Eric Clapton – Irvine Crossing (Beano-027)

Irvine Crossing (Beano-027)

Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, Laguna Hills, CA – September 23rd, 1988

Disc 1 (63:20):  Opening, Crossroads, White Room, I Shot The Sheriff, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, Tearing Us Apart, After Midnight, Can’t Find My Way Home, Badge

Disc 2 (58:21):  Same Old Blues, member introduction, Cocaine, Layla, Money For Nothing, Sunshine Of Your Love.  Bonus track, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA – September 25th, 1988:  Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting

Irvine Crossing is the second release of Eric Clapton’s September 23rd, 1988 Laguna Hills show.  Several years ago it was pressed on Viva La Crossroads (Tarantura TCDEC-10), utilizing what is claimed to be one of the final Mike Millard recordings before his suicide.  Tarantura used an alternate tape to plug some holes in the tape.  Beano use an alternate tape that is not as clear as the Millard but is more consistent.  There aer several times an alternate is used to fill in gaps.  On the whole this is a good sounding release and a good alternative to the Tarantura release.   

In 1988 Clapton was not touring off of any new material but for the new concept (at the time) of the retrospective CD boxed set.  April 18th saw the release of the four disc Crossroads set released to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Clapton’s recording career (dating back to 1963’s “Boom Boom”).  Compared to the set list on the August tours the previous year, only “Tearing Us Apart” (with Katie Kissoon singing Tina Turner’s part) and “Same Old Blues” were retained from the newer material with everything else coming from the sixties and seventies output.  

This is the first Eric Clapton “oldies” tour trading off of nostalgia with Mark Knopfer of The Dire Straits along for the ride.  This tour began on September 1st in Dallas and ended five week later on October 8th in Hamilton, Ontario.  It includes two guest appearances by Clapton on the two days following this with Little Feat on September 24th and with Elton John on September 25th.  Unlike the August tours the keyboards are minimized to the point of being almost completely absent.  They lend some accompaniment to “Wonderful Tonight” but otherwise both Clapton and Knopfler dominate the proceedings. 

The same laser sound effect at the beginning of the show used at the RAH shows is also used in this.  They also share the same three songs, “Crossroads”, “White Room” and “I Shot The Sheriff.”  “Lay Down Sally” makes a reappearance in the set list.  Clapton introduces “Can’t Find My Way Home” as an old Blind Faith number before introducing Nathan East who handles the vocal duties.  “Same Old Blues” is shortened to thirteen minutes with Clapton, Knopfler and East trading solos (but no keyboard or drum solos).  “Money For Nothing” is the first encore and the backing vocalists take the Sting part (“I want my MTV”) before “Sunshine Of Your Love”, which includes a short drum solo, is played as the final song of the evening. 

Beano include “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” from the Elton John show on September 25th at the Hollywood Bowl, just two days afterwards.  The tape is good but very noisy.  John introduces Steve Lukather of Toto and Clapton before starting in on his classic, played as an encore that night.  Lukather and Clapton trade solos in an extended version of the track and it a very nice bonus by the label.  Irvine Crossing is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with good artwork.  It is an intersting release to have.     

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