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Layla

by

Derek & the Dominos



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is about George Harrison's wife, Pattie. She and Clapton began living together in 1974 and married in 1979. Clapton and Harrison remained good friends, with George playing at their wedding along with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Clapton left her for actress Lory Del Santo (with whom he had his son, Conor) in 1985. In an article published in The Guardian December 13, 2008, Pattie said: "I wasn't so happy when Eric wrote 'Layla,' while I was still married to George. I felt I was being exposed. I was amazed and thrilled at the song - it was so passionate and devastatingly dramatic - but I wanted to hang on to my marriage. Eric made this public declaration of love. I resisted his attentions for a long time - I didn't want to leave my husband. But obviously when things got so excruciatingly bad for George and me it was the end of our relationship. We both had to move on. Layla was based on a book by a 12th-century Persian poet called Nizami about a man who is in love with an unobtainable woman. The song was fantastically painful and beautiful. After I married Eric we were invited out for an evening and he was sitting round playing his guitar while I was trying on dresses upstairs. I was taking so long and I was panicking about my hair, my clothes, everything, and I came downstairs expecting him to really berate me but he said, 'Listen to this!' In the time I had taken to get ready he had written "Wonderful Tonight."
I was a bit more hurt when Eric wrote Old Love (1989). The end of a relationship is a sad enough thing, but to then have Eric writing about it as well. It makes me more sad, I think, because I can't answer back."
Clapton was seeing Pattie Harrison and deeply in love with her when he wrote this. A lot of people knew about the affair, since it wasn't easy for someone as famous as Clapton to keep a secret. Bobby Whitlock, who was in the band and good friends with both Harrison and Clapton, explains:
"I was there when they were supposedly sneaking around. You don't sneak very well when you're a world figure. He was all hot on Pattie and I was dating her sister. They had this thing going on that supposedly was behind George's back. Well, George didn't really care. He said, 'You can have her.' That kind of defuses it when Eric says, 'I'm taking your wife' and he says, 'Take her.' They got married and evidently, she wasn't what he wanted after all. The hunt was better than the kill. That happens, but apparently Pattie is real happy now with some guy who's not a guitar player. Good for her and good for Eric for moving on with his life. George got on with his life, that's for sure."
The lyrics are based on the book by Persian poet Nizami, Layla and Majnun, about a man in love with a woman who cannot have her because her parents object. When they cannot be together, he goes insane. Clapton's situation with Pattie was different, but he liked the title and the theme of unattainable love.
Duane Allman came up with the famous guitar riff and played lead with Clapton. The riff was based on one Albert King played on his song "As The Years Go Passing By," but considerably sped up.

