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I used light-gauge strings, with a very thin first string, which made it easier to bend the notes, and it was not uncommon, during frenetic bits of playing, for me to break at least one string.
[Legendary Guitar: Jeff Beck’s 1954 Yardbirds Esquire] However, since Jeff was never actually seen playing the guitar, there are some doubts whether this story is completely true.
[…] As said, this was Eric’s main guitar with the Yardbirds, and it was likely used on both the 1964 live album “Five Live Yardbirds” recorded at the Marquee Club in London [Yardbirds at The Marquee Club 1964], and on the tracks that Eric played on “For Your Love” in 1965 (basically everything except “I’m Not Talking”, “I Ain’t Done Wrong”, and “My Girl Sloopy” – which were of course played by Jeff Beck).
That got me into the band, and then we started making money, I found I had nothing else to spend it on but guitars, so maybe once a month I bought a guitar.
[Eric Clapton: Blues Power – Guitar World.com] There are some interesting details about this guitar worth mentioning.
While I was changing my strings the audience would often break into a slow handclap, inspiring Giorgio (Gomelsky, The Yardbirds’ manager) to dream up the nickname of ‘Slowhand’ Clapton.
[I choked up as my guitars were sold, Eric Clapton, Daily uk] After Eric left the Yardbirds on March 25, 1965, the guitar ended up with the band’s new guitarist – Jeff Beck, who used for a brief period of time before acquiring a Fender Esquire.Although released in 1970 it was not until March 1972 that the album’s single “Layla” (a tale of unrequited love inspired by Clapton’s relationship with his friend George Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd Harrison) would make the top ten in both the United States and the United Kingdom.The album, which has received praise from both critics and fans alike, is often considered to be the defining achievement of Clapton’s career.He was influenced by blues from an early age, and practiced long hours to learn the chords of blues music by playing along the records.He used to record himself playing on his portable Grundig tape recorder, and listening to that over and over until he felt he got it right.Although most of the internet seems to agree that this is indeed a Kay Jazz II model, the fingerboard inlays on Eric’s guitar don’t seem to fit the description.