ERIC CLAPTON PERFORMS FIRST ELECTRIC VERSION OF 'LAYLA' IN YEARS, JAMS WITH JOHN MAYER

April 15, 2019
Musician Eric Clapton performs at The Forum on September 18, 2017

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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Eric Clapton shocked fans on Saturday night (April 13th) with his first full band electric version of "Layla" in years. Clapton, who kicked off a five-night run at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan Arena, performed the 1970 classic written about his long-unrequited love for George Harrison's then-wife Pattie Boyd, who eventually married Clapton in 1979. Since its 1991 Grammy Award-winning slow blues reworking as featured on Unplugged, "Layla" has usually been performed in its revamped acoustic version in concert.

The fan site WheresEric.com reported that highlights in the 16-song Tokyo set featured John Mayer hopping onstage for the evening's encore of "Cocaine" -- and a 30th anniversary tip of the hat to Clapton's 1989 classic album Journeyman with the set's opening number "Pretending" and two more tunes from the collection -- "Running On Faith" and the Bo Diddley cover "Before You Accuse Me" making their way back into "Slowhand's" setlist. Also of note was the rarity "Wanna Make Love To You," an outtake from 1986's August which was eventually released on the 1988 Crossroads box set. Clapton last performed the track live back in 1989.

SIDE NOTES

Last month, Eric Clapton announced the fifth installment of the Crossroads Guitar Festival. The Festival, which has become legendary in its own right for hosting performances and impromptu collaborations from the world’s most legendary guitar players, is set to take place on September 20th and 21st in the city that hosted the first-ever Festival -- Dallas, Texas.

The Crossroads Guitar Festival has been held every three years since 2004 to raise funds for the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and education facility that Clapton founded in 1998 to help people suffering from chemical dependency.

In addition to Clapton, the musicians appearing at the 2019 event include Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh, Jonny Lang, Bonnie Raitt, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II, Jerry Douglas, Jimmie Vaughan, Keb Mo, Albert Lee, Andy Fairweather Low, Billy Gibbons, Jerry Douglas, Gary Clark Jr., Robert Cray, and Los Lobos, among others. For more info, log on to: http://www.crossroadsguitarfestival.com/

CHECK IT OUT: Eric Clapton on April 13th, 2019 performing "Layla" live in Tokyo"

CHECK IT OUT: Eric Clapton with John Mayer on April 13th, 2019 performing "Cocaine" live in Tokyo"