By Damian Fanelli
Eric Clapton has premiered the official music video for his new cover of Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway.”
The black-and-white clip, which you can watch below, shows the 71-year-old Clapton at work in the recording studio, playing slide on his 1960 Gibson ES-335.
“It’s a beautiful, very rich-sounding guitar,” Clapton tells our sister publication, Guitar World. “I used that when I was playing slide because it can sustain really well.”
What a lot of Clapton fans might not know is that this is Clapton’s first official studio recording of this particular Johnson track, although he did play a solo-guitar version of the song on the Sessions for Robert J DVD in 2004. Around that time, he said it was a very difficult song to play because there’s a melody that’s happening beneath the vocal melody.
“If we talk about it in terms of a 12-bar blues, it’s in the second section,” Clapton says. “The first section is the A section; when you get to the B section, and you move up to the IV chord, there’s a phrase he plays underneath his vocal that I can’t do. I can’t sing it and play that phrase, and I will never do it, I don’t think. I think I’ve tried all my life to figure out how to do that—because the time signature of the singing is one way and the playing is another. They’re syncopated in very different ways. So it’s always needed to be an ensemble piece. We did it well, but I’m still… [producer] Glyn [Johns] would tell you I’m still not satisfied. I still think we could do it better. [laughs] You’ll be hearing that again.”
“Stones in My Passway” is from Clapton’s new album, I Still Do, which was released May 20. Check out our complete conversation about the new album right here.