There are few musicians around the world who have reached the levels of acclaim and adoration as British blues guitarist Eric Clapton. However, even “Slowhand” himself has his own list of personal favorite musicians and performances. One of those would be the late Allman Brothers Band guitarist Duane Allman, who initially blew Clapton away with his playing on Wilson Pickett‘s 1969 cover of The Beatles‘”Hey Jude”, which Clapton once referenced as, “the best.”
A 2015 interview by Guitar World heard Clapton reveal his admiration of Allman’s playing on the 1969 R&B cover of the Beatles’ rock anthem. Allman had been working as a session musician at Rick Hall‘s Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL in November 1968 when Pickett came in looking for some studio time to record.
“I remember hearing ‘Hey Jude’ by Wilson Pickett and calling either Ahmet Ertegun or Tom Dowd and saying, ‘Who’s that guitar player?'” Clapton said in the 2015 interview. “To this day, I’ve never heard better rock guitar playing on an R&B record. It’s the best.”
Listen to Clapton speak of the performance himself via an audio clip from the original interview below.
Eric Clapton References His Favorite Solo
Allman and Clapton would team up a few years later when the ABB guitarist contributed guitar parts to 11 of the 14 tracks on Clapton’s 1970 Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs LP, released under the banner of Derek and the Dominos. The 1957 Gibson Les Paul which Allman used on the “Layla” recording just sold for an astounding $1.25 million during a recent auction.
Even more recently, Tedeschi Trucks Band put together one of the major highlights at Virginia’s LOCKN’ Festival this past weekend when they welcomed Phish’s Trey Anastasio and longtime Clapton collaborator Doyle Bramhall II to perform Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs in full.
Listen to Pickett’s 1969 cover of “Hey Jude” featuring Allman’s solo below:
Wilson Pickett feat. Duane Allman – “Hey Jude”
[H/T Guitar World]