Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek & the Dominos

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek & the Dominos

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek & the Dominos

by Jan Reid

Rodale, 174 pp., $16.95

"Every young man has a Layla in his life," writes Jan Reid, "or failing that, in his imagination." That Eric Clapton's was the wife of his best friend George Harrison, about whom the Beatle wrote "Something," forced God's own guitarist to mask his shrieks of desire in the name of an ancient Bedouin heroine. And opiates. ("They left large bags of heroin and cocaine lying around.") Like the harrowing classic rock staple itself, Austin's Redneck Rock biographer rips into the legend of 1970's Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs with all the grinning gusto of Duane Allman's impromptu, seven-note intro to the title track. Reid's lean, gutsy prose locks down a rhythm akin to a John Ford Western, at whose heart are four Southern boys conducting Clapton's open-heart surgery. Two died prematurely, one murdered his mother, and Layla's compositional catalyst – Bobby Whitlock – just pulled into River City. On your knees.

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  • Keep on Growing

    Derek's main Domino Bobby Whitlock settles in his legend in Austin

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