Bobby Whitlock’s autobiography has just been publlished.
Here is a short synopsis of the book:
. Bobby Whitlock comes from Mississippi and as a child suffered harshly at the hands of his abusive father. He recalls the racism in the southern states at the time in candid detail. As a young boy he was sent out to pick cotton to earn money for his family that treated him so badly. He was a country boy with a great voice and a talent for music. He saw this as a way of escaping the awful abuse at the hands of his preacher father. He loved soul music and he was the first white person to be signed to Stax records HIP label. He was the first ‘Friend’ to join the classic Delaney & Bonnie and Friends saga, and recalls this chapter with humour, pathos and occasionally anger.
. Delaney Bramlett died during the course of writing this book and this is the first time that the whole Delaney and Bonnie and Friends story has been told from the inside.
. He talks about how he joined them, living together in a small house, getting a band, moving to a commune of musicians and the funny events that happened there. Recording with Leon Russell and Marc Benno, signing with Elektra records. Bobby recalls the first few album sessions that were sabotaged in one way or another by Delaney. The ups and down of touring with them, their violent fights, the drug taking, sex with Janis Joplin, trouble with Hells Angels, escaping the Vietnam draft.
. Both Eric Clapton and George Harrison were fans and joined their band in 1969. Foolishly, Eric asked the whole band to stay at his country home when they came to England for a tour. They basically trashed it thinking they were superstars. Delaney and Bonnie had every opportunity presented to them to be a huge success. Delaney’s attitude ruined it all, largely due to his abusive nature and a heavy intake of cocaine.
. Eric used the band for his first solo album and flew to Los Angeles to record it. He loved Delaney’s voice and wanted to be able to sing like him. Bobby remembers how those sessions went. A short US tour followed with Eric, but the experience was not a good one. Most of the ‘Friends’ left to join Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour.
After the Friends split, Bobby Whitlock came to England for a break and gather his thoughts. He stayed with Eric at his home and after a few weeks they decided to get a band together. That band was called Derek and the Dominos. They co-wrote the majority of the songs on their debut double album ‘Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs’. It went on to be a hugely successful album. The title song remains a radio favourite and the album is always in the top 100 essential albums charts.
. The thing that impresses us about Bobby is his amazing powers of recollection and great story telling. Yet again, the full story of Derek the Dominos has never been told from a band member. Eric Clapton’s memory of events in the late sixties and early seventies is very sketchy. Many people who bought his biography were very disappointed about the lack of new information on this period. Bobby Whitlock puts that right in this book. The full story behind the ‘Layla’ album is told including how and why the front painting was used as the cover of the album. How the drug fueled sessions produced one of the greatest albums of all time. Their live shows were legendary. Ultimately drugs would destroy the group.
. Elton John was the support act for the Dominos on their US tour in 1970. He proved to be a little too wild and was thrown off the tour after smashing up one hotel room too many.
. Fans have always agreed that George Harrison’s triple album, ‘All Things Must Pass’, is the best solo album by any of the Beatles. Not much is known about the 2 month sessions. Bobby was there with Eric and played on every track. He shares his memories from the recordings as well as revealing who plays on individual tracks. This is something fans have been wanting to know ever since the album was released.
. He was very close to George Harrison, and was engaged to Paula Boyd, George’s sister in law.
. Bobby remembers the tragic events about his band mates in the Dominos, the death of Carl Radle and the declining mental health of drummer Jim Gordon, who killed his mother with a hammer. He recalls in graphic detail the first time Eric took heroin and the effects it had on him.
. After the Dominos split, Bobby stayed in England and took part in various sessions such as ‘Exile On Main Street’ with the Rolling Stones and he has some interesting observations on the recording of that album.
. Bobby has many anecdotes on his associations with The Allman Brothers, Leon Russell, Keith Moon, Stephen Stills and several others.
. Eric Clapton writes a heartfelt foreword.
This will certainly be a must have book for any serious music fan this Christmas.
Order your copy now!
Bobby Whitlock – Autobiography.