Live Performance of the Week: “Badge” by Eric Clapton

Some call him “Slowhand.” Others simply refer to him as “God.” All nicknames aside, music fans know Eric Clapton as one of the greatest guitarists to ever walk upon this earth.

In this 1977 performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test, Clapton and his band pull out a Cream classic from “Goodbye,” the supergroup’s 1969 farewell album. He even manages to work the word “badge” into the lyrics. The original song was not so. Frustrated by the hostility between bandmates Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Clapton sought help with the composition of “Badge” from best friend George Harrison, whose poor handwriting led Clapton to misread “bridge” as “badge.” The name stuck.

The two musicians shared similar taste in music as well as women–Clapton would go on to steal Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd in 1979 after nearly a year of secret courtship. But Boyd also had an affair with Ronnie Wood, and Harrison with bandmate-in-law Maureen Starkey, so it seems that it all evens out in the end. Still, it is always better to focus on a virtuoso’s musical achievements over his personal life. So please, enjoy the clip and try not to cheat on your spouse in the meantime


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