Saturday, February 27, 2021

Main: Mainline Florida


purchase [461 Ocean Boulevard]

Main, to me, conjures up the Stones' Exile on Main Street, but let's that leave that aside this time around.

I very early on had a copy of Cream's Disraeli Gears. As well as a copy of Fresh Cream. And then I was extremely lucky to catch Blind Faith in Seattle at the tender age of 14. Lucky, because I didn't even live in the USofA. A year later, when I did move to the US for boarding school, out comes the eponymous Eric Clapton solo album of 1970. And then after Derek and the Dominoes, there's nothing for 3 years until 461 Ocean Boulevard.

I'm no historian, but I think I can hear  461 Ocean Boulevard as a turning point in the man's music style.  You can hear/sense a major change in guitar style but particularly his vocals.  The more melidious harmonies that had been percolating with Winwood and then Allman during the Dominoes period seem to have matured. Granted, Rolling Stone critic Ken Emeson was not impressed with Clapton's guitar on the album: hiding behind less capable musicians. Myself, I think the symbiosis with Yvonne Elliman on vocals is one of the strengths of the album.

Mainline Florida is credited to George Terry, who joined Clapton on guitar for the album and in later collaborations, including Lay Down Sally. I get the impression that it perfectly suits what must have been the atmosphere at the address near Miami in 1974.

Joe Bonamassa:

George Terry:

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


So this mainline Jesus is on, right, what is it actually? I always thought it was about a train, especially with the world of gospel awash with songs about trains. Surely it must be God's preferred form of transport, such is the plethora of references, from the Staples Singers to the Carter Family, each espousing the sure-fire way to heaven is by locomotive. It's an odd idea, given how few were around in nothing A.D., but it seems a good idea. Plus it sort of fits that the journey in the other direction is more often by road, if only to please the optimist in me; more folk fit on a train than a car.

But then I got confused. Mainline is also a word associated with drugs and with addiction. Jesus doesn't have that mainline, does he? Scouring the literature, only a few are saying that. But it is interesting how the imagery continues, the tell-tale signs being also tracks. Few encapsulate it better than these guys. Even the rhythm sounds like a choo-choo. 

Pity we can't ask Lou how, or if, he got to Heaven, in the end, by train. Or did he take a car in the other direction. 

But it seems I got it all wrong. It seems Jesus was on the mainline as in telephone line. Or was, at least, available to take a call. With supportive evidence lobbied. Again it's a rum 'un, wondering how such discussions took place before Alexander Graham Bell. Written, I guess. 

Well, that cleared that up. Little else to say.

Trains or telephones. Or just plain Jesus.