Eric Clapton – Long Beach Arena 1983 (Beano 212)
Long Beach Arena, CA. – Feb 9th, 1983
Disc1 (38:39): intro – After Midnight – I Shot The Sheriff – Worried Life Blues – Crazy Country Hop – Slow Down Linda – Sweet Little Lisa – Key To The Highway.
Disc2 (57:55): Tulsa Time – I’ve Got A Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart – Wonderful Tonight – Blues Power – That’s Alright / Have You Ever Loved A Woman / Ramblin’ On My Mind – Let It Rain – Cocaine – Layla – band intro – Further On Up The Road.
Your favourite guitar player, one of your favourite tours of all-time and a virtually complete show in superb audience quality. Mix everything together and you’ll get “Long Beach Arena 1983”, one of the best Clapton bootlegs to have emerged in 2021. Never circulated before, it’s hard to believe it took 38 years to unearth this gem!! My most heartfelt thanks go to everyone involved in this release – a 2CD set like this is the reason why I love bootlegs so much. The sole idea of this show having been lost forever, terrifies me to death….
Clapton’s 1983 US Tour had started in Seattle, WA on Feb 1st. This show in Long Beach took place on Feb 9thand is the 7th gig of the tour already.
The crowd is put on their feet from the very start with a solid rendition “After Midnight”, followed by a fantastic “Sheriff”, a song that should never be missing from a Clapton setlist. “Worried Life Blues” – the well-known blues song – comes next. Clocking at 7+ minutes, Chris Stainton gets a fair share of the credit for this one, with a nice job on keyboards. “Crazy Country Hop” has always been my least favourite track on the “Money And Cigarettes” album but on a live setting I find it quite entertaining but I forget about it the minute I hear the first chords to “Slow Down Linda”, a rocker song that (sadly) never survived this tour.
Time for Albert Lee’s slot with a rousing version of “Sweet Little Liza” before things get calm again with the second blues classic of the night: “Key To The Highway”. No more than a couple of seconds are missing on the intro to “Tulsa Time” which fades in. Clapton introduces his new single to the crowd and plays a nice take of “I’ve Got A Rock’N’Roll Heart”, a song that would never appear on a Clapton setlist until his North American Tour of 2010 when it was also used as part of an advertisement campaign for the Fender edition of T-Mobile’s HTC MyTouch cell phone.
Sometimes I get tired of “Wonderful Tonight”…. but it’s not the case with the 1983 Tour. I could be listening to Clapton’s gentle solo on the outro forever. The crowd get on their feet again – and I do as well! – as they are treated to a very electrifying rendition of “Blues Power”. A three-song blues medley follow with Clapton calling out keys changes in the middle of songs. The pace is up again with “Let It Rain” even if Clapton’s solo on the outro is not as energetic as you might expect. “Cocaine” and “Layla” wrap up the show. Special mention to Clapton’s lead guitar work on the coda to “Layla”. I have listened to hundreds of codas over the past 30 years and this particular one ranks amongst my favourites. I find it very emotional – it just melts my heart. Clapton introduces the band before the encore. Albert Lee on guitar and vocals, Chris Stainton on keyboards, Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass and Roger Hawkings on drums. Roger would leave the band one week later and would be replaced by Jamie Oldaker. The encore is an inspired version of “Further On Up The Road” which ends the show on a high note.
Beano reached Heaven with “Long Beach Arena 1983”, a fantastic audience recording that without doubt, deserves a place in your shelf.
Yes…I agree completely; thanks very much for this excellent review. I got this one shortly after it came out in either late Oct. or early Nov. of 2021 and didn’t have any regrets about it whatsoever. Thanks again, and I certainly hope you have the best possible 2023, my ol’ friend! Happy New Year!
Yes a great review, Slowhander. I have been curious about this Beano release for a while, because the early 80s is one of my favourite live Clapton eras. (great band, great setlists, and Eric in top form.) I appreciate your enthusiasm, and agree that ‘Slow down Linda’ should have stayed in his live set. Why has Mr Clapton dumped so many of his stronger songs over the years?? Anyway, you have talked me into purchasing this!