Interview: George Terry (Eric Clapton, Freddie King, Bee Gees, solo)

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HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: June 2011. We had the great honour to talk with a great guitarist, George Terry. He played with Eric Clapton from 1974-1979 and they made together many classic albums as “461 Ocean Boulevard”, “Slowhand”, “Backless”, “E.C was Here” and others. There you can find his own compositions too. He has also played with legendary blues guitarist Freddie King, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker and Bee Gees. His latest release was 2004’s “Guitar Drive” album. Read below the interesting things he told us.


In 2004 you released “Guitar Drive” album. What is a difficult process to record it?

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Because I did all the instruments, I had to do them one at a time. The hardest part was the drums because I did them first.


Are you satisfied by the feedback you got for “Guitar Drive” from fans and press? Will it be a second one?

So far everyone has liked at least one song from “Guitar Drive” and since I wrote them all, that is the greatest complement I could receive. I am very grateful for that.


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Are you doing any songwriting/recording sessions this period?

I am constantly writing songs and have at least twenty that I’m recording. There are quite a few songs other than those on “Guitar Drive” you can listen to and download on my website under “The Store/Downloads”… The preview listen is available for free.


Do you remember how it happened to get Clapton to listen to Bob Marley and record “I Shot the Sheriff”? Which was his first reaction?

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I gave Eric the record “Burnin” that had “I Shot The Sheriff” on it and did my best “hype” on Reggae music telling him to play along and have fun… During our jam sessions at Criteria Studios in Miami, I would kick off the Reggae groove. To this day he doesn’t think we did justice to the song, but I say… our version made Bob Marley a legend… and Mr. Davis shot the Deputy  (ed: he refers to the song’s lyrics).


With Eric Clapton in the ‘70s you created some of the best albums in music history. Had you realised that your music will be timeless or you treated it as something normal?

All music is timeless when it’s written and performed with feeling and skill.


How is Eric as a collaborator and person?

That would depend on his mood and motivation. Just like me.


You played in Freddie King’s “Burglar” album in 1974. How terrifying was it to play with such a blues legend?

I figured that anyone who wears pictures of girls on his pants was into good times. Besides, I wore pictures of girls on my shirts…


You had a long collaboration with Bee Gees. Did you enjoy your work with them? Were you familiar with their music?

Doing studio projects with them, especially Barry, was very inspirational to me as a songwriter. There was an infinite amount of thought that went into each piece of music created. And these days nobody gets too much Heaven anymore…


Do you miss the old friends you meet during your career and they aren’t still among us: Carl Radle, Freddie King, Tom Dowd (Cream engineer, Eric Clapton producer) and others?

Of course I miss them, but the World misses them even more.


You have played with almost everyone. Is there anyone you’d like to play with and hasn’t happened yet?

After all is said and done, it’s the songwriters I would most wish to perform with… and at the top of the list is Paul McCartney.


Do you think Joe Bonamassa is the most talented musician of our days? Are you aware of his works?

I met Joe when he was a kid and we even played onstage together several times. He has turned into a great performer… both in singing and on guitar. I’m not aware of his songwriting, how about you? (ed: I’ve seen him live, he’s a phenomenon and his albums are great!”


Have you ever been in Greece? Send a message to Greek listeners.

No, I’ve never been blessed with a visit to Greece. To actually be there, in the cradle of civilization, would be amazing…


A big THANK YOU to George Terry.

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