

    I can't remember where I heard this but it seems like a great story!

    Cheers...
    Sounds like a dream story
    Turn it louder please...
    Hendrix is God on guitar.

  32. #72
    Les Paul Forum Member Beano Geno's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by bern1 View Post
    Don, the story I heard....actually read in some book if memory serves...which it might not....note all the disclaimers but perhaps somebody else also read this in one tome or another...anyway here is the story:

    Two guys show up backstage at a Cream concert with the Firebird. They want to give it to Clapton, but there is one condition: they want him to play Crossroads for them right then and there, which he does. Thus is the ownership transfer accomplished.

    I can't remember where I heard this but it seems like a great story!

    Cheers...
    I read something about him acquiring the Firebird... I think (not sure) it was in the Strange Brew book....maybe he got it in Philadelphia? I'll try to find it later, I'm finishing up my taxes today.

  33. #73
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Does anyone know if there are any videos of EC with the Firebird? I've seen the low volume Smothers Brothers show but are there any others? I'm talking about visual not just audio clips. I wasn't able to find any.

    Please post.

  34. #74

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    Until 10 or 12 years ago, Clapton wasn't known as a guy who sold any instruments....
    I read in a 1980's biography that during the years he was holed up in his country house on heroin that dealers were often paid with guitars since he had to ask his manager for money and sometimes failed to think ahead and didn't have any on hand when they showed up.

    He didn't "need" the cash per se just that his manager controlled his bank account for him.

    That's not to suggest that's what happened to the Firebird but I bet a lot of stuff he had around the house back then went to pay the "courier".
    Last edited by houndog31; 02-11-12 at 11:30 AM.

  35. #75
    All Access/Backstage Pass lpnv59's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by bern1 View Post
    Don, the story I heard....actually read in some book if memory serves...which it might not....note all the disclaimers but perhaps somebody else also read this in one tome or another...anyway here is the story:

    Two guys show up backstage at a Cream concert with the Firebird. They want to give it to Clapton, but there is one condition: they want him to play Crossroads for them right then and there, which he does. Thus is the ownership transfer accomplished.

    I can't remember where I heard this but it seems like a great story!

    Cheers...
    Wrong Firebird. That was a cardinal red reissue. It was part of the Christies/Crossroads auction and that story was in the auction book.

    The Firebird I was bought in Philadelphia when Cream played a concert in nearby Cherry Hill NJ.
    "It's a Marshall bubby. It gets loud." Ace Frehley

  36. #76
    Les Paul Forum Member Fred Hullerum's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    A guy in Hamburg says he owns the E.C. Firebird now.
    See:

    http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...0&postcount=68


    Fred

  37. #77
    All Access/Backstage Pass lpnv59's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    I don't think its EC's. Based on the fact that from pics, there is no evidence of it having a removed Vibrola. The displayed Firebird has the holes from a factory stock Maestro. Its possible someone would install one after EC parted with it, but not likely.
    "It's a Marshall bubby. It gets loud." Ace Frehley

  38. #78
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    To me, that Firebird is responsible for some classic Cream/Clapton tones, and the fact that it's been "lost" to history shows the consistent neglect/ under-appreciation of Firebirds compared to the LPs, Fool SG, and the 335,(which was probably played on VERY FEW recorded Cream-era songs). Don't get me wrong, I love all those guitars, but the Firebird deserves to be up there as well.

    It also dawned on me that of all the guitars Clapton has played in his career, I can't recall another single pickup one...to my knowledge no Jrs, Coronets, etc.

  39. #79

    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Here's one for you Cream detectives- which guitar(s) saw action on 10/15/67? I think it was at the Grande Ballroom.
    - Matt

  40. #80
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Eric Clapton's Firebird I folder:

    Quote Originally Posted by MBrown View Post
    Here's one for you Cream detectives- which guitar(s) saw action on 10/15/67? I think it was at the Grande Ballroom.
    It was the Fool SG. That whole tour was the SG as his #1. His backup would have probably been the Custom. There are several pics from that night out there.

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