“Eric Clapton: the 1960’s Review” Sexy Intellectual: From the Yardbirds and Cream to the Bluesbreakers and Blind Faith, nearly everything venerable guitar legend Eric Clapton has touched has turned to gold. Such is not the case with the new unauthorized documentary “Eric Clapton: the 1960’s Review.” Now, that is definitely not to say this rockumentary is without merit, actually it is one of the better unauthorized works to have been released lately, it is just that though – this was never authorized by Clapton himself. Regardless, it is a strong collection and thorough timeline of the man, the myth, the legend, Eric Clapton throughout the decade of the 1960’s.
As with most unauthorized releases, most of the clips are generic and stagnant, but unlike most, some of Clapton’s most important work is actually included here despite assumed copyright issues and legalities. Songs like ‘For Your Love,’ ‘I Feel Free,’ ‘Sunshine of Your Love,’ ‘White Room’ and ‘Sleeping on the Ground’ litter the work, which is mostly comprised of interviews. From Clapton biographers Alan Clayson and Chris Welch, and former bandmates Chris Dreja (The Yardbirds) and Tom McGuinness (Clapton's first band, the Roosters), to band leader John Mayall, all of the interviews housed on “Eric Clapton: the 1960’s Review” are listenable and pretty knowledgeable about Clapton's 1960s output. There’s also more recent footage from Cream bandmates Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.
A lot of “Eric Clapton: the 1960’s Review” focuses on Clapton’s time with Cream, and it’s not surprising considering the wealth of classic material he released while with the band. It is interesting to hear how the band started out performing blues covers, before realizing they had to eventually start writing their own material.
It is following the Cream section that “Eric Clapton: the 1960’s Review” falters a bit in the way of not paying much attention to his follow-up project Blind Faith (his subsequent tour with Delaney and Bonnie isn’t even touched on), and how the directors of the DVD attempt to play up a potential feud between Clapton and Jimi Hendrix due to Clapton supposedly feeling jealous of Hendrix as a superior guitarist. Sure, it’s interesting to say the least – just the thought of the two greatest guitar players ever to pick up an axe at odds with each other is ultra intriguing – it breaks up the flow of the timeline feel of “Eric Clapton: the 1960’s Review.”
The extras include ‘Sonny Boy Williamson and The Yardbirds,’ a featurette that looks at the 1963 club shows that the Yardbirds played as the Clapton’s support band, ‘Paul Jones on 'Eric Clapton's Powerhouse,' a feature that has Clapton discussing a short-lived supergroup that was put together to record tracks for a British compilation album, and the third, ‘Bill Halverson on Cream's 'Badge,’’ a mini-doc that has the record engineer relaying a humorous story about George Harrison's visit to the studio to play on one of Cream's best tracks. There are also a dozen "Contributor Biographies.’
“Eric Clapton: the 1960’s Review” is one of the better unauthorized rockumentaries you’ll find on store shelves nowadays, one that will actually teach you something about Eric Clapton, a person we should all be so lucky to learn more about.