Allman ended up playing on the album through good timing and a mutual admiration between he and Clapton. Tom Dowd was producing the Allman Brothers' album Idlewild South at Criteria Studios in Miami when he got the call that Clapton would like to book time with his new band. Duane was a huge fan of Clapton, and when the Allman Brothers played a show in Miami on August 26, 1970, it was when Derek and the Dominos were recording with Dowd at Criteria. Duane called to see if he could stop by after the gig, and Clapton decided to bring his band to the show. At the show, Duane froze up when he saw Clapton near the stage, but the admiration was mutual, and Clapton arranged for Duane to keep coming by and help with the album. Duane would fly in between Allman Brothers shows, and after recording a few songs with Derek and the Dominos, he worked with them on "Layla" the final day of the recording sessions: September 9th.
An edited version was released as a single in 1971. it ran 2:43 and flopped on the charts. The full, 7:10 version was released a year later and became one of the most famous songs in Rock history. Allman's death in a motorcycle accident in October, 1971 helped renew interest in the song.
Clapton went into a drug-filled depression when the single tanked in 1971. He couldn't understand why it wasn't a hit. The record company did very little to advertise the album, figuring any project with Clapton would get plenty of publicity. It eventually did, and the record company made out very well.
Derek and the Dominos formed after Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon worked on George Harrison's first post-Beatles album, All Things Must Pass. They got together at Clapton's house in England and started writing songs and playing small clubs. Bobby Whitlock explains:
"We toured all over England. We did a club tour, and no ticket was over a pound. It was all word of mouth. We played the Speakeasy in London and The Marquee Club, then we played some really funky places up in Nottingham and Plymouth and Bornmouth - we went all over Great Britain. Here we were, these so called "big rock stars," and we were playing these funky places that would hold like 200 people. Of course, people were jam packed and spilling out on the streets and stuff. It was pretty wild, it was a great time. We did this one tour, we rode around in Eric's Mercedes. We were all crammed in one car. The second time we went out in Great Britain, we upscaled it. We played small concert venues - Royal Albert Hall and places like that. We went down to Miami, recorded the Layla album and went on tour in the United States. We preceded the record for the most part. All Things Must Pass Came Out, it was a big record, "My Sweet Lord" was #1. We were on the road in the United States, George was playing all over. We were all over the radio with our playing with George, and the album Layla - nobody could get it."
The group did a lot of drugs while they were recording the album - there's even a picture as part of the album art of Duane making a phone call, which Whitlock says was to score drugs from Georgia. While drugs led to a lot of problems down the line for the band and most of their members, it didn't hurt their performance on the album - Clapton even said that the drugs may have helped the recording process.
In her 2007 book Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, Pattie Boyd wrote: "We met secretly at a flat in South Kensington. Eric Clapton had asked me to come because he wanted me to listen to a new number he had written. He switched on the tape machine, turned up the volume and played me the most powerful, moving song I had ever heard. It was Layla, about a man who falls hopelessly in love with a woman who loves him but is unavailable. He played it to me two or three times, all the while watching my face intently for my reaction. My first thought was: 'Oh God, everyone's going to know this is about me.'

I was married to Eric's close friend, George Harrison, but Eric had been making his desire for me clear for months. I felt uncomfortable that he was pushing me in a direction in which I wasn't certain I wanted to go. But with the realization that I had inspired such passion and creativity, the song got the better of me. I could resist no longer."
Clapton's affair with Patti Harrison wasn't a big concern with the band. Says Whitlock, "It was nobody's business. They were adults making adult, life-altering decisions."
At the end of the song, Dwayne Allman produced the "crying bird" sound with his guitar while Clapton played acoustic. It was a tribute to Charlie Parker, a jazz legend known as "bird."
The piano piece at the end was edited on a few weeks later. Drummer Jim Gordon came up with it as a solo project and had to be convinced to use it on "Layla." Gordon was one of the most successful session drummers of the late 1960s and early 1970s, playing on many classic albums of the time. Sadly, in the mid 1970s, severe psychological problems began to manifest in Gordon's behavior. He complained of hearing voices, especially the voice of his mother. By the late '70s, Gordon's mental difficulties - later diagnosed as acute paranoid schizophrenia - had ruined his musical career. In 1983, Gordon brutally murdered his own mother using a claw hammer. The insanity defense having been narrowed in California, Gordon was convicted of second-degree murder in 1984 and sentenced to 16 years to life. If he ever gets out of jail, Gordon will have lots of money waiting for him as a result of his songwriting credit on this. (thanks, Dan - Auckland, New Zealand)
The piano at the end has become famous. It was used to great effect at the end of the movie Goodfellas, and radio stations almost always play the version with the piano. At the time, not everyone liked it. Says Whitlock, "I hated it. The original 'Layla' didn't have a piano part. When we did the song, we didn't have a piano part in mind. Jim was playing it, and Eric said, 'What about that - that's good.' Jim's not a piano player. He plays so straight - everything is right on the money. They wanted me to give it some feel, so Jim recorded it, I recorded it, Tom Dowd mixed them together. It's 2 different takes."
Clapton performed a slow, acoustic version for an MTV Unplugged concert in 1992. It was released as a single and made #12 in the US, getting lots of airplay on pop, rock, and adult contemporary radio stations. This version also won a Grammy for Best Rock Song.
In 1985, Eric Clapton played this at Live Aid, a benefit concert for famine relief. Phil Collins played drums during his set. (thanks, Ethan Bentley - Southampton, England)
Andy Summers from The Police named his daughter Layla.
In England, this was reissued in 1982, hitting #4.
The band broke up when they tried to record a second album. Clapton and Gordon had a falling out in the studio, which ended the sessions and marked the end of the band. Says Whitlock, "Eric says it was drugs and paranoia. It was just a lot of everything. We were road weary. We did 50-something dates in as many days in the United States. I would wake up and not even know where I was. They didn't expect us to live very long anyway. We surprised them, at least a couple of us did - Eric and myself. That was it." Carl Radle died of heroin-related kidney failure in 1980. (For more on Derek and the Dominos, check out our Bobby Whitlock interview)
As a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, Derek and the Dominos recorded a version of his "Little Wing" the same day. Hendrix died 9 days later.
Derek & the Dominos
Derek & the Dominos Artistfacts
More Derek & the Dominos songs
More songs inspired by poems
More songs thought to be too long to get radio play
More songs that became hits long after they were first released
More songs about Pattie Boyd Harrison
More songs with famous guest musicians
More songs with girls' names in the title

