Plastic Ono Band's Eclectic NY Lineup Includes Clapton, Midler

Yoko's back

There was great anticipation and mystery for the lineup of the New York show on the Plastic Ono Band‘s forthcoming five date tour, and the announcement this morning via Yoko Ono’s Twitter feed didn’t disappoint.  The February 16 event will bring together original members of the Plastic Ono Band, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voorman with a multi-generational cast of characters including her son Sean Ono Lennon; Paul Simon and his son Harper; Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore and many more (see right).  I had predicted it might be Paul McCartney dropping in, but this lineup was a pleasant surprise, even considering how obvious Clapton should’ve been.

The cast also includes a few great collaborating/supporting musicians too, such as Jim Keltner (drums), Yuka Honda (keyboards) and the aforementioned Klaus Voorman (bass).  I didn’t purchase any tickets today, however.  At $150, it’s prohibitive.  Still, when was the last time Eric Clapton played Brooklyn?   Maybe on the Yardbirds‘ first tour at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on a package show?   Maybe with Delaney and Bonnie if they hit the boroughs.  It might be his first show in the King’s County ever.  That’s pretty funny and cool.  Bette Midler? What was her last show in New York?

They got some cool folks together for this one and I hope Jody Denberg, road-tripping from Austin, snags some good photos etc. for us.

While I don’t not watch Clapton’s career closely, over the past few years, I have become more of a fan.   Of course I have always owned and appreciated Derek and the Dominoes’ “Layla,” knew his catalog by heart and had even seen him at Nassau Coliseum once in the 80s, but I never really saw him as a great rock legend.  Songs like “Cocaine,” “Lay Down Sally” “Wonderful Tonight,” “Forever Man” and even the great “Tears in Heaven” somehow did not enhance my view of him.  I missed the Cream, Blind Faith and Delaney and Bonnie years, and I get the feeling Clapton is marketing to my age group now by re-igniting the most musically vital parts of his career.

Five Eric Clapton image-enhancers over the past few years after the jump.

1.  Finally, a legit Cream reunion (not that I’m a fan – I fell asleep during Ginger Baker/Jack Bruce/Blues Saraceno at the Bottom Line during “Toad.”)

2. A great tour with Steve Winwood which is also a fantastic live album (also my buddy Jimbo saw the show and loved it).

3. “Slogans,” the resurrected Bob Marley cassette recording he blessed with some legit guitar playing.

4.  The albums with JJ Cale (“Road to Escondido”) and BB King (“Riding with the King”) show better taste and execution than the Babyface stuff from the 90s, especially.

5.  Forthcoming tour with Jeff Beck (or did it happen already?)

Bonus points:

6.  Jamming with Willie Nelson at his 70th birthday show in 2003

7.  No Michelob commercials, although I think he may have endorsed some glasses.

He should be able to hold his own if he finds himself on stage with Kim, Thurston, etc. in a cloud of noise.  After all, as Jody reminded me, he plays on the original version of “Don’t Worry Kyoko.”  What a night this will be!  Eric Clapton could be inspired by Thurston’s playing, as Neil Young was, to crank his guitar up to the Cream/Hendrix level of his career.  It’s an Eric Clapton we have heard about, but never heard, especially based on the reports of the Cream reunion.

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