Friday, January 4, 2008

From the BSNYC Culture Desk: “Clapton” by Eric Clapton


As a cyclist, I wear many helmets, among them: crappy racer; irascible commuter; reclusive blogger; and cycling culture anthropologist. In the latter guise, I find it interesting when cycling makes cameos in the mainstream media, since it’s usually a pretty good idea of how the rest of the world sees us. It’s kind of like when punks would appear on shows like “Quincy” and “CHiPs” in the 80s, in that it usually ends up looking pretty dorky out of context. (Think “Quicksilver,” “American Flyers,” and even “The Flying Scotsman.”)

The latest place I’ve found cycling (or at least the subject of bicycles) has popped up is in Eric Clapton’s autobiography, “Clapton.” “Clapton” is currently #6 on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List, where it is sandwiched between “Quiet Strength” (“A memoir by the first black coach to win a Super Bowl”) and “Rescuing Sprite” (“A family’s love for an older dog they adopted”), proving once again that the only thing people love more than dogs is guitar virtuosity and football.

Some time ago, I mentioned that Eric Clapton owns a Cinelli track bike without bar tape, an alarming fact which I learned from Dave Moulton. Here it is:




If you don’t know who Eric Clapton is, he is a renowned guitarist who brought the blues to the mainstream. He was also an early adopter of tight trousers and the white man’s afro. Of course, while all of this is very important, I really only care about cycling, so I was curious to see if the subject appeared at all in “Clapton.” And it did, relatively early in fact, on page 10:

My first bike was a James, given to me by Jack [Clapton’s uncle] after I'd pestered him to give me a Triumph Palm Beach, like the one he had, which was metallic scarlet and cream and was as far as I was concerned the ultimate bike...

So what did young Eric do with this bike?

...by taking one of the brakes off, removing the mudguards, stripping it down, and giving it different tires--the kind for riding over mud--I turned it into what we call a “track” bike.

Indeed, years before Clapton was a pioneering musician--before there was even a fixedgeargallery.com or an internet for it to pollute--he was pioneering the conversion. Certainly this is some kind of cultural landmark. Moreover, the bicycle itself may just be the common ancestor of every trendy bicycle that has come after it. Surely, it is the Australopithecine of bicycles. One can only speculate as to what it would be worth today.

Intrigued, I read on. A lot of stuff happens in the next 300 pages, much of it interesting, but none of it is about cycling. He plays in the Yardbirds and Cream, he does LSD with the Monkees, he becomes a junkie and an alcoholic, and he steals one of the Beatles’ wives.

Then, on page 310, paydirt!

...Hiroshi came over to the hotel on his new Cinelli track bike... He is still a leading pioneer in street culture, hence the Cinelli. Track bike riding is taking over from skateboarding in Japan, and Hiroshi is in the avant-garde as usual. I have caught the obsession of course.

Hiroshi is Hiroshi Fujiwara, whom Wikipedia describes as “a popular Japanese musician, trendsetter, producer, and designer, born in 1964.” Throughout “Clapton,” Eric describes his enthusiasm for street culture. Certainly in the 60s he was a vital part of it, but once the book gets to the current century you get that same creepy feeling you get as a teenager when your 50 year old uncle wants to listen to your records with you to show you how hip he is. At any rate, here is Hiroshi working on one of his uber-chic fixed-gear freestylers, which should give you a pretty good idea of what he’s about:


I was hoping that part of Clapton’s obsession with bicycles might involve riding them, but alas, this is not the case:

...I have begun buying vintage road bikes, not to ride but because I have always loved the equipment of cycling, especially bikes and accessories from the sixties.

So there it is. So what have I learned? Firstly, bicycles are very popular with the cultural elite, but as for riding them, not so much. Also, Eric Clapton gave up spending vast amounts of money on heroin and now spends vast amounts of money on things like boats. I’m not sure one’s better than the other, though I suppose the important difference is at least you can take your kids on the boat with you. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Eric Clapton corroborates a suspicion that many of us already had, which is that track bikes are indeed the new skateboard.

122 comments:

cardinal said...

i heart bike snob

e-roc43 said...

first

Anonymous said...

Podium.

thefutureofamerica said...

