Clapton and Winwood Give First Concert in Nearly 40 Years

This would have been really cool to see.

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Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton at Madison Square Garden, Feb. 25, 2008

Partial list of songs played:

  • Presence of the Lord
  • Changes
  • Little Wing
  • Voodoo Chile
  • Georgia on My Mind
  • Pearly Queen
  • Forever Man
  • After Midnight
  • Can’t Find My Way Home
  • Dear Mr. Fantasy
  • Crossroads

Wow. I’m green with envy.

Those of us old enough to remember these two from the late 60s and early 70s should consider ourselves lucky that Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood are … not just alive … not just still making music … but still kicking out serious jams from great music they wrote forty years ago.

Clapton and Winwood have both shown, over long careers, that they are professional musicians, not rock stars. There is a big difference, and while some people can be both, most are one or the other.

And they both made more great rock and roll before they were 30 than nearly everybody else does in an entire career. Steve Winwood started (or was the centerpiece of) at least 3 bands before his own successful solo career; he got Eric Clapton, who was already a legend by 1969, to join Blind Faith when Winwood was only 20.

Clapton — whose life story reads like Greek tragedy — is lucky to be alive, and has been through both heroin addiction and alcoholism, yet still is one of the greatest guitar players on the planet at age 62. Amazing.

And it all still sounds great. If you haven’t seen the Crossroads concert on DVD from Chicago last summer, I recommend it. Winwood and Clapton play a few songs together, including Presence of the Lord. It’s transcendent.

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