The excellent 2010 doc Eric Clapton: The 1960s Review told the story of the guitarist’s decade-long rise. Its follow-up, The 1970s Review, picks up in uncertain times, tracking how Clapton’s encounters with artists like Bob Dylan and the Band led him to, in the words of executive producer Rob Johnstone, “go back to the country” and rethink his sound. In the exclusive clip above, “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?” leads into a discussion of Derek and the Dominos’ album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, and its aftermath.
“We weren’t doing a bunch of drugs during our recording. But if you’re drinking whiskey and snorting cocaine and heroin it’s still going to be in your system tomorrow,” recalls former bandmate Bobby Whitlock. The situation was so dire, label boss Ahmet Ertegun tried to intervene. “He didn’t want Eric to go down that road,” Whitlock says. “But he did, he was already on the way. You can’t stop a junkie. Only death stops a junkie.” Ultimately the band’s partying wasn’t sustainable, and the clip ends with Whitlock describing Derek and the Dominos’ failed attempted to make a follow-up and the drug-induced paranoia that led to the group’s demise.
The film, however, continues through the decade, moving to Clapton’s 1975 comeback LP, 461 Ocean Boulevard, and beyond. Produced by the MVD Entertainment group, the documentary is now available on DVD.