George Harrison and Eric Clapton Extraordinary Guitar Duo

Pattie Boyd knows how it feels to be the wife of two guitar Gods: George Harrison and Eric Clapton.

An interview (in animated description) with George Harrison from 1987 where he describes his sometimes-complex relationship with Eric Clapton.

When Harrison first met Clapton in the early 60s, they were both in bands. (Harrison in the Beatles and Clapton in the Yardbirds). And that one point, they were both on the same show. 
"Later I think I remember seeing Eric at the Lovin' Spoonful concert at the Marquee. He was sitting upon the top of some road boxes, like this lonely person." Harrison told a Japan TV station in 1991.

In the late Sixties, the Beatles and Clapton kicked off a nearly five-decade-long tradition of recorded collaborations. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (a song from the Beatles' White Album, released in November 1968) is the only official EMI Beatles recording Clapton ever played on. 

Harrison asked Clapton to contribute lead guitar to the song. Clapton's guitar parts, using Harrison's Gibson Les Paul electric guitar "Lucy" (a recent gift from Clapton), were recorded that evening, made him the only guitarist ever to play on a Beatles song.

Later, Harrison and Clapton wrote "Badge", a pop rock song performed by Cream (a rock group consisting of bassist/singer Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/singer Eric Clapton). "Badge" was included as a track on Cream's final album, Goodbye and released as a single in March 1969.

It's only fitting that Clapton's best buddy was Harrison. The pair had the most in common; they certainly shared guitars (not to mention a wife). Harrison wrote "Here Comes the Sun" at Clapton's country home, the duo toured with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends in 1969, they toured Japan in 1991 and recorded together countless times until Harrison's death in 2001.

Below are some of Harrison - Clapton's works:
  • Ski-ing --> Clapton added some bluesy, fuzz-drenched guitar to "Ski-ing," a simple and rocking instrumental from Harrison's first solo album, Wonderwall Music (also a soundtrack to the 1968 film Wonderwall), which came out in November 1968.
  • Billy Preston's albums --> Harrison invited Clapton to sit in on sessions for Billy Preston’s fourth studio album, That's The Way God Planned It (released in August 1969), which Harrison was co-producing. Harrison and Clapton also worked together on Preston's next album, Encouraging Words.
  • All Things Must Pass --> Clapton played on Harrison's solo album, All Things Must Pass (released in November 1970). Clapton can be heard on several tracks.
  • Roll It Over --> During the All Things Must Pass sessions, Clapton and the pre-Allman Dominos recorded "Roll It Over," which features Harrison—plus early Dominos member Dave Mason—on guitar. "Roll It Over" was the B-side of the band's first single.
  • Doris Troy 1970 album --> Harrison co-produced and played on American soul singer Doris Troy's self-titled 1970 album, and Clapton took part in the sessions. Clapton's lead tone right out of the gate on "Ain't That Cute," which was written by Harrison and Troy and released as a single on Apple Records.

Eric Clapton has always toured extensively performing thousands of concerts around the globe, and did great performances with his guitars. But, George Harrison wasn’t fond of touring, and he had little reason to be enamored with it.

Harrison tours for the last time in 1991, when Clapton offered to tour with Harrison, backed by Clapton’s live band, for a handful of dates in Japan.
"I just wasn't into touring so much really. I toured in the 70s and i just done little bit of live concerts. Just a song here and a concert there, but nothing much. Because I always was doing other things and I never really like the idea of lot of travelling around. It seems like hard work to me. But now I'm ready to try. I wanna try again and see because you know I'm convince I can master the art of touring." Harrison told a Japan TV station in 1991.

Harrison and Clapton talk about guitar, and Clapton shows his 'smoker's guitar' in an interview for Japan TV station in 1991.

Below are some of Harrison - Clapton's performances:


Harrison, Clapton, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr in an impromptu jam, played "Come On In My Kitchen" during rehearsal sessions for the Concert for Bangladesh, which was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Harrison and Clapton performed live at the Prince's Trust Rock Gala at London's Wembley Arena. They played "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with many musicians, among them are Ringo Starr, Elton John, Phil Collins (on drums), Ray Cooper, and Jeff Lynne.

Harrison and Clapton played twelve concerts in Japan from 1-17 December 1991. It’s been rumored that Harrison agreed to play with Clapton as a way of keeping his friend occupied, given that the musician was still reeling from the death of his young son, Conor, who had died after a tragic accident earlier in the year.

Although the two rock legends would share the stage, for these 12 Japan shows, the spotlight would be on Harrison, with Clapton taking a backseat as the tour’s musical director.

A double-disc set of concert recordings from the Japan dates, Live in Japan was released on 13 July 1992. It preserved the full set (omitting the four Clapton-led songs). The album is the last new release in Harrison’s lifetime.

Although Harrison would perform live on occasion in the ’90s, he would never again tour.