“Layla” Was An Alias For Pattie Boyd. She Was The Wife Of George Harrison, One Of Clapton’s Best Friends.
“Layla” was an alias for Pattie Boyd, the (then) wife of George Harrison. She was a British model of singular looks who had also captivated John Lennon and Mick Jagger. Clapton would eventually succeed in stealing her from Harrison. And it is very interesting to note that the friendship between the two men ran so deep that when Clapton and Boyd married in 1979, Harrison was among the attendees…
The whole “Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs” was actually built upon a distortion of reality. Clapton created a fantasy in which he was “Derek” and his backing band became “The Dominos”. Besides, Blind Faith had left a sour taste in his mouth and he wanted to keep a lower profile for a while.
Doing a quick recap, Ronnie Lane handled the folksy bits on this record whereas the Birdman doled out the rock numbers. It is Pete the one to start it all with the delirious sketch “My Baby Gives It Away”. He knows he is singing utter piffle, and he sings it so brazenly and the accompaniment is so joyous and upbeat that it is not as Dave Marsh says: Pete is not sounding as if he were having fun. He is having the time of his life in a studio in a long, long time. The song goes from silliness to silliness set to the steady beat of Charlie Watts and acoustic guitars that are strummed as if they were the cue for the listener to smile.
Ronnie takes the lead and supplies “Nowhere To Run” and “Annie”, with the instrumental title track sandwiched in between. I do like “Nowhere To Run” – its melody is good, but the lyrics are a bit hazy and it is tricky relating to them. “Annie”, on the other hand, is one of these songs about lost love that are impinged with so much sensibility that the melody (and words) paint concrete images into just anybody, young or old. Continue reading →
Rough Mix (A Collaboration Between Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane) Stole The Accolade Of Best Album Released In 1977. Pistols, Clash & Costello Eat Your Hearts Out!
Produced by Glyn Johns and issued in 1977, this collaboration between Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane was voted album by the year by Rolling Stone. Wenner’s gang were not the only ones dazzled by it. Pete’s record company gave the album little promotion, certain that he was to leave and form a supergroup with Lane. The Who had just signed a new contract, and the album did nothing but highlight how much Pete needed a change of scene.
Rough Mix is blistering in terms of sidemen: Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Boz Burrell, Ian Stewart… Pete could have snapped his fingers and have a new band within seconds. And it would have been a more fulfilling band than The Who to him at that point for certain.
The album itself is not really a collaboration in the sense of the two former mod champions sitting down and writing an album. (“What?! And split the royalties?!” Pete joked to Ronnie at the time). Rather, Ronnie had some songs, Pete had some songs and together they came up with “Rough Mix”. They only sing together in the penultimate track, “Heart To Hang On To”. They also shared a writing credit for the title track, an instrumental were Clapton and Rabbit Bundrick have their way.
There are no videos of Pete and Ronnie playing together. There is, however, this one of Eddie Vedder singing with Pete in 1999. They mix up the lyrics, and Vedder is a bit off. But it is the best that I could find for you: