May 122009
 


Here’s a little game I’d like to try out, without having put a great deal of thought into it to ensure its chances of success. In other words, I ask you to cut me a break in advance, if this turns out to be a terrible idea.

A Townsperson will suggest a guest musician on a noted artist’s record, such as Eric Clapton playing on The Beatles‘ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” We’re talking actual guest appearances or appearances as session musicians, not a spell when said “guest” was actually a member of the band (eg, Johnny Marr‘s membership in Modest Mouse does not count as “guest appearance”). Easy enough, right?

Then, the next Townsperson needs to cite someone who has 1) guested on that guest musician’s own recording, 2) another recording by an artist on which the first guest musician has recorded, or 3) a guest musician on the most recently-introduced artist’s recording who can be tied back to the previous guest artist.

For instance, in the case of Clapton guesting with The Beatles, the next Townsperson would need to cite either 1) someone who has guested on a Clapton record or 2) someone who has guested on a recording by another musician with whom Clapton has guested. In this example, for instance, Townsperson #2 may play George Harrison guesting with Delaney, Bonnie and Friends, with whom Clapton also guested! (Harrison may have been a guest musician on a Clapton record, for that matter – either direction would work, if this is the case.)

With that move played, Townsperson #3 would need to cite a musician who has 1) guested with Harrison, 2) guested with another musician with whom Harrison has also guested (eg, Clapton!), or 3) guested with the most recently-introduced artist in this tangled web, Delaney, Bonnie and Friends.

Got me? I’ll tell you what, to make sure you’ve got me, let’s say those first two moves have been played and the first Townsperson to play is Townsperson #3. You may even play that Clapton card I just gave you as a possible answer at your own risk: the coencentric circles of Clapton-associated musicians may quickly become too much to bear!

We may never get off this topic, or we may throw up our hands and determine it’s time to put a halt to these proceedings in the Halls of Rock. Godspeed, Townspeople!

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  21 Responses to “Six Degrees of Guest Musicians: Beginning With The Beatles/Clapton Connection”

  1. I’ll start. Jools Holland played piano on George Harrison’s Brainwashed album. Let me know if I did this right.

  2. Mr. Moderator

    Well played, Oats, and thanks for ensuring an early exit from an endless loop of Clapton-associated guest musicians (not that we won’t end up back in that pool at some point)!

    So, to be clear, the next move will involve a Townsperson citing one of the following:

    1) A musician who has guested with Holland in some capacity (eg, Squeeze)

    2) Another musician who has guested on a record with whom Holland has also guested

    Should a new artist altogether be introduced, then that option will be available as a link to the next contestant.

  3. When you say “Another musician who has guested on a record with whom Holland has also guested” do you literally mean “record” or do you mean song. If Holland guested on cut one on The Eponymous Album and musician B on cut two on the same album, is that enough? Or must they both be on the same cut?

  4. So, I could say Peter Gabriel played with Jools on that Big Band album or some called?

    TB

  5. jeangray

    How about this:

    Steve Winwood played most of the keyboards on David Gilmour’s “About Face” album. Jools Holland in turn, played keyboards on David Gilmour’s “On An Island” album.

    Did I do it right???????

  6. Mr. Moderator

    Al, I mean record, as in recording – not necessarily the same record.

    Play on. TB and jeangray seem to be on the right track!

  7. jeangray

    What I want to know is: Did George Harrison ever play on any of Clapton’s solo albums? I’m a-searching the ol’ memory banks, and coming up blank.

    I never could get my head around the fact that they remained friends after the whole “Layla” debacle. They even did a very brief tour of Japan in the early 90’s together, and in an interview I read at the time, Clapton joked that maybe they should add “Layla” to their set list. Funny!

  8. Mr. Moderator

    I looked into whether Harrison ever played on a Clapton album and came up with nothing, unless that benefit concert for Clapton’s junkie period that Townshend and Ronnie Lane may have organized counts as a Clapton album and Harrison appeared on that???

    Sorry jeangray, I had to run to a meeting and only took a glance at your answers. The whole Steve Winwood thing starts a new set of links. We’re trying to build off what we’ve got, and rignt now all have to build around is the Holland guest musician credit and any guest musicians linked to either his role as a guest or albums on which he’s the leader or member of the band with guests.

