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Does Positive Intelligence engage your Victim?

by | Aug 3, 2020 | engage, Eric Clapton, Positive Intelligence

When The Victim engages… 

When I put the “setlist” together for these two weeks, can you believe I didn’t have Layla anywhere?  It is such a classic Clapton song that I wasn’t sure where to slot it in, and actually didn’t at first.  Add to that there are SO many amazing versions of the song that just finding one to feature was daunting.  I could probably write an entire week just on the stories in and around that song – the Wiki page is about 10 pages. 😉  As we left Eric he was on a train with American artists going across Canada as a sideman, and probably happiest in a long time.  At the end of the tour, he wanted to keep the groove going and recruited a number of key members to form – yet another one album band – Derek and the Dominos… 

The Victim is tailor-made for this season of Eric’s life.  This Saboteur wants you to feel emotional and temperamental as a way of gaining attention… and affection.  It focuses on deep internal feelings, particularly painful ones, wasting your mental and emotional energy always being what others call the Martyr.  The inner turmoil feeds itself on a downward spiral that can easily lead to depression, apathy, and constant fatigue.  Faced with challenges, The Victim’s victims fold, and want people to rescue them, but when attempted, they often explode with “you can’t possibly know how much this hurts”… descending again into themselves.  Put a Pleaser within reach, and you have a deadly combination… 

… it produces exactly that… 

Before Blind Faith, Eric was entirely a Gibson player – with the darker mahogany tones of the Les Paul and the Fool, perfect for his love of the “blues”.  Hendrix “having” to play a Strat because he was left-handed had convinced Winwood to play a Strat, and with Blind Faith, Eric found a whole new sound.  Pretty much after 1970, you will rarely see him with a Gibson, and if you know your guitars, there is one that stands apart.  He was so enamored, he wanted to give guitars to his friends, and he bought FIVE 1950’s Stratocasters, one of which he gave to George Harrison… who joined him on tour in Europe with Delaney and Bonnie, and eventually on a solo tour… The core of that band helped George record All Things Must Pass, Georges’s middle finger classic to the Beatles – a TRIPLE album of songs they would not let him record… recorded near George’s home…

It is almost more destructive than The Judge

…where of course he hung out with Patti … leading Eric to try again to win her love (and fail) … so he decided that heroin would be a good thing to try.  To quell those emotions, he literally became the Victim, deepening his spiral downward.  He had formed a tight band through his time, and they landed yet another contract with no songs… followed quickly by a short UK tour, and were booked into an Atlantic studio in Miami to record an album.  The recording engineer was Tom Dowd, soon to be a legend, and after a few drug-dazed days in the studio, nothing was happening.  He took them to see a new band that Tom was fond of, but was really not known yet – The Allman Brothers.  Duane recalls later looking down in the middle of his solo to see Eric in the front row and nearly freezing.  They came back to Eric’s place, and Duane and Eric immediately bonded… 

How can you remove The Victim from your soundtrack?

… and a good thing.  Duane, being a session player from Muscle Shoals, knew his way around recording, and pretty much single-handledly got Eric’s songs onto the album.  Eric was always looking for a brother – first with Jimi – and now there was a tight connection with Duane.  He was able to get his dreams and emotions down on tape – particularly with today’s track.  It spilled out right after they finished an homage to Hendrix with Little Wing, with Eric on a Strat…  and Layla’s first part came roaring out.  The dual guitar parts are still legendary and sparked many guitar careers – including Duane’s nephew – born long after Duane’s death… Here is Derek… at 13 – with the same facial expression AND abilities (and Uncle Duane on his shirt).  He started playing at 9… and today’s track features him at 28 in 2007 reprising Duane’s role while Eric looks on proudly. The Victim’s bite is hard, and deep, and here is the legendary music that encapsulates what that feels like. Using the name that he used with Patti (Derek) and a title taken from a 7th-century Arabic story of hopeless unrequited love –  Layla.

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