Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: SlowhandReleased: 1977Charted:
This jaunty tune is one of Clapton's biggest American hits. He wrote it in the style of one of his favorite songwriters, the Oklahoma musician J.J. Cale (Clapton said the song was "as close as an Englishman could get to being J.J. Cale). The B-side of the single was Clapton's cover of Cale's song "Cocaine
In this song, Clapton tries to convince a girl to hang out with him in bed instead of leaving. The song is not typical of Clapton's work, which is often based on the blues.
Marcy Levy, one of Clapton's backup singers, wrote this with him and sang on it. She toured with Bob Seger before joining Clapton's band in 1973. In 1988, Levy, using the name Marcella Detroit, joined former Bananarama singer Siobhan Fahey to form Shakespear's Sister.
Also getting a songwriting credit on this track is George Terry, who also played guitar on the track. Terry was a member of Clapton's band.
"Lay Down Sally" is grammatically incorrect, as it would mean taking Sally and actually placing her horizontally. When asking Sally to join him in bed, Clapton's correct grammar would be "Lie Down Sally." He's in good company: Bob Dylan also ignored this rule of grammar in "Lay Lady Lay
Eric Clapton once had his hand slammed in a car door by a member of the band The Blues Project. As told in Al Kooper's Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards
, during the landmark 1967 concert "Murray the K's Easter Rock Extravaganza," Clapton, Steve Katz, and Kooper headed out to a local music store between sets and were a little late getting back. Hurrying out of the cab, "Steve was right behind me and as he left the cab he accidentally slammed the door right on Clapton's hand! Eric began to scream in pain, and Steve turned around, ran back, and opened the door. Miraculously, Eric hadn't broken any bones or even punctured his skin for that matter. Steve felt like a jerk, however. Can you imagine that kind of guilt?"
This is the first track on the album. Depending on who you ask, "Slowhand" was either a nickname given to Clapton by the group's manager when he was with The Yardbirds (because of his laid-back guitar style), or derived from what would happen when Clapton would break a string on stage: the audience would do a "slow hand clap" while he fixed it.