I feel the same way about Clapton's music. It's not that I like listening to it, it's that I've always loved the equipment of cultural appropriation.

M said...

Love your Blog bikesnob.

Eric Clapton tries to be into whatever is cool and also expensive. For example he owns a $5000 Leica M8 Rangefinder camera, but can't seem to take off the lens cap.

I guess he's earned it (?) since he's a rock hero or whatever.

Link

http://flash.popphoto.com/blog/2007/08/money-cant-buy-.html

Anonymous said...

In the early 90s (perhaps earlier)Bicycle Guide had a photo of old man Cinelli handing Clapton a custom Super Corsa.
-Mike

Matt in Seattle said...

(to the tune of 'Cocaine')

When I want to look cool, for all you fools, fixed gears.

When I want to spend dough, not to ride but for show, fixed gears.

I don't ride, I don't ride, I don't ride....Fixed Gears!

Anonymous said...

the bridgestone track bike that hiroshi guy is fiddling with is on my want list.
looks dope in 1 color...

daddo.one said...

the best eric clapton album is actually NOT an eric claption album

find "john mayall and the blues breakers featuring eric clapton" great stuff.

as for his bikes and bike collecting - i surely don't get it - i have a "collection" of 4 - and ride them all - dude is buming me out.

also not a good album in years

GhostRider said...

I wonder if in Clapton's first bicycle comment in the book, his use of "track" bike means something else...like an unpaved track through the woods (after all, he did mention mud tyres). Of course, those Limeys had boardtrack racers, grass track racing and every other conceivable "track"...

Could Eric Clapton really be the forefather of mountain biking?

Anonymous said...

...by taking one of the brakes off, removing the mudguards, stripping it down, and giving it different tires--the kind for riding over mud--I turned it into what we call a “track” bike.

Apparently Clapton isn't aware that grass track is only a small subset of track racing. His Japanese hipster friend should school him on some terminology.

Eric Clapton said...

you're all bunch of bloody rubbish

-Slow Hand

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Matt! That's going to be in my head all day.

gary fisher said...

I AM THE FATHER MOUNTAIN BIKING!!! dammit! how may times do I have to tell you people.

And 29ers.

And the soul patch.

Strayhorn said...

On one hand, it's good he's spending money on old bicycles rather than building yet another mansion on the oceanfront or buying a sailboat that sits, unused, at the dock.

On the other hand, letting nice bikes sit unused is as heinous as letting moss grow on a sailboat.

And when I read things like "He is still a leading pioneer in street culture . . . " I start tensing up and I WANT BLOOD. BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD!

Anonymous said...

Packfiller!

Todd said...

This is sorta off topic but do you guys remember how annoying laser pointers were like 10 years ago?

You'd go to a concert and there'd be two or three idiots trying to plant their blinding red dot on the singer or guitar players face for reasons most of us would understand.

With that in mind do you think competing for the first comment spot is the laser pointer of 2008?

I sure do.

Oh, and Eric Clapton sucks.

clayton said...

to me, eric clapton's success as an artist and a seller of records is inseperable from his appropriation of blues music. this explains why his deviations from blues take the form of boring, bad, or "meh." he's no creative genuis, just a skilled adopter, moderate adapter, and frequent collaborater.

clayton said...

With that in mind do you think competing for the first comment spot is the laser pointer of 2008?

it soo is!

mr.complaint said...

Back in the day a good white man’s afro did work better than the hairnet helmet.

Why either these have not caught back on I'm not sure.

janis joplin said...

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Schwinn Paramount?
My friends all drive Raleighs, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Schwinn Paramount?

Anonymous said...

typo "is is"

Zentraedi said...

if you're familiar with the current 'Rat' bikes Cinelli produces, the 'Are you Ready bootleggers' slogan comes from Clapton.

The current president of Cinelli is a big Clapton fan and used the quote from the beginning of a Clapton concert in Europe, Clapton say 'Are you ready bootleggers?' before starting, as bootlegging was a common and apparently legal practice then.

God, why do I know all this?

mojito said...

Nice post by thefutureofamerica.

Went to a Clapton concert about 8 years ago. It was heavily sponsored by Lexus. Streets indeed.