    Now I’m not sure if either you or TB took us to the next level yet. What we need is ONE of the following:

    1) A musician who has guested with Holland in some capacity (eg, Squeeze)

    If, indeed, Peter Gabriel played on a Jools-led Big Band album, as he might have been saying, then we can move on and look to cite a guest artist on a Gabriel album or etc.

    2) Another musician who has guested on a record with whom Holland has also guested

    If Holland was a guest on said Big Band album AND Gabriel also was, then that’s an acceptable answer for moving forward and the leader of the Big Band in question would be a newly added avenue for linking guest musicians. (See the third possible criteria, below, which won’t be applicable if using criterion 1 to move the game forward.)

    Should a new artist altogether be introduced, then that option will be available as a link to the next contestant.

    I hope this is clear. TB – or anyone – once you clear up how Gabriel fits into the Holland equation we can move forward.

  9. Peter Gabriel appeared on the Jools Holland album called Jools and Friends or whatever. This may not count at all since it was an entire record of collaborations/duets. I suppose I was just trying to steer clear of the Clapton game.

    If it does count, then I’ll throw Kate Busch out there as the next artist as she appeare on Peter Gabriel’s album So.

    If it doesn’t count, then screw it. I’ll jump in later.

    TB

  10. Mr. Moderator

    Great, that does count and, yes, the next order of business would be finding a musician who has guested with Gabriel or another guest musician who has guested on an album alongside Gabriel (in guest musician capacity). AND YOU HAVE PUSHED US ALONG ONE STEP FURTHER BY OFFERING KATE BUSH as guest musician on a Gabriel album!

    In turn, I could get us right back toward the Clapton track by offering the guest appearance by, say, a member of Pink Floyd, who shepherded young Kate’s career and appeared on her albums, but instead I’ll go the Criterion 2 route, and offer Paul Weller, who also guested on a Peter Gabriel album.

    Weller is now the touchstone.

  11. jeangray

    oKay…

    Now I think I get it, and I guess I was onto something with bringing up Steve Winwood, because he plays keys on Paul Weller’s “Stanley Road” album. I’ve always thought Weller had a bit of a Winwood obsession.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    I always assumed Harrison played on “Badge” from “Goodbye Cream.” He co-wrote it, anyway.

  13. Mr. Moderator

    Excellent, jeangray!

    Winwood is now the launching pad for this exercise. Hrrundi, I don’t know that Harrison played on “Badge.” I figured that would pop right up when I poked around the ‘net. Being a cowriter only does not count as “guest musician.” With Winwood on the table there are AMPLE opportunities to pull the Clapton card and get Harrison back in the game!

  14. I’m not sure I’m doing this right but Chaka Kahn sang on Higher Love by Steve Winwood. She also sang on Bop Til You Drop by Ry Cooder.

  15. Mr. Moderator

    OK, so now we need either a guest musician on a Chaka Khan project or someone who has guested on a recording by another musician with whom Khan has guested. You mention that Ry Cooder album, cdm, but I looked at the credits and all the other musicians of note that I saw listed seem to be regulars of his albums (eg, Jim Keltner, David Lindley), not really special guest musicians.

  16. “You mention that Ry Cooder album, cdm, but I looked at the credits and all the other musicians of note that I saw listed seem to be regulars of his albums (eg, Jim Keltner, David Lindley), not really special guest musicians.”

    I just confirmed on All Music and Wikipedia.

  17. Mr. Moderator

    Did Stevie Wonder play harmonica on Chaka’s “I Feel for You”? If so, we can work on guest musicians surrounding his work.

  18. hrrundivbakshi

    Wonder did play harp on that Great track (written by Prince, Mod!). Of course, Jeff Beck famously played on “Looking for Another Pure Love” off of “Talking Book.” We’re getting ever closer to closing that Clapton Loop!

    If you wanted to make things more interesting, you could also choose Dizzy Gillespie’s guest spot on Wonder’s “Do I Do.”

  19. I’m going to mention Don Henley, who, like Jeff Beck, appeared on Roger Waters’ unlistenable Amused to Death.

  20. Harrison did play on Badge. I think he was credited as El Mysterioso or something. The arpeggiated part through a Leslie. Pretty obvious if you give it a listen.

  21. Are you counting the Dizzy suggestion? If not, I will mention Jeff Beck playing on “Contusion” on “Songs in the key of life”.

 
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