Comments (172):

According to Graham Nash's book "Wild Tales," Rita Coolidge (whom he was living with at the time) composed the piano coda. Nash says, "Even though Jimmy Gordon got the credit for it, it was actually all Rita's."
- Keely, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Music Fact: Layla

Eric Clapton and George Harrison were Best Friends.

Eric was in love with George's wife, Pattie Boyd.

Layla was the tale of a young man who fell hopelessly in love with a beautiful, unavailable woman and who went crazy because he could not marry her

Eric wrote Layla for about Pattie

Pattie Left George for Eric

Duane Allman played on the end of Layla shortly before he died in a motorcycle accident. Another member of the Allman Brothers died exactly one year to the day of Duane's death in the same spot- motorcycle accident

The coda (piano part) was written and played by one of the BEST drummers EVER, Jim Gordon who seven years later put the claw of a hammer in his mothers head-killing her. He is STILL on Death Row

Pattie left Eric and went back to George!

Layla is STILL considered one of the Greatest Rock Love Songs Ever!
- Raven, montclair, NJ
The original is a masterpiece. Not too long ago I was in KC and hear a bar band cover it, something you hear very often. Did it very well. I would think you have to have your musical chops to even attempt it.

The acoustic version is good, but nothing really special.
- DT, Gulf Breeze, FL
Anyone else noticed that the whole piano epitune concluding this song can be made a song of its own, a tune with the riff and accompaniment of the Booker T. and MG's instrumental "Time Is Tight"? It takes a little imagination, but it would be very, VERY easy to do.
- Drew, Birmingham, AL
Too many girls to count named after it, but was readiung a magazine and there was a teen girl with the name. Likewise, Looking Glasses's Brandy, another big hit of the same time, also brought in a wave of girls with that name!
- Steve, Whittier, CA
Taylor from Port Lavaca, the woman this song was meant for was named Patricia (Pattie), not Layla... Thus, you may listen to it as if it had been written just for you. ;-)
- Cecile, Ch√Ęteaubourg, France
I have been reading most of the comments and find lots of errors/urban legends ect. I fo you realy want some facts about this song, I would recomend getting a DVD copy of "Tom Dowd & the langrage of music". In it you will get the facts in the words of the album procucer, and see him re-mix some of the intro with his comments of both the guitars.
I was there at Criteria and have seen the crash of talented lives thorugh drugs & booze etc. "IT'S TIME to PUT THEM DOWN" smell the ROSES
- CptHenry, Homosassa, FL
Jim Gordon was, at the time, one of the most in-demand rock studio drummers. While waiting for one of the sessions to begin, he sat down at a piano and started playing a riff he made up, just for his own amusement. Eric and the band were stunned - they didn't know he could also play piano! Eric immediately decided that Gordon should play that on the "play-out" of Layla. That's how one of the most famous drummers of the 1970's also played one of the most widely recognized piano solos.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
This song makes me wish my name was Layla. :P
Much love.
- Taylor, Port Lavaca, TX
well,another great southern musician,duane allman,playing a great solo here. where would rock music be without southern rock and southern talent(layla,freebird,etc.)
- lee, huntsville, AL
I LOVE Eric Clapton! This is my absolute favorite song of all time. i have it for my ringtone on my phone. When I wake up some mornings and need to pep up my spirit...I turn it on and crank it up! My children actually love the song even though at first they were like mom who's that? That's not rap. I said no it isn't, but I can understand every word he's singing and then the bulb came on for them. OH YEAHHHH!
- phyllis, Moreno Valley, CA
Shoot, is there any language of the Middle East is which "layla" (or "laylah") does not translate into "night"? By the way, the instrumental ending sounds like an evening cool-down. For such a reason, based on Kittie's insight, I'll bet the "cool-down" ending & the title "Layla" is an inside joke. If I have a daughter, I might very well name her "Layla" for this reason. Best bet I will if I run out of other names!
- Drew, B\'ham, AL
That piano part always sounded tacked on. Glad to see that confirmed. Still love it. Reminds me of the Moody Blues's Question with the middle part.
- Steve, Whittier, CA
This has the best riff ever and it's such an amazing song... One of my favourite songs of all time
- Happy, Sydney, Australia
Where do thoughts originate? Does anyone see similarities between the theme (motif) of Layla and the first movement of Beethoven's 5th? Did Clapton?
