Eric Clapton’s Martin D-45
Eric was first seen with this guitar backstage in the dressing room of Lyceum Ballroom, London, on June 14th, 1970. This was the debut concert of his new band – Derek and the Dominos.
Interestingly – the band had no official name prior to the gig. It was billed simply as “Eric Clapton and Friends”, but a discussion that ensued backstage prior to the gig led to a new name – albeit not the one that they were introduced under –
On a Sunday night in June, we tried the band out in front of an audience at a charity concert at the Lyceum in the Strand, in aid of Dr. Spock’s Civil Liberties Legal Defense Fund. In the excitement of just forming the group, one thing had slipped our minds, and that was, right up to the last minute before we were to go onstage, we had no name for ourselves. Ashton, Gardiner, and Dyke were the opening act, and Tony Ashton always used to call me Del and suggested that we should be Del and the Dominos.
When he did finally announce us, without any mention of our real names, it was as Derek and the Dominos, and the name just stuck. Our set consisted of songs from our Delaney days, like “Blues Power” and “Bottle of Red Wine,” a couple of blues numbers, “Crossroads” and “Spoonful,” and, because Dave Mason had joined us for this one show, a Traffic song, “Feelin’ Alright.”Clapton: The Autobiography
Although it can’t be said for sure, based on the photos taken at the show – a lot of the gig at the Lyceum Ballroom seemed to have been an acoustic set (see comments for more on this). This means that this Martin is actually somewhat special since it was right there with Eric at the first-ever Derek and the Dominos concert.
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I own that 1968 Martin D-45 that Eric, is playing. I have a bunch of photos of him with it, as well as a video of him playing “Poor Elijah”, with D&B…
Hi Chris. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to see some photos of the guitar as it is right now! You can attach the photos here, or if easier for you – send me an email at [email protected].
The Lyceum debut of Derek & The Dominos wasn’t entirely acoustic. This is from Bobby Whitlock’s biography:
“When we did the Lyceum gig we had planned on doing a couple of acoustic numbers. It was just Eric and Dave [Mason, who played Clapton’s 12 string called ‘Ivan The Terrible’] and me playing acoustic guitars and singing…..We did several numbers and then Carl and Jim came on and we all plugged in and rocked the house.”
There is also a photo in Marc Roberty’s Visual Documentary of EC playing Brownie at this gig.