Monday, February 13, 2012

Musical Couples: Delaney and Bonnie

Delaney and Bonnie : Never Ending Song Of Love


Delaney Bramlett and Bonnie O'Farrell got married seven days after they met. She was twenty-three, a singer in strip joints who had toured as an Ikette with Ike Turner. He was twenty-six, a guitar player on the TV show "Shindig" with Leon Russell. Together, for six passionate years, they formed a band, had children and partied onstage, on tour buses and in motel rooms with rock royalty like Eric Clapton, who wrote "For me, going on [with Blind Faith] after Delaney and Bonnie was really, really tough, because I thought they were miles better than us."

Though recorded in a studio, "Never Ending Song of Love", which peaked at #13 in the US charts, sounds like one of those motel room jams. It comes from the 1971 album, Motel Shot, which featured among its guest musicians Leon Russell, Duane Allman, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker and Gram Parsons. Pretty heady company. Pretty heady times.

In the meantime Delaney and Bonnie fought often. In 1973 the couple divorced and the band broke up. What remains are six soulful rock albums including their best-selling live LP "On Tour With Eric Clapton" . in 2008, when Delaney died of complications following gall bladder surgery Bonnie wrote "My heart is broken. This morning my soul mate, the father of my children, and my Partner in Musical History crossed over into the Light. Delaney Bramlett has left the building. Long Live the King".

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