Beano: Truth or Fiction

major

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Beano. Beano, Beano………

OK, let’s look at the “facts”…….

Well, the first thing we need to do is separate what is “reported” to have been said about this guitar and what has “actually” been said….

With any celebrity like Clapton, much of what we read is, in reality, put together by press hacks, who make a living out of creating a “story”. These guys may well have done an “interview” – but the more sensational that interview is, the more cash they get – so how do we know when to believe them?

And seeing he has been around for some time, some of these “stories” have been around for just as long
On the other hand, we have words that have actually been written by Mr Clapton himself.

So let’s examine both of these…..

The regular story, as I see it most times (correct me if I got it wrong – and some of this is “reported”) is that, prior to making the “Beano “ album, Eric Clapton went out and bought a Les Paul.
He had recently left the Yardbirds, where he had left his Tele, and, because he wanted to emulate his hero, Freddie King, he had gone out in search of a guitar that looked like the Goldtop that Freddie was leaning on on his album cover…..

He couldn’t find one (and knew little about what he was looking for), but he found a Les Paul Standard instead – plugged it into his Marshall amp – turned it up to 11 – made the Beano album – and the rest is history…..

So let’s look at what could be wrong about this story…..

1. In Eric’s autobiography, he talks about losing a “beautiful Les Paul” a year before the Beano album – when he had to hightail it out of Greece.

2. So why, if he had already had one, did he not know what he was buying when he later bought “Beano”…….??? Or could it be that he lost the first Les Paul he had bought (the one that is supposed to be “Beano”) well before the Beano album??

3. The “reported” claim – not his direct words – says: “Beano was stolen during “rehearsals for Cream”, or “Rehearsals for Cream’s first tour”……Now, according to Eric (in his biography) the early rehearsals took place at Ginger Baker’s house. How many times have you been to a mate’s house and had your guitar stolen? The very first gig that Cream did (at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester) was remarkable for how unrehearsed the band were – Ginger Baker (according to Eric) stood up and apologised ‘cause they only knew THREE numbers. – and then they played them again (I know that , cause I was there). After the Wheel gig, they played a festival in London (Reading I think)(still unrehearsed) and then the “tour” continued. So when did all these rehearsals take place? They certainly (in Eric’s own words) didn’t have much effect on their performance….

4. In his autobiography, Eric talks at some length about the making of the Beano album. He talks about amp settings and such – about the reason for reading the Beano comic on the cover – and yet he NEVER mentions losing his “treasured” guitar…. even though he talks at some length about losing the one a year earlier in Greece….

5. All the so –called photographs of Beano are identified, basically, by the way Clapton looks in the pics. If he has the big sideboards and/or the moustache, then it must be Mayall. The guitar he is seen with at that time varies from covered pickups to white bobbins(neck pup) to black bobbins (neck pup). So is it really the same guitar? OK, he could have removed the covers, but did he change the bobbins from white to black? This was a guitar that he couldn’t have owned for more than 6 months… Clapton is VERY well known for borrowing guitars from his mates, Particularly in this period (before he started buying Strats!!), so why wouldn’t these simply be borrowed guitars??

6. We know he bought another Les Paul soon into the Cream days – it was minus a poker chip. So - guitar lost in Greece – guitar bought for Cream a year later. NO proof of any OWNED guitar in between – and NOT A WORD from Clapton…

7. Imagine the situation. You are a Manager. Your band have just made what, astonishingly, has turned out to be a groundbreaking album (there weren’t that many downhome blues LPs from white folks in the UK in 1966). The press are demanding to know what guitar was used to make such a fabulous sound. When you ask the guitarist, he takes the joint out of his gob, blinks his bleary eyes at you, and shrugs his shoulders. You think on your feet – “Well, it was that friggin Les Paul – but what happened to it?.. (we had to give it back) tell ‘em it was stolen!!!!……..”

8. That’s showbiz…………………….

For me, it’s a good story, but complete b*ll*x. And the fact that Henry’s boys have made a “commemorative” is just a joke….

No, wait a minute. They did a “commemorative” for Slash, and that axe wasn’t even made by Gibson……………????

