Eric Clapton: 50 years of making friends

August 23, 2018

Ryan Arnold


Eric Clapton was bound to pick up some musician friends throughout his decades-long sonic journey. Some of whom he created music with and others he covered their music and made his own. His musical friends span as many genres and styles as they do eras and ages. When Clapton joined John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers in 1965, Mayall was 12 years Clapton’s senior. He appears on recordings with Sheryl Crow who is 22 years his junior.  To date, Eric Clapton appears on 70 or so collaboration albums. Not all of his collaborations are studio recordings. As we’ll hear on this week’s Friday Feature, Eric Clapton & Friends, many of the most memorable take place on stage. Here are five of my favorite live recordings on which Eric Clapton is invited to play or invites some heavy hitters onto his stage.


Your pal,
-Ryan A.

...with Pete Townshend, Ronnie Wood, Jim Capaldi, Ric Grech, and Steve Winwood.

“Little Wing”


...with Elton John, Mark Knopfler, and Phil Collins.



...with Steve Winwood, Doyle Bramhall II, and Derek Trucks.

“Can’t Find My Way Home”


...with John Lennon, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell (“introduced” by Mick Jagger)

“Yer Blues”


...with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, and Jeff Beck.

“Rock Me Baby”