Jimmy Page Names The Guitarist Eric Clapton Considered ‘Impossible To Record’
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page revealed the guitarist Eric Clapton referred to as ‘impossible to record.’
Before putting Led Zeppelin together, Page was known for being a session guitarist and also a producer for Immediate Records. While recording the overdub of a certain song with Clapton and two other musicians, Clapton suggested an idea to record in the song, which he later stopped playing and called the original owner of the song impossible to record.
The memory was shared by Page on his Instagram page with a photo from the day the song was recorded. The guitarist wrote the story in the description, starting by sharing the names of two songs he produced:
“On this day in 1965, John Mayall released the single Witch Doctor / Telephone Blues on Immediate Records, where I was a producer.
It was recorded at Pye Studios with jazzer Hughie Flint on drums, John McVie on bass, John Mayall on keyboards and vocals, and Eric Clapton on guitar. It was recorded in June of 1965. When ‘Witch Doctor’ came to be overdubbed, Eric had this idea to put this feedback wail over the top. I was with him in the studio as he set this up, then I got back into the control room and told the engineer to record the overdub.”
He went on with the time Clapton had trouble with the song:
“About two-thirds of the way through, he pulled the faders down and said: ‘This guitarist is impossible to record.’ I guess his technical ethics were compromised by the signal that was putting the meters into the red. I suggested that he got on with his job and leave that decision to me!”
Page also praised Clapton for his solo on the single’s B-side, Telephone Blues:
“Eric’s solo on ‘Telephone Blues’ was just superb. I would like to have seen Ainsley Dunbar on drums in the studio for ‘Witch Doctor.’ I also produced ‘Sitting On Top of the World,’ showing John Mayall’s blues to Top 20 ambitions, and ‘Double Crossing Time,’ an ironic title as the next time I heard of them, they were in the very capable hands of Mike Vernon – famed blues producer. It was a good move: Eric left The Yardbirds because they had Top 20 aspirations!”
After coming together to record the song, later they once again came together as Blues Breakers to record their debut album ‘The Beano Album’ in 1966.
Below, you can listen to Clapton’s version of ‘I’m Your Witch Doctor’ with John Mayall.