Anonymous said...

Here's a photo of Jagger on his British made Condor. Apparently they were all the rage in swinging Chelsea.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/2007/tech/shows/london07/index.php?id=/photos/2007/tech/shows/london07/london074/CondorP06

quentin loves caddy said...

If I had that kind of money I'd probably do the same thing. His track pioneer story makes him sound like a douche, but I'm sure he's been surrounded by yes men for many years now, which would explain that sort of thing.
This is my first blog addiction, BSNYC, and I'm building a tolerance. Can you start posting five times a day, please?

Sprocketboy said...

I was curious about the Cinelli Rat bike and I went on their website to check it out: www.cinelli.it. The whole site is hilarious but I suspect that the English translation is inadvertantly pretentious, maybe. BikeSnob NYC will like the Keith Haring-inspired Laser track bike, although it has no top tube protector. I particularly liked the "Who We Are--Mission" section. Cinelli's mission is to "Profitably Conjugate Sports (Cycling) and Design." After all, they say, we know who Duchamp and Kurt Cobain are.

The Rats bikes are very stylin', but I myself would not want to ride a bike called the Naked Rat, or the Hoy Hoy Rat.

In bike we trust!

Sprocketboy said...

A Naked Mole Rat, maybe.

least i'm enjoyin the ride said...

"Also, Eric Clapton gave up spending vast amounts of money on heroin and now spends vast amounts of money on things like boats. I’m not sure one’s better than the other, though I suppose the important difference is at least you can take your kids on the boat with you."

You could take your teenage kids tripping though. Costs a lot less too.

Anonymous said...

It's fairly well known that both Clapton and Ginger Baker were amateur bike racers long before they were famous musicians.

Doncha know nuthin'?

clayton said...

mr.complaint, re: white man fro

the white population of brooklyn disagrees. the white man fro is living large here. it's frequently coupled with the still puzzling "ironic" mustache.

there's a very strong correlation between either of these and the magnitude of the cultivater's douche-baggery.

Daniel! said...

Yeah, speaking of punk, Clapton, and the elderly, Sam McPheeters from Born Against wrote this article about EC a while back. It's pretty funny.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:50pm,

I'd heard that. If Clapton raced he makes no mention of it in his autobiography. Ginger seems like more of a former racer according to this:

By the age of 15 Ginger had nurtured plans to become a professional racing cyclist until he bought his first drum kit. "I was a cyclist and I wrecked my bike," recalls Ginger. ... His first [drum] kit he described as "a bit alarming." It was a flimsy toy set which he bought for three pounds. He had wanted a kit that would have cost twelve pounds but he'd already spent seventy on his racing bike...

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Mick Jagger is also, as alluded to above, a big cycling fan.

So big, in fact, that in the days before the British track squad was bankrolled by the National Lottery it's Olympic trips were paid for by Jagger. The team for LA 1984 and Atlanta 96 certainly was.

He also paid the velodrome hire for Chris Boardman's first hour record in Bordeaux.

He and Charlie Watts were regulars at the London Si Days in the late 60s-early 70s.

jeremy said...

I'm going to nickname my track bike "Blackie" like Clapton's famous stratocaster.

Maybe one day it will fetch $959,500 in a Christie's auction and I can then donate that money to my personal Charity (which should be off the ground by then) which helps the people recover from their Fixed-Gear Freestyling addictions.

Adam said...

Maybe Eric Clapton should buy all of us expensive track bikes so he can enjoy seeing us ride around on the cycling equipment he so enjoys

Lance Armstrong said...

Have you guys seen Ashley? The wind picked up and she might have blown over here...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Lance,

I think Hiroshi's been using her as a spoke card.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

From "Winning" circa 1987:

"Eric Clapton, legendary blues guitarist whose work with the Yardbirds, John
Mayall, Cream and Blind Faith during the '60s established musical trends still
evident today, also had some pretty fast legs before his fingers took over
and made him a star. The man....was a promising amateur cyclist in his
youth and
he has maintained his fondness for cycling. Now in his forties, Clapton lives
near Milan, Italy,....and is frequently seen walking through the doors of the
GRAN CICLISMO shop on Via Folli. Recently he went one step further-to the
Cinelli factory in Milan, whre he picked up a made-to-order Cinelli Super
Corsa.
As per his request, the factory inscribed Clapton's bright red machine with
his nickname, "Slowhand".

urchin said...