Both are works of genius and inspire something undefinable within us.
- Daniel, Stamford, CT
There are a lot of contradictory facts concerning this song. It would be good just to know the facts- it is a shame that we don't have them as it is a beautiful and amazing song. For instance, one Wikipedia article suggests the piano coda was written by Rita Coolidge while another states it was written by Jim Gordon (yes I am aware that the two were dating at the time). Then again there is contradictory information as to whom played the guitar solos (Clapton/Allman) in the song. Many of you commented also as to 'why' George Harrison would want a wife who was sneaking around. Well then again there are conficting views about that also. In Pattie Boyd's autobiography -she mentioned that George was given to infidelty and was obsessed with wanting to become a Hindu GOD or something of that nature. It would be very easy for a woman to feel rejected and run into the arms of another after finding out of a husband's infidelty or when having to live with a husband's self obsessed introspection and indifference. It would explain why George said,'You can gave her'. It was a reactive at best based probably more on his subsequent pride and denial in dealing with his own (weaknesses) infidelities in the light of his best friend's judgments (Clapton). I do love George Harrison's music- and I know that there were times where George was very realistic and moral while other times completely unable to deal with the challenges of stardom- and his attempt to make sense of it all in his searching for a deeper meaning to life.

Nevertheless- Clapton was obsessed with Boyd but his own drug addiction probably led to him not even being able to remember all the details when he was creating the song in the studio. He was also not able to cope with life himself- he was also completely unable to deal with the challenges of stardom as he was self focussed and had a desperate need for validation. It would have been impossible for Clapton at the time to be able to have a healthy romantic relationship as he had some deep internal issues that led him to be highly destructive and an addictive personality. Maybe we will never ever really know all the facts but I hope that Clapton gives another interview someday.
- Elaine Medina, Loveland, CO
The piano exit outro of the song is the only good part. The rest isn't good enough to be a masterpiece.
- Robert, Somewhere, AZ
Weird how often soap opera storylines come up in the history of rock and roll. Famous guitarist sneaks around with his best friend's *who happens to be an ex-Beatle* wife and writes a song about it. hahaha. Nevertheless, a ridiculously awesome song.
- chloe, St. Louis, MO
I am a huge fan of the piano part in the last three and a half minutes of the song. It just sounds awsome.
- Alec Thorp, Yorktown Heights, NY
the riff is one of the most unforgettable riffs in history without a doubt...great song.... y not? clapton's playing :)
- rahul, chennai, India
According to our sources Bobby Whitlock is not a reliable source, he don't know half as much as he says he does. Bobby "The catch wasn't as good as the chase." Eric did not chase Patty, she chased him. Bobby knows nothing of the syndicated crime families connection to the music business, he knows nothing of Erics friends, lovers and childrens, he knows nothing about the music business just because he played a short time with Eric. IMO Bobby was never part of Erics crowd, but he sure plays Mr Know It All. Bobby, "I should know I was there." don't bet no money on it. (editor's note: Whitlock has songwriting credits on much of the Layla album, and he clearly spent a lot of time with Clapton. His full interview gives a good idea of their relationship.)
- Richard, columbia, OH
Duane is the greatest slide player bar none. Derek Trucks has picked up the torch for the abb. This past spring they played the beacon and dedicated the shows to duane;ec showed up for two nights out of respect and admiration to Duane even though Derek has toured with EC; Al from Ohio Duane is not a hack; he is to slide what coltrane is to alto sax; flv.
- francis, new york city, NY
Is it true that they used 5 guitars in this song?
- Liv, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
eric clapton gave all the credit for this song to duane allman, who rightfully deserves it. duane allman and Clapton shared the first half of the song, then after the piano break duane did all of the slide guitar soloing. this is by far the best rock love song of all time, and this is indisputable.
- Billy, Jeromesville, OH
This is a joke, so don't get all crazy on me, guys:
"Sure, Clapton! Steal my wife, that's one thing, then write one of the greatest songs of all time about it? Now that's just cold. Way to rub it in!"

