Summary of Clapton’s Gear
Eric’s guitar collection features some of the most iconic instruments in rock & roll music history. His first guitar was a cheap Kay Jazz II model. But, by 1964 Clapton had already moved onto a red Fender Telecaster, which he used on the majority of the material that he recorded with the Yardbirds. In 1966, he acquired a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard – the “Beano-burst”. A year later, he started using a Gibson SG Standard, nicknamed “The Fool”, decorated in psychedelic colors and designs.
In 1970, Eric had made a big shift, and moved away from Gibson guitars, towards Fender. His first notable guitar was a 1956 Fender Stratocaster, also known as “Brownie”. With this guitar, Eric recorded “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs”, before retiring it in 1975. The guitar that replaced it was another Stratocaster, Blackie.
Eric Clapton playing his most famous Fender Stratocaster nicknamed “Blackie”. Photographer: F. Antolín Hernandez
This second Stratocaster Eric assembled himself, using parts from four different 1950s Stratocasters. He used Blackie until around a decade later, at which point Fender started producing replicas of the guitar. Eric began using these, and his guitar arsenal became a lot more varied.
Eric’s main acoustic guitar was nearly some sort of a Martin. Most famously, he used a 000-42 model during the MTV Unplugged concert. More recently, he uses custom-made models from Martin, such as the 000-ECHF Bellezza Nera.
As far as amplification, the two amps worth singling out are the Marshall Bluesbreaker Model 1962 and a Marshall JTM45/100. The Model 1962 he used to record “Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton” (a.k.a. The Beano Album) in early to mid-1966, while the JTM45/100 was Eric’s main amp during the Cream/Blind Faith era.