Eric Clapton’s Martin D-45

Eric was first seen with this guitar backstage at the dressing room of Lyceum Ballroom, London, on June 14th, 1970. This was the debut concert of his new band – Derek and the Dominos, but 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 we can’t say for sure but based on the photos taken at the show – the whole gig at the Lyceum Ballroom seemed to have been an acoustic set. This means that this Martin is actually somewhat special, since it was right there with Eric backstage at when the Derek and the Dominos band was conceived, and it was used for the entirety of their debut concert.
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Chris
Chris
4 months ago

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…

Richard
Richard
4 months ago

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 calledIvan 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.