Sprocketboy, why did you point out that Cinelli site? Why am I such a sucker as to go look at it?
Some things...you...you can't unsee.

urchin said...

..although the supercorsa I can at least understand...

Sprocketboy said...

Urchin, I did not wish to suffer alone. Italians love Flash applications; I should have known this from the time I attempted to go on the Pinarello website and had the shakes for a week afterwards. Sorry.

That Haring bike: going downhill while standing still.

Sprocketboy said...

The Supercorsa must be weeping as copiously as Cino is spinning.

TCR James said...

The wind picked up and she might have blown over here...

Yeah, I hear she may have blown all over town.

Prolly said...

Fujiwara Cant Ride Fixed

Cycle Jerk said...

He was also pioneered the ever popular "kielbasa in the tight pants" move illustrated in the photo above.

Thank You Eric...

leroy said...

BSNYC -- You know how folks always write that they sprayed their keyboard with whatever they were drinking when they read a post?

I'd always thought it was just hyperbole.

But I came very, very close reading your reply to Lance.

Thanks for the post on Clapton. Between that and some of the comments, I've learned something.

Anonymous said...

Did you say Fix Push its all the rage no in sf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2885aR6o6s

Pagina Vilot said...

I wish that I could have made a career of playing cover songs.

Can'tBeTrue! said...

BSNYC....do I see ADS on your blog now? Am I seeing things? You've sold out! (and good on ya, mate!). You're right, 2008 IS different from '07, but don't worry I'll keep reading.

moose said...

I hear Duane Allman owned a stable of IFs, Torelli's and Waterfords. "Steel is real," he used to say.

urchin said...

I imagine some aging bespectacled machinist trudging in to work every day at Cinelli, muttering to himself as he tries to ignore everyone and everything in the factory on his way to the tiny little shack in the back where he alone turns out one or two supercorsas a year. His most treasured possessions are his red Swingline stapler and his Starrett caliper micrometer. When he dies, they will quietly demolish the shack to make more room for mismatched wheelsets and oversized tubing.

If he doesn't burn the whole damn place down first. I'm rootin' for ya, ol' fella...

Andy Pandy said...

Can just see it now, 1968 TdF with a breakaway containing Mick J in very tight lycra, ol Slow Hand braving the elements sans helmet and tuning his team radio to Free Radio Jamaica and bringing up the rear big time the Latern Rouge.... Keith Richards with a stash of seriously non performance enhancing drugs

boleroid said...

first?

bikesgonewild said...

...keith richards falls out of trees...think a' what he'd do to himself on a fix gear bike...

Danimal said...

A brave post, BSNYC, because it opens the door to the discussion of identity.

Its weird how a certain amount of fame or an "iconic" cultural status can sorta create an immunity from being called a poseur.

It's sorta like saying Keith Richards "sold out" for being in Pirates of the Caribbean 3. I mean, if you said this, who would take you seriously? I mean, how could Keith Richards sell out? I it possible for Bono to sell out? What about Jimmie Paige?

It ties in with the current fragmentation of the music scene, where modern indie hipster rock (which I love, by the way) generates no megabands, no arena-shows, but rather a more and more niche-oriented identity market.

While image consciousness has always been important in music, now it is SO important that if, say, (FILL IN BLANK INDIE MUSICIAN) tried to pull this shit, they'd be excoriated by their fan base, and probably hemorrhage popularity, and amongst the people who knew who they were, a gentle sneer and snide mockery would ensue.

That's why it's so important for you BSNYC, to conquer the world. Then you can hang your specialized langster taxicab edition on the wall, and contribute as a guest writer to Bicycling, all day long.

Everyone will just be like, "well shit, that guys's done so much blow and has been kickin' top tube pads around for so long...whatever."

Bluenoser said...

OK Snob,

I had to work some through the holidays so I was trying to get a few days off and then you go and post this.

1/ I like track bike because they are the carb restrictor of the cycling world. Level playing field, tactics and brawn win out. I am starting to relate to your aversion turning these machines into art.

