It’s almost impossible for me to explain to people the immense joy I get from the first five seconds of the song “Layla.”
And for 30-plus years, I can’t crank it up fast enough. I like the blues, especially Howlin’ Wolf and Jimi Hendrix. But I love blues-based rock & roll. It was Muddy Waters who wrote, “The blues had a baby and they named it rock & roll!”
For me, there needs to be a little swing, not just stomp. And that double-guitar shit, Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, makes me harder than frozen cod. I love all of the usual suspects—Zeppelin, Stones, and also the entire Derek & the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs from whence come those five seconds.
I think almost everyone knows the backstory to "Layla": Eric Clapton was madly in love with his best friend’s (George Harrison) wife. The pain and guilt reek throughout the entire album.
At Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where so many of the best albums were made, Clapton runs into Duane Allman and invites him to play on the album. The rest is history, as they say: a blues-based rock & roll masterpiece.