– John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, featuring Eric Clapton – live on The Saturday Club – April 26, 1965 – BBC Radio 1 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Not thought of, for the most part, as one of the British Invasion bands of the early 1960s, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers were one of the most influential bands working during that period. A veritable who’s who of legendary musicians cut their teeth within the ranks of the Mayall unit. This session, recorded for the BBC Radio program Saturday Club features Eric Clapton on guitar and John Mc Vie on bass. Clapton, who had left The Yardbirds for the Bluesbreakers would eventually leave again and become a founding member of Cream. John McVie would leave shortly after and form Fleetwood Mac.
In 1965, with Eric Clapton as their new guitar player, the Bluesbreakers began attracting considerable attention. That summer the band cut a couple of tracks for a single, “I’m Your Witchdoctor” b/w “Telephone Blues” (released in October). In August, however, Clapton left for a jaunt to Greece with a bunch of relative musical amateurs calling themselves the ‘Glands’. John Weider, John Slaughter, and Geoff Krivit attempted to fill in as Bluesbreaker guitarist but, finally, Peter Green took charge. John McVie was dismissed, and during the next few months Jack Bruce, from the Graham Bond Organisation, played bass.
These Saturday Club sessions weren’t featured on the 2006 special edition of the Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton album, and so they are rarities – even though the sound isn’t quite up to par with album quality, they are still enjoyable and another example of the work of an extraordinary Artist, whose talent at spotting musicians was as good as his choice of material – both of which were impeccable.
And this is what they were listening to on the BBC, 56 years ago.
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