2/ Boats. I agree about boats. I work with them all day. That's why I like bikes to get away from them. OK, this is all you need to know about boats. If you or Eric or anyone wants a boat, go turn the shower on ice cold, get naked, take big roll of $100.00 bills and jump in the shower. Tear up the bills as you wtch the little guy run away and hide causing your wife to see you as no longer useful and leaves. That's boats.

3/ Your prediction of the vintage bike is getting closer. Only the Erics will have them all.

-B

lt col tim said...

GEN Patton was an olympian quality equestrian and he wasn't afraid to use one of his riding crops.

Philip Barrett said...

My favorite "unlikely cyclist" is fashion designer Paul Smith.

http://www.merciancycles.com/psmith.asp

1st thing I called when I saw this was B***it!

But apparently he was a club racer & rode 300 miles a week until an injury put him out of the game. Plus, his old neighborhood around Derby is no sissy flatland (unlike my sissy flatland of N. Texas).

Got one of his shirts but can't afford the bike.

dennis said...

bikesgonewild.....got me falling out the chair with your keith richards falling out the trees comment!
Clapton was hip back in the day...Yardbirds, Cream, Blindfaith,etc. He is into everything exotic with all his money, he can buy anything. Mostly he likes fast cars, check out his latest ride..
http://www.ferrariownersclub.co.uk/happenings/2003/february/clapton_enzo.asp

Eric can play, Ginger too, but Jack Bruce plays with more soul,check out his solo cd " More Jack than God"

dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

So the hipsters.....many of whom have not yet mastered their instruments....or even learned to tune them....find Eric Clapton lacking...It is always easier to criticize than to actually do something.

Daniel! said...

I mean, how could Keith Richards sell out? Is it possible for Bono to sell out? What about Jimmie Paige?

That would be like saying Pepsi or McDonald's "sold out"--I'd have to ask my grandfather what kind of integrity those dinosaurs were supposed to have had in the old days. The thing that blows my mind is that anybody can identify with those geriatric millionaires.

modern indie hipster rock (which I love, by the way) generates no megabands, no arena-shows, but rather a more and more niche-oriented identity market

It's not for lack of trying. Don't you think the major labels that own most of those "indie hipster" bands would love to see them filling up arenas? I doubt any of the big shots at Capitol place too much emphasis on maintaining, say, Interpol's dubious credibility while they're planning this year's big marketing buzz. To them (and to me) "indie" just means "white, 18-30". Not that that's a bad thing, just call a spade a spade: that's the niche. If they aren't filling arenas it's for the same reason Burger King isn't selling Whoppers--their ads aren't any good.

Anthony said...

I know this is off topic, but I was wondering if anyone here knows a convenient place where I can find bike maps. I wanted to ride Bay Area, California to San Diego, but I'm really unsure how to map it out. Thanks!

YourMom said...

Nothing is cooler than wasting your time being a worthless nay saying hipster punk. Keep up the valuable work. Way to contribute.

A Singer said...

Assuming Clapton's collection of sixties bikes are intact and in decent shape, it is probably a good thing no one is riding them.

Sadly, it is a lot easier to find museums displaying cruiser style middle weight bikes from the '60s than good light weights. 100 years from now, people are going to think only Rene Herse and De Rosa made light weights if people do not start preserving some of the other worthy brands.

That said, Clapton should find something to ride. Maybe a nice old Motobecane or a Basso if he wants Italian.

Daniel! said...

Nothing is cooler than wasting your time being a worthless nay saying hipster punk. Keep up the valuable work. Way to contribute.

Contribute to what?

So the hipsters.....many of whom have not yet mastered their instruments....or even learned to tune them....find Eric Clapton lacking...It is always easier to criticize than to actually do something.

Yeah, that pentatonic blues scale's a real head-scratcher... I don't know how Clapton, like, wraps his mind around it.

Anonymous said...

Scales? Great players play the scales without even knowing it. Try again. Knowing a big music theory word like Pentatonic doesn't mean you sound decent....play with feeling...or can even fill a room with interested listeners. Dooshbag

bikesgonewild said...