Ok obviously i was joking because harrison didn't even care. Anyways, i respect both guitarists and i think they are great.
Great song, too. One of my all time favorites.
- Ryan, Somewhere in, NJ
Holy cats! but what else can a body say about this absolutely wonderful song?
This one has it all, Clapton's bellowing lyrics, a great main riff, that beautiful piano, and most of all, the late (and VERY GREAT) Duane Allman's heartbreaking bottleneck slide work.
It is really something to think that Duane was pleased to think that Clapton thought he was a good guitarist.
Try GREAT, and likely the finest white bottleneck player, period.
If you have never heard this one, turn it up, kick back, and prepare to get your ass kicked!
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
In fact, even up until the time of Duane's death, he and Clapton had a low key feud of sorts over who actually played the "crying bird" sound right at the end of the song (produced by a slide guitar played higher than the fretboard, actually over the guitar pickups). When Duane gave a widely circulated interview in which the interviewer wrote that he and Duane listened to the recording and Duane smiled at the end of the song and said "that's my bird", Clapton was quick to publicy respond that his good friend Duane "must have been mistaken". I wonder if any of the other members of the band have ever supported one guitarist's claim or the other. Anyone know?
- David, Orlando, FL
I disagree with this "Why on earth would Harrison want to stay with a wife who is sneaking around with his best friend, And why would Eric do that to HIS best freind? It doesn't mean Harrison didn't care about her, there wasn't any point in fighting something that was going to happen anyway. All any of this proves is that Harrison was the better man. I have to wonder what Eric would have done if the situation was reversed. Of course that would never happen as Harrison wasn't that kind of man. Obviously Eric was" posted by wyatt...

Research it a tiny bit and you'd see Harrison was cheating on her left and right. And he was obviously trying to be a control freak by not letting her leave him....

Why would anyone want to stay with someone like that....
- Jessie, Poughkeepsie, NY
This song is a masterpiece, it's perfect. I like it at the very end when you can hear a little birdy chirping...awww. Beautiful song, sometimes instrments speak louder than words, I think thats definately the case with this song. Beautiful man, exquisite guitar, perfect song.
- nady, adelaide, Australia
In response to MOUNTAINJAM:
Your wrong. Duane did more than the last 5 notes- much more. Don't believe me? Check it out at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Vickie, Nashville, TN
One word: Masterpiece!
- Mark, Luling, LA
This song is overplayed. Especially the unplugged version. I think Bell Bottom Blues and Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad are much better tunes from the same album. The local classic rock stations can't make it 24 hours without playing this damn song. Kinda like Clapton's own Stairway to Heaven.
- Guy, Benson, NC
Jim Gordon is not dead.

