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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.If you Google a photo of a vintage Jazz II, you’ll probably notice that almost every single guitar has uniquely shaped inlays, while Eric’s Kay has simple block inlays.Eric’s first guitar was an acoustic Hoyer – which he got as a present for his 13th birthday.
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.
Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945 in Surrey, England.
Being the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he is ranked among the greatest rock and roll guitarists of all time (he ranked 2nd on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and 4th in Gibson’s Top 50 Guitarists of All Time).
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In his autobiography book Eric also talked a bit about the guitar, mentioning that what he was really after was the Gibson ES-335 – which he would acquire later on while playing with the Yardbirds.[Eric Clapton: Blues Power; Guitar World.com] In the quote below Clapton notes again that he would often break his strings while playing on the Tele, and how that eventually played a role in him acquiring the nickname “Slowhand”.This statement however makes the quote above a bit confusing, since he mentioned moving from Gibson to the Tele, while below he mentiones that he had the Tele from the day one.[For Your Love (album) – Wikipedia] (When asked which guitar he used on Yardbirds recordings:) I think the Tele.Or the Gibson, but more likely the Tele, because I remember breaking strings a lot, and that’s why I moved to the Tele.(Jeff Beck:) We were on the road constantly and I didn’t even have my own guitar.I [initially] used Eric’s red Tele, which I think belonged to the Yardbirds.[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).The Gibson would have cost over a hundred pounds then I think, well beyond our reach, while the Kay cost only ten pounds, but still seemed quite exotic. The only thing that wasn’t quite right with it was the color.Though advertised as Sunburst, which would have been a golden orange going to dark red at the edges, it was more yellowy, going to a sort of pink, so as soon as I got it home, I covered it with black Fablon.