...in truth, a lot of top black bluesmen give props to both keith richards & eric clapton in particular, for giving them greater exposure to a larger market than they might have found on their own...

...say what you will but even bb king will honestly tell you that 'slowhand' can make that axe cry, moan & sting w/ the best of 'em...

Chris said...

Can't believe this discussion got this far without anyone relating the following well known anecdote (as explained in Wikipedia):


The title of the album, Disraeli Gears, was actually a bit of an inside joke. Eric Clapton had been thinking of getting a racing bicycle, and was discussing it with Ginger Baker, when Mick Turner, one of the roadies, commented on the performance of "those Disraeli Gears" meaning to say "derailleur gears". The band thought this was hilarious—Benjamin Disraeli was a prominent 19th Century British politician—and decided that it should be the title of their next album. Had it not been for Mick, the album would simply have been entitled Cream.

Anonymous said...

Dear Eric Clapton,

If you are reading this, please contact the bikesnob; he'd not so secretly like it and we'd all like to read his review of the interview.

Thanks
Joe

leroy said...

My take on Eric Clapton: Anyone can play the guitar. Very few actually master it. Clapton has mastered it.

A pentatonic scale isn't difficult? It's like trying to write a description of love or heartache using only five letters.

It's only not difficult if you're willing to settle for a text message.

Anonymous said...

Derek & the I.R.O.'s

Anonymous said...

He actually surprised Kalavinka a few months ago and stopped in while on tour. Not sure if he ordered road or track. They were pretty excited to meet him. They must be fans of blues with a sustain pedal.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough former Cream band mate Ginger Baker before he also discovered the joys of cigarettes and heroine was quite a bike racer.

Now he looks like corpse who can play drums. Who knows, maybe if he didn't discover jazz and drugs maybe he could have been a rival to Thomas Simpson ?

nick said...

When I've ridden a fixed gear in the past, I've really enjoyed it. Now I have my fixed gear commuter, which gets ridden sorta often. Now I see that weird ass white thing . . . and well, maybe I'll try one of those 8 speed hubs for the commuter.

In the stringed instrument world (violin, etc.) there a lot of people that think an instrument should be "collected" rather than played. Uggh.

Mmmm. This is pretty boring post. I'll stop now.

Nick

Philip Barrett said...

anonymous - "before he also discovered the joys of cigarettes and heroine"

Sort of like Ingrid Bergman?

Anonymous said...

Anthony - the bible for riding the pacific coast from Canada to Mexico can be found here http://tinyurl.com/yu4xt3

handsomebastard said...

I'm just writing in to defend both fixed gears and Eric Clapton, because it just seems so necessary right now...

Anonymous said...

Eric Clapton owning bikes but not riding them. Dr. Laura owning boats but not sailing them. It's almost as if....... celebrities are big time fucking jagoffs. Imagine!

rmckittr said...

I suppose that I am no different than Mr. Clapton in that I collect skateboards from the 80's, not to ride them, but because I love the aesthetic and the equipment of 80's skateboarding.
But maybe I am different because in the 80's I was actually riding these things day in and day out. Mostly I lust after boards that I made personal breakthroughs on.
With Mr. Clapton, we again have an old person trying to appropriate youth culture in order to seem cooler and hipper than they are, maybe even relevant (though noone will dispute his influence on stadium rock)
If Mr. Clapton's finger was truly on the pulse of urban hipster culture, he'd be into 80's BMX bikes, which are widely known amongst trend setters to be the next stupid and impractical transportation/aesthetic trend. They even have an online BMX gallery that I suspect our beloved BSNYC will take on in the future.

Anonymous said...

re: indie bands
there is a difference between indie bands and kids who drive from town to town playing music in houses. the former probably make okay songs. the latter may suck horribly. but when the latter bands, get it right, they get it oh oh oh so right. and when that happens they switch categories. see matt & kim, recently.

as for clapton, whatever. rich guy likes nice bikes but doesn't ride them. who cares.

Anonymous said...

fixed gear is the new skateboard

Anonymous said...

Actually Mr Clapton rides a 25 year-old girl....I'm sure that is something every 60 year-old can appreciate.....

Anonymous said...