Duane Allman's slide solo takes me to a whole different planet every time I hear it. There's just so much feeling in his playing, it's ridiculous. I mean, Clapton is "god" and everything, as well as one of my personal favorite players, but Duane's work on this track, as well as the rest of the album, is simply outstanding. He is a master of time and when to put certain things in certain places. It's fantastic.
- Rory, Charlotte, NC
Bryant all music is subjective Keith Richards was around in the early stages of Rock in the sixties /decent riff player; Eddie Van Halen is decent; that Angus Young comment is out of line- Clapton is a unique guitar player his Cream , Yardbirds ,
John Mayall, DATD, SO ON IS ONE OF A KIND-By
the way Rolling Stone rated Duane Allman above
those hacks Young and Van Halen- Allen Collins
would not be mentioned if not for the ABB. Page
is great in his own right but he never had the longevity/diversity of Clapton or the resume of
Duane Allman. - f.l. vena call me @ 914 -966-3300 to discuss- Long Live the Brother Duane
- francis, new york, NY
It's amazing to see all these postings for Layla;
I have and allways will stop in my tracks and listen every time it comes on the radio. I have
worn out 7 cd's of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs over the years. A classic album if there ever was. Duane does not get enough credit for his playing on this album or his place in rock
history; he could blow the doors off 99.99
percent of all the players in rock/blues history.
He played sooo many styles/nuanes on his guitars.
francis l. vena nyc
- francis, new york, NY
Dirk- why to you harp on this slide issue with
Duane- The slide part at the middle to the end
of the song is improv playing on Duane's part.
Tom Dowd acknowledges his slide/lead playing
as second to none- francis l. vena
- francis, new york, NY
Theres a youtube video of EC, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and a ton of other people on stage performing this song. The only way to do this live is with 3 of the greatest guitarists
- Sam, Seattle, WA
kudo's to Jim from Boston Duane is and will
allway's be one of the greatest guitar player's
in history- again his studio work second to none,
ABB simply perfection especially the Fillmore
East Live remastered disc- it sits in the archives of the Smithsoian Museum.Finally Derek
and the Dominoes-flv nyc give me a call to
212-812-9288 xt 103
- francis l. vena, new york city,, NY
Another thought on the perfection and appeal
of Layla ; I still blast it on my car stereo
and young hip-hop kids tell me the piano intro
part is simply beautiful and spellbinding
Layla is truly a classic bar none-flv
- francis l. vena, new york city,, NY
Dirk- your correct the slide parts were played
by Duane and were remixed by the great producer
Tom Dowd who invented 8 track recording rent or buy the Tom Dowd documentary to get the full story on the tracks- flv
- francis l. vena, new york city,, NY
Al from Ohio is absolutely off base on Duane's
slide playing he is acknowledged as the greatest
slide guitarist of alltime. In addition his studio work with Aretha Franklin,Wilson Pickett,
Johnny Jenkins, and too many too mention is second to none. As the founder of the ABB they
were the greatest American rock band of alltime
and influenced soo many bands.Finally Duane was
voted 2nd on the list of the greatest guitar
players of alltime by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Again anyone who questions Duane's ability on
slide does not understand guitar playing-flv212-812-9288xt 103 By the way the song Layla has been with me since I was a YOUNG MAN- about 4 years ago I had my Layla a BEAUTIFUL woman named
Stefanie- I suffered the white man's blues over
her with a bottle of tequilla and other things-
be well
- francis l. vena, new york city,, NY
This is my favorite song of all-time. Everything about it is absolutely perfect. Kick-ass riff, awesome vocals, insane solo, and then the relaxing piano coda to take it home. A complete masterpiece.
- Scott, Boston, MA
As his inspiration Pattie Boyd once said:

