Eric Clapton – There’s One In America (Slunky 09A/B)


There’s One In America (Slunky 09A/B)

Frost Amphitheater, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA – August 9th, 1975

Disc 1:  Introduction, Layla, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Tell The Truth, Can’t Find My Way Home, Key To The Highway, Carnival, Take Me Down To The River, Badge

Disc 2:  Better Make It Through Today, Blues Power, Ramblin’ On My Mind, Let It Rain, Eyesight To The Blind

The Eric Clapton Stanford tape is another one where it is difficult to determine exactly if it is an excellent audience recording or a very good soundboard tape.  The clarity and balance of the tape is excellent, yet the audience cheering is audible throughout the show.  Many websites make claims either way and there is no consensus among Clapton collectors.  If this were an audience recording (which seems most likely), the taper was situated very close to the monitors and was able to pick up an astonishing amount of detail. 

This also seems to be a more recent discovery, surfacing in the late nineties and seeing three silver releases in quick succession.  It can be found on Stanford University (ARMS-20/21PR), on Joker – Summer Of ’75 (Part 2) (Mid Valley MV 126/127/128/129), where it is paired with the June 25th, 1975 Providence R.I. show and was released in March 2002, as well as There’s One In America on Slunky, which falls between the release of these two in chronology.   

The levels on both the ARMS and Slunky are a bot low and there is a bit of hiss since it comes from an analogue source.  There are cuts in the tape after “Key To The Highway” and “Carnival,” a digital glitch at 3:16 in “Layla,” the left channel cuts out between 7:48 in “Better Make It Through The Day” to 1:48 in “Blues Power,” and the left channel again becomes unstable during “Let It Rain.”  These problems are a small concession to the overall sound quality of the tape and effectiveness of the performance, which ranks among the best performances in the summer of 1975.

During the introductory tuning, Clapton dedicates this show by saying, “incidentally, this set here, good or bad, whatever it may be, is dediated to a certain pickpocket friend of mine called Jim!”  After a minute of tuning he says, “we’re having problems with the organ” before they begin with “Layla.” 

“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and an interesting version of “Tell The Truth” follow in quick succession before Clapton says, “Yvonne’s gonna sing a song now.  She broke her leg but, being a trouper…here she is.  Actually broke your leg, didn’t you?”  Yvonne says, “I ripped my ligaments and that is what I get for playing with a champion karate player when you don’t know they’re a champion karate player.”  (Makes you wonder exactly what they were doing?) 

Elliman continues by saying, “we’re gonna do a song from the Blind Faith album.  It’s a song that Eric wrote with Stevie Winwood.  Eric actually wrote the  music and it’s called ‘Can’t Find My Way Home.'”  In some ways her airy soprano beats Winwood’s tenor on this exalted song. 

“Carnival” follows “Key To The Highway” and Clapton introduces the song as “a new one.”  It was written the previous June with the Rolling Stones  but wouldn’t be released until the following year.  This is the second earliest known performance of the song after its debut on August 3rd in Vancouver. 

Marcy Levy sings “Take Me Down To The River Side” afterwards.  It isn’t listed on the ARMS release nor on some setlists online, but both Slunky and Mid Valley list it correctly.

“Better Make It Through Today” sounds very slow in this performance but contains a blistering performance.  “Blues Power” is nine minutes long and includes both a country hoedown near the beginning and a long gospel section during the long improvisation.  “Let It Rain” is the final song of the set.  The encore consists of a single, eight-minute version of “Eyesight To The Blind,” perhaps the best part of the recently released Tommy. 

Carlos Santana jammed with Clapton at least eight times that summer, including June 24 in Springfield, MA, June 25 in Providence on a twenty-three minute version of “Eyesight To The Blind” and “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?” which appears on Crossroads 2 (Live In The Seventies), on June 28 at the Nassau Coliseum, July 7 in Bloomington, MN, August 3rd in Vancouver, August 14th in Los Angeles (also with Keith Moon and Joe Cocker), and on August 15th at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino. 

Although Stanford has only the one song and not a half hour long improvisation, Clapton, Santana and Terry make up for it by playing the song in double time and trading some of the most incredible solos known to man. 

There’s One In America is issued in a double slimline jewel case with basic paper inserts and various photos of Clapton on stage with Santana.  Slunky misspelled the Amphitheater’s name and the name of the city is wrong (Palo Alto, not Stanford), but honestly this is a good way to obtain this excellent show.

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