Hello………………………….:wave::wave::wave:
 

kdm

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at least the reissue is FACTION.....
 

So What

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Let's all agree that there will Beano more Beano threads.....

:thumb:
 

Bubbletonic

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Not really sure what you're trying to gain here, it's not like anyone has some secret facts they've been holding onto for almost 50 years. The usual 'beano' pictures are out of the record sleeve as far as I'm aware so it's hardly a huge leap to assume what is implied - that they are pictures from the sessions where Eric is playing a Les Paul with a cream neck pickup. The guitar has a recognisable pattern in one of the top inlays and up until now no one has found any pictures of burst that has the same inlay pattern, so I don't feel there is any need to think that there is a conspiracy surrounding the stolen guitar story.

Either way, no one has disputed that Eric played a Les Paul into a Marshall. Since no one is claiming to have that guitar I don't think any more specific details about which guitar it is matter - as 'both' the beano and/or Glands bursts are missing. Nothing anyone says at this point is going to prove anything anyway.
 

Bubbletonic

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Personally I believe Eric could have played any Les Paul during the Beano recordings and it would have come out sounded like it did I fail to see the importance in arguing about which guitar is in which black and white photo and where and when it was played with what gauge strings at what time of day...
 

Bubbletonic

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I'd far prefer to talk about the 'ghost' solos that can be heard on the Beano album if you listen to the rereleased stereo versions. For example, Double Crossing Time in stereo where the lead is panned all the way to the left. During the lead breaks around the 2:20 mark you can hear more lead on the tapes faintly in the background that made it's way into the mix but is only audible on the stereo re-release and not the original mono. More interesting than bobbin colour.
 

GuitarMechanic

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Yeah no mystery he played a Les Paul on the recording at teh time that guitar was way newer than my 1996 is now so it was probably just a nice guitar not some legendary mythological beast
 

335Reasons

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Eric left with his LP from Greece in 1965 and he arrived in London shortly afterwards with the same LP. That's a fact, if you don't believe me is like calling me a liar since I was there. The Marshall amp stayed in Greece (for sometime afterwards at least…).

About the guitar stolen from a friend's house… Why not? You can leave your apartment door open for a few minutes and shit could happen. You can carry your guitar and gear outside your house/club in order to load them into a van and 'bingo' something is missing! If you take into consideration that most musicians/roadies were 'high' at that time, these incidents were more likely to happen.

Back in 1977 I returned home from a gig at 5 a.m. with my 335 and a BF Bassman. After parking the car I went upstairs and slept. At 7 a.m. the bell rang and I answered to a guy who said that a guitar case is outside the front door and because it had my name on it he thought he would check the names of the tenants and there you are. The guy was working at a Bakery and he had noticed I was coming home late/early before. Conclusion; if you are a working musician you know these things CAN happen. What is so hard to understand? Unless you are a Banker or an an 'Amateur Journalist' who tries to 'stir' things up, are you?
 

major

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Eric left with his LP from Greece in 1965 and he arrived in London shortly afterwards with the same LP. That's a fact, if you don't believe me is like calling me a liar since I was there. The Marshall amp stayed in Greece (for sometime afterwards at least…).

About the guitar stolen from a friend's house… Why not? You can leave your apartment door open for a few minutes and shit could happen. You can carry your guitar and gear outside your house/club in order to load them into a van and 'bingo' something is missing! If you take into consideration that most musicians/roadies were 'high' at that time, these incidents were more likely to happen.

Back in 1977 I returned home from a gig at 5 a.m. with my 335 and a BF Bassman. After parking the car I went upstairs and slept. At 7 a.m. the bell rang and I answered to a guy who said that a guitar case is outside the front door and because it had my name on it he thought he would check the names of the tenants and there you are. The guy was working at a Bakery and he had noticed I was coming home late/early before. Conclusion; if you are a working musician you know these things CAN happen. What is so hard to understand? Unless you are a Banker or an an 'Amateur Journalist' who tries to 'stir' things up, are you?

Hi, my friend. No-one is calling you a liar. I know you've stated this fact before, and I am sure you believe it to be true.

However, Eric, in his biography, says he DID lose a Les Paul in Greece. So are you saying Mr Clapton is a liar? You can't both be right....

