“Put the Microphone Over There On The Other Side Of The Room Because I’m Going To Play Loud”: How Eric Clapton Took Volume to 11

Rock was rapidly shedding its roll in the mid-1960s, but if we had to name the first electric guitar player to prominently define rock-guitar tone, it would have to be Eric Clapton.

Slowhand was a devotee of the blues and had left the Yardbirds in early 1965 when they adopted a poppier sound.

He hitched up with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers for some live dates before heading across Europe in a pickup band, but the best part of a year later, he was ready to put some real hair on that blues guitar tone, enforcing new demands on standard studio practices in the process.

(Image credit: Decca)

In May 1966, Clapton, Mayall, bassist John McVie (later of Fleetwood Mac) and drummer Hughie Flint entered Decca Studios in West Hampstead, London to record their first studio album, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton.

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