It just happened, and if you didn’t catch it, you blew it. Unlike Hendrix’s original, the Dominos’ version features a powerful three-chord riff, created by Allman, that opens the tune and appears between its verses. It worked. He was lying low, plotting his next move and trying to convince Pattie to become his lover. Let’s do our Sam & Dave thing.’ And he did, and it just happened like that. With that track finished, the album sessions were completed on September 10. “But he was busy with [Hungarian guitarist] Gabor Szabo and wouldn’t be free for a month. They wanted to see Clapton as a guitar slinger, not as a singing frontman for a band of unknown musicians. Derek & The Dominos played their first concert at London’s Lyceum Ballroom on June 14, 1970 as part of a U.K. summer tour. “It was a cordial friendship,” Whitlock explains, “’cause Bonnie and Delaney had him completely cornered. Delaney & Bonnie and Friends proved an even more potent act onstage than on record. By then, Delaney & Bonnie’s troupe had expanded to include several more musicians, including Whitlock, former Traffic guitarist Dave Mason, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon, then one of the most popular session drummers of the period, with credits that included the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Mason Williams’ “Classical Gas,” several albums by the Monkees and the just-released Crosby, Stills & Nash album. The spontaneity of that whole session was absolutely frightening.”. The album re-entered the U.S. charts in 1972, 1974 and 1977. Our names got in the way - all that supergroup hype. One thing the sessions weren’t was very loud. Most noteworthy, Clapton’s uptempo cover of Cale’s “After Midnight” became a hit when it was released as a single in October 1970 and would serve as the guitarist’s signature tune over the next two decades. The songs were tracked live in the studio in a matter of one or two takes, and in essentially the same order that they appear on the album. And it’s real. The two recorded their Sam & Dave-style vocals live, occasionally singing slightly off mic, a tendency that carried through the album’s sessions and enhanced its sometimes rough, live-in-the-studio feel. “We all went through it. “It was something I had to go through,” Whitlock told author Jan Reid. I recall an interview with Duane whereby he mentioned doing Syracuse and Tampa only. Keltner had preceded Jim Gordon as Delaney & Bonnie’s drummer. Working with skilled, seasoned American musicians, none of whom were known to audiences on either side of the Atlantic, Clapton could slip undetected into record bins, charts and venues. He joined up as one of their Friends for the 1969 followup, The Original Delaney & Bonnie, popularly known by its subtitle, Accept No Substitute. He departed in early 1970 during the making of To Bonnie from Delaney, an album helmed by future Layla producer Tom Dowd and featuring an appearance by Duane Allman, who would soon be making his way into Whitlock’s world. “‘I Looked Away’ was the very first one,” Whitlock says. Years later I quite appreciated the whole Delaney & Bonnie & Friends/Leon Russell feel, and admittedly this show was spectacular despite walking in as a Toe Fat fan. However, the tide would turn on the album in the years since its release, finally earning the love it deserves. This is the only known live performance of Derek and the Dominos with Duane Allman. It was the one time I felt truly privileged to be there, at the right time, the right place, and in the right frame of mind.”. In addition to “Key to the Highway,” the band covered “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out,” a blues standard written in 1923 by Jimmy Cox and popularized by Bessie Smith. The remarkable noise they assembled on ‘Layla’ is a joy when heard in the normal fashion but, when heard isolated, it is perhaps even greater. Eventually, all the Dominos got onboard the smack wagon. The band’s penchant for jamming showed itself early on and resulted in one of the album’s funkiest songs, “Keep on Growing.”. He had Stigwood ring up Tom Dowd, the producer who had worked on To Bonnie from Delaney. “There was no slapback echo, no fuzz tones. “They could both relate through their love for Elmore James and Robert Johnson, and all those great blues guitarists. New York, “I was writing out the chord sheet and lyrics for myself when Eric and Duane were working out their parts,” he explains.