And regarding the "beano theft" - sure it can happen that easily. And you'd remember it like it was yesterday. But Eric NEVER mentions it - that is the strange thing.

As other posters have pointed out, it doesn't really matter whether "Beano" existed or not - the fact is that those brilliant noises definitely came from a Les Paul - and that's good enough for me.

I just wish Gibson would stop promoting the myth in order to sell a "commemorative" guitar:):):)
 

Bubbletonic

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Saying he doesn't mention it very often doesn't really hold a lot of water in my opinion. In everyday life Eric hardly mentions Gibsons at all nevermind anything pre-Cream. I've only recently seen a more mainstream interest in the Beano album from Guitar interviewers etc. Eric never mentions the Beano guitar because it's not seen as that interesting to most people. Go to your nearest record store and look for the Eric Clapton albums - I've never seen the Blues Breakers album in a mainstream record store nor have I ever seen anything Pre-Cream on any incarnation of an Eric Clapton greatest hits / compilation CD and that's just because later Clapton history and music is more 'popular'. If you got Eric in an interview and wanted to talk about the Bluesbreaker days and asked him about the guitars I'm sure he would be more than happy to talk about what he remembers, but up until this day I've never seen these questions posed to him and that is why "Eric NEVER mentions it" as you put it - it's because no one seems to ask - They're far too busy questioning him about Cream and later exploits.

There is also the fact that all this happened nearly 50 years ago. Eric Clapton has lead a VERY VERY full life in those last 50 years, it's not like he has sat on his ass and just relived those memories, so I'm more than willing to forgive him if he's a little hazy on the exact details as he's had a few other things on his mind since then, not to mention the drugs and alcohol that hardly help.

Now let me pose this theory and move on - It seems one of two easily conceivable things happened :

1) Eric Clapton left The Glands in Greece, came back to England and rejoined John Mayall and bought another Les Paul upon his return to London which would later get stolen.

2) Eric Clapton left The Glands in Greece and took his Les Paul with him and instead left another guitar in Greece - Possibly another Les Paul or a 1961 Les Paul/SG. I hardly believe a professional musician like Eric Clapton would go to Greece and play in a band taking with him only one guitar. Even amateur musicians always take a backup guitar to gigs.

Then mix in the fact that Eric is 67 years old now and had a history of substance abuse which makes arguing over the small details as HE remembers them seem a little futile, which I'm sure he'd agree.
 

major

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Saying he doesn't mention it very often doesn't really hold a lot of water in my opinion.

That's cool - except that's not what I said.

In his autobiography (in which he mentions many other guitars quite specifically), he NEVER mentions it.

Your two possible theories are perfectly valid. It could well have been either of them.

And so, as I made the point earlier, the myth of him accidentally stumbling upon the ONE "perfect" guitar to emulate Freddie King is just that - a myth....:wave::wave::wave:
 

Bubbletonic

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Well his lack of Gibson toting is his own loss, he's never sounded or played as great as when he he did pre-Dominos, probably never will. I believe he could if he ever plugged in a Les Paul or SG again, but he doesn't seem interested.
 

major

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Well his lack of Gibson toting is his own loss, he's never sounded or played as great as when he he did pre-Dominos, probably never will. I believe he could if he ever plugged in a Les Paul or SG again, but he doesn't seem interested.

Dead right, mate.

BTW, here's a pic of the man with the Yardbirds, playing in your home town - at the Mojo Club on Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield. I spent many a happy hour there in the 60's!!

scan0018w.jpg



:wave::wave::wave:
 
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I just wish Gibson would stop promoting the myth in order to sell a "commemorative" guitar
Like

Eric got on board with the project as well. I wonder what his motivation was? :hmm: $$$$$$
What a crock that whole ordeal was.
 

Bubbletonic

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Dead right, mate.

BTW, here's a pic of the man with the Yardbirds, playing in your home town - at the Mojo Club on Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield. I spent many a happy hour there in the 60's!!

scan0018w.jpg



:wave::wave::wave:

Shame times change, Eric with a thin sounding strat, Mojo club becoming a car park
 

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