" I think that he was amazingly raw at the time... He's such an incredible musician that he's able to put his emotions into music in such a way that the audience can feel it instinctively. It goes right through you".
- Thang, Led Zep, Viet Nam
BRAD, maybe it wasn't a ufo maybe it was a limo, ever had it so good? And maybe your real name is Pattie Boyd and one of your freaky personalities and you like ruining everything you can for the women that Eric loved. I like the song, I like Clapton, I don't like ex wives.
- Dale, X, IL
Allen in S.F., which UFO did you just step off? Wow. Either a real joke, or schizophrenia. I'll let others to be the judge.
- Brad, Phoenix, AZ
Layla said in her interview that she has two sets of twins by Eric. Do people still not realize that she is a real person? She covertly was with Interpol intelligence, so was Eric. She was a top secret pyschic detective that founded her own militia that Eric joined, the fbi don't want her talking but she told them where to go...and shes been talking...Eric don't mention his role in covert operations.
- Allen, san fran, CA
This is one of those songs with a really long ending. Most of them had no disco beat. This is one of those rare instances of both a disco beat and a really long ending. Another rare instance of this is Credence Clearwater Revival's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". "Layla" sounds like a double-song ? a song with an instrumental immediately after the vocal.
- andrew, birmingham, United States
i was named after this song and it is spelled the same way i like the song
- riley, harman, WV
When i first heard the song Layla i thought about me and my boufriend. My name is Layla and its spelled the same way as the song Layla. i love this song and i really like hearing it on the radio. i wish that i could hear it more. i just really like the song!!!!! Layla in Liberty Mo
- Layla, Liberty, MO
EC no longer plays the end part of this song in his recent live performances, but he plays it separately. That's what I've observed. Beautiful melody, man.
- John, Manila, Other
I'd sure like to see this in the next Guitar Hero video game...though they'd probably have to edit out some of the piano bits to keep the guitar as a lead instrument.
- Robert, Chicago, IL
Here's a fact about "Derek and the Dominoes" that I didn't see listed. Eric didn't know if people were buying his album's b/c of his name so he decided to go anonymous with "Derek and the Dominoes" to see if people really like his music. This is my favorite song of course, b/c that is where I got my name. My parents loved this album so much that they also named my older brother Derek.

I wished to carry on the tradition so I used Ray (spelled Rayn) when I had my daughter, after Stevie Ray Vaughan. Unfortunately this great guitarist that truly shared his soul in many of his songs, died in a helicopter crash August 27, 1990, may he rest in peace.

Fact about Duane Allman, aka Skydog, he was killed while riding his motorcycle in Macon, Georgia during a band break of recording and touring. He lost control of his Harley. He died due to crushed internal organs a few hours later. Oddly, thirteen months later, bassist Berry Oakley died similarly only 3 blocks from the site of Duane's accident.

I have never met another Layla that got her name from this song, much less one with a brother named Derek.
- Layla, Van Buren, AR
yeah it's a classic
- Eric, Hastings, MN
OK, Clapton is definitely God. But seriously--somebody wiser than me please tell me I'm wrong about this. There are two slide guitars fluttering through the long piano part at the end. And individually, each one of them is pretty. But the effect of them together is like two cats meowing. They are playing conflicting notes repeatedly... Yes?
- dirk, Nashville, TN
When Eric found out Deby was pregnant by his good friend Carlos Santana it broke his heart so bad he told Boyd the song Deby wrote for him was for her, the song was Layla a very distressing song for her to write Deby told Eric he didn't have any business telling any woman the murder mystery song Layla was for them, and didn't have no business callin other girlfriends Layla. But it was Deby the papers in London were calling Layla his American girlfriend. When Eric brought her a copy of the album she gave it back to him and wrote, "If I ever fall in love with you you'll know because you'll be there," and she drew a heart shape like on the album, I think I read it was a Greek heart but they used it on little notes they wrote and it is sort of incorpirated on the album front, Deby a brunette wasn't to happy about being "a blonde" on the album. When she moved from missouri to ft worth texas of course him and Carlos still saw her. When George Harrison tryed to put the make on her, she said 'oh no I am not going to be another Boyd, Im banging two rock n roll boys and I ain't banging no more!' hello old friend...
- Willie, bootheel area, MO
was whitlock in the movie Eric made in Ft Worth Tx about 4th of July 1984 Robert Cray was there and Mick Jagger and Keith Richeard and rolling stone magazine and ET was there too alot of other famous people. Eric was makeing a music video movie with someone name Layla who was a ball room dancer she was his girlfriend. i dont know the name of his movie but someone wrote EC was here on the building
- Rick, Ft. Worth, TX
to David, Merseyside, