Derek And The Dominos: Eric Clapton's handwritten lyrics for 'Layla', 1970,

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Lot 96
Derek And The Dominos: Eric Clapton's handwritten lyrics for 'Layla',
1970,

£ 35,000 - 45,000
US$ 46,000 - 59,000
Rock & Pop
Derek And The Dominos: Eric Clapton's handwritten lyrics for 'Layla',
1970,
the opening verse in red ballpoint on a sheet of stationery from the Thunderbird Motel in Florida, with Eric's name, UK address and birth date in another hand, 7 1/4in x 11in (18.4cm x 28cm)

Footnotes

  • Arguably the most powerful song of unrequited love in rock history, 'Layla' was written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon and included on Derek And The Dominos' first and only album, 'Layla And Other Love Songs', released in November 1970. Following the release earlier that year of Eric's eponymous first album and a short tour of small clubs in the UK, Eric went with three of his backing musicians - keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon - to Criteria Studios in Miami and from August to October recorded the 'Layla' album.

    What became the centrepiece of the album, 'Layla' was a result of Eric having fallen in love with Pattie Harrison, wife of his friend George Harrison. It was also inspired by the love story ' The Story Of Layla And Manjun', by the 12th century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, which told of a young man falling hopelessly in love with a beautiful young woman but became mad and could not marry her. Speaking about the album in his autobiography, Eric stated: ''Layla' was the key song, a conscious attempt to speak to Pattie about the fact that she was holding off and wouldn't come and move in with me.' (Eric Clapton: The Autobiography, Arrow Books, London, 2008.)

    The underpinning of 'Layla' is the playing of Eric and guest guitarist Duane Allmann. Already fans of each other, they had been introduced at an Allman Brothers' concert in Miami. Duane asked if he could come to the studios to watch some of the sessions but Eric insisted he bring his guitar and play with them. According to the album's producer, Tom Dowd, the pair hit it off immediately, having an almost telepathic empathy for each other's playing.

    Although the album and the single were relative commercial failures when first released, they have now become regarded by many as the pinnacle of Eric's
    career.

    Provenance:
    Given by Eric to Bonnie Diamond, a friend of Carl Radle. It is likely to have been Bonnie who added Eric's contact details to the sheet.

    Ex-lot 26, Sotheby's, A Rock & Roll Anthology: From Folk To Fury, New York, 10th December 2016.
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