As for excessive collecting on the part of rich rock stars, i.e. Clapton and his bikes....think about the man selling 100 of his prized guitars....instruments he played on some important albums and in concerts -- making $7.5M for his rehab center...the guy can't be overly concerned with material objects....even guitars....think about it.

bikesgonewild said...

...rmckittr...you sound like yer on the ball but yer being a bit shortsighted when its been mentioned over & over that ol' eric's been riding, as well as collecting cool machines for a long time...

...if anything, 'hip youth' is appropriating something that geezers like clapton & myself were riding, enjoying & propagating well before most a' these trendies were born...'course, skintight chick jeans never seemed like good riding kit, but hey, to each his own..

...i can't speak for what eric does nowdays but i ride all the time & i totally dig that i see 'real old' folks riding, cuz i hope to make it there myself & i laugh & love it when i get the "can't match this pace" pass by you young guns...why ?...cuz i used to be that young gun...

...anyway, if i'd been smart enough to keep my old quiver, dude, i'd offer to send you one of my old foam n' glass slalom sticks...middle of the night, mescaline & bud fueled skating rampages, for miles all over sf streets & parking garages...awesome stuff...

...i just hope everyone remembers to have fun while they're workin' so hard to be hip...

Daniel! said...

Scales? Great players play the scales without even knowing it. Try again. Knowing a big music theory word like Pentatonic doesn't mean you sound decent....play with feeling...or can even fill a room with interested listeners.

I don't know... I think a "great" player like Clapton is probably aware of what he's doing, especially since the "big music theory word" pentatonic is usually introduced by, like, page five of those How to Play Guitar books by Hal Leonard.

It would seem to me that more inventive and artistically daring players from roughly the same period, like Richard Thompson or Leo Kottke would be more highly regarded. Shit, Kottke got started in the late sixties and has tackled numerous styles from rock to Bach; his playing remains inventive and interesting. Clapton seems like kind of a one-trick pony, and more interesting from a nostalgic than artistic or evocative perspective. The only "feeling" I get from hearing a millionaire sing the blues is contempt.

Anonymous said...

When you learn to play guitar by ear, you have little use for pentatonic scales...they are simply a 'name' for something which an ear player does intuitively. Silly.

leroy said...

I tried playing by ear, but I couldn't develop callouses on my lobes.

Daniel -- Kotke is master too. And he has a pretty good sense of humor.

But Clapton a one trick pony? Now I know you're pulling our collective legs.

Maybe you would prefer Martin Mull's middle class blues: "I woke up this afternoon, I saw both cars were gone...."

Anthony said...

Anonymous 12:19...

Thanks dude!

broomie said...

Interesting how many thought provoking comments have been generated. But I've yet to see anyone really get to the nitty gritty.

Clapton, like his 'boomer cohort, are douchebags. BSNYC nailed when he compared Clapton to a creepy uncle. That pretty well describes the whole generation.

ltc tim said...

Totally unrelated. Why does my 48x20 ss run smooth but my 48x18 fg skips on the cog no matter how I adjust the wheel in the horizontal dropouts. I know it isn't the top tube pad. Seriously, I know it is the gear combo but what specifically.

Sorry Eric, go back to your collecting.

Anonymous said...

Broomie...you have an excellent point...he is a great musician...but as a human being...UGH. Read the biography, he was a complete disaster....I have been defending his guitar playing which is outstanding...though not quite as good as the 'originals'...see Freddie King (RIP)....Clapton boned everything in sight even when he was in a committed relationship....he was plastered at all times....and he was a complete trainwreck. How his liver didn't leap screaming from his body is anyone's guess.

Nick said...

"Why does my 48x20 ss run smooth but my 48x18 fg skips on the cog no matter how I adjust the wheel in the horizontal dropouts."

Not to turn this into the Velonews board . . . but . . . don't know if if you know, that when a cog or chain ring wears out, and then you put on a new chain, it'll skip.

Nick

ltc tim said...

Thanks Nick. I'll go there or Sheldon. BTW, everything is brand new... as in right out of the shop w/ tag still on new (as opposed to "gently used").

Anonymous said...

wow, this blog is so last year!

Anonymous said...

RE: "Wow this blog is so last year."...catch us up why doncha skippy....the world waits for your trendy response.

Philip Williamson said...

Janis... here's the Paramount Jesus will buy you in heaven.

I think Clapton might be the seller.

click n' clack said...

tim, aka 'skippy'

chainline? maybe the fixed cog is on backward, making it sit more inboard than it should.

couldn't resist

Nick said...

"Janis... here's the Paramount Jesus will buy you in heaven."

Not to beat a dead horse. But my God! This bike has never been ridden or even in the garage! It's only been hung on the wall! WTF?

Nick

bikesgonemild said...

woogie woogie

Johnny Sprocket said...

Fuck this... I'm selling my Cinelli and gettin me a Gibson SG... or maybe a Black Stratocaster... or maybe a few old ones. Then I'll pull them apart, respray them, put them back together and buy some vintage, NOS parts for them and they can take up space in the garage....?? Hmmm, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

clapton's fine, don't hate

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nCzUMjCykn8

Anonymous said...

AnnaZed (who can't get the log-in thing to work)

says to Anthony:

All the best bike maps are here:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm

Bod said...

That can't be Eric's bike in that picture; if it is he shops at Ikea and his Nan keeps giving him plants.
And let us hope if he takes his kids on the boat it works out better than when he took his kid to his apartment!
Matt from Seattle, you are a comedy legend!

JackH said...

Despite Clapton building an entire career ripping off black artists that went before him, he is a small minded racist and his views were the motivation for the creation of Rock against Racism and the Anti Nazi League.

His music's crap too.

Bod said...

and his bike is much better than yours.
Your just jealous you negligence didn't lead to the death of your child

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Ginger Baker, the drummer in Cream actually DID ride a bike: "His primary interest as a teenager was competitive cycling, but music wasn't far behind". http://twtd.bluemountains.net.au/cream/ginger1.htm

Anonymous said...

Your just jealous you negligence didn't lead to the death of your child

_______________________________


What a cum guzzling dooshbag....my bet is that you can't get a woman to speak to you let alone conceive a kid by you you fart sniffing wretch homo

Daniel! said...

Your just jealous you negligence didn't lead to the death of your child

_______________________________


What a cum guzzling dooshbag....my bet is that you can't get a woman to speak to you let alone conceive a kid by you you fart sniffing wretch homo


Wow! A war of the non-standard spellers! It's funny how abusive "anonymous" can get.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of non-standard spellers....take a look at this homo's profile:







Wannabes get no respect from real gs on the street. They are laughed at. Rival gangs will hurt them just cuz they want to be part of another gang. They get no protection. They are basically just jokes. If its a town where everyone is a wannabe that claims then they dont gotta worry about being hurt but they are still laughed at by others. they look at act stupid and ppl that have no knowledge of gangs can spot a wannabe

Commie Canuk said...

Clapton? Who is this guy? Wasn't he popular around Mozart's time?
WTF...tell us some real news BSNYC, WHAT DOES CLAY AIKEN RIDE?

Dr. Martin Van Nostrand said...

Early clinical signs of brain damage and include the spelling of "because" as "cuz".

Dr. Martin Van Nostrand said...

that, and bad grammar.

chriss0007 said...

The "Track" bike that Eric refer's to would, more likely, be similar to a Cycle Speedway bike ( youtube it)

As a teenager ,in south london ,me and mates rode these. ( didnt know about cycle speedway at the time) A classic "Track" bike would feature large flange Westwood or Westrick wheels , "canadian bend" as we called them ,handlebars ,32 x 18 gearing ,sometimes fixed , straight forks and knobblies oh and orange plastic saddles at one point ...

i loved that bike.

i was young.

it was stolen.

or collected by the dustman.

i'll never know .

Anonymous said...

Disraeli Gears was supposedly named after one of Cream's roadies mis-pronounced derailleur gears ....

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flowlikeariver said...

I had a Cinelli Naked Rats, was the best bike I ever had. Was stolen after 6 weeks, 4 years later I'm still searching the internet for 'Naked Rats' and I find this blog. RIP in peace and Mr Clapton if your reading this please buy me another, promise to ride it every day and send you photos of me naked with my Naked Rats.....stop touching yourself!

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