Eric Clapton – Indianapolis 1975 (Beano-058)
Indianapolis 1975 (Beano-058)
Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN – August 27th, 1975
Disc 1 (68:32): Opening, Layla, Key To The Highway, I Shot The Sheriff, Can’t Find My Way Home, Further On Up The Road, Let It Rain, Better Make It Through Today, Blues Power
Disc 2 (47:38): Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Badge, Tell The Truth, Little Wing with Carlos Santana, Carnival with Carlos Santana
Eric Clapton’s long US tour for There’s One In Every Crowd was, compared to the previous summer, a smashing success. Instead of the inconsistent performances with Clapton trying to downplay his role as guitar God, he embraced it and put on some of his most stellar and interesting performances.
The August 27th show in Indianapolis, Indiana, comes close to the very end of the long tour which ended a couple days later on August 30th in Norfolk, Virginia. The available audience source has been in circulation but has never been pressed because of its poor sound quality. Beano claim to use a previously uncirculated master tape in much better sound quality.
It is remarkable how a tape, which many Eric Clapton websites judge to be poor to fair at best, can improve so dramatically. The sound quality on Indianapolis 1975 is fair to good (at best), but is quite listenable and enjoyable. The label have corrected the pitch, and there is a tape flip after “Further On Up The Road,” slight tape deterioration in “Let It Rain” from :13 to :32 seconds, and a small cut in “Carnival” at 6:55 (during the drum solo).
Much of the set list is standard for the tour starting with the extended “Layla.” The drop “Bell Bottom Blues” and continue with “Key To The Highway.”
Yvonne Elliman introduces “Can’t Find My Way Home” as a song “begat by Blind Faith.” Her voice sounds much more pretty than evocative, her normal timbre. “Further On Up The Road,” a song Clapton would play as an encore quite frequently, sounds strange played so early in the show. The galloping beat is a marked contrast, and serves as a nice contrast to “Let It Rain” which has a similar rhythm at the end.
Marcy Levy normally would sing her tune “Teach Me To Be Your Woman” about this time, but is inexplicably dropped from the set. Instead they play a beautiful version of “Better Make It Through The Day.”
“Blues Power” reaches almost ten minutes. During the song’s improvisation Clapton plays an intriguing call-and-response game, one echoing the other’s licks. It’s a fascinating excessive by the guitarists and is a lot of fun to hear. Afterwards, Clapton announces they will play their latest single “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”
“Badge” and the Derek And The Dominoes number “Tell The Truth” close the show.
The encore set contains several rarities. Clapton is again joined by Carlos Santana and his band, but instead of “Eyesight To The Blind” they start off with a slow, ponderous, psychedelic version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” Even though it has been part of the Clapton’s repertoire for years, no other version comes close to this. Santana adds his own style to the improvisations in the middle creating a joint masterpiece.
The second is “Carnival.” It was written about a month before in New York with the Rolling Stones and made several appearances in Clapton’s set since. Santana again shares duties on guitar and there is a drum solo by Jamie Oldaker. This would be one of the final times played live (it would finish the tour and be played in Ireland in 1979).
All tapes from Clapton’s 1975 tours are worth having for their artistic merit. Indianapolis 1975, despite the limited sound quality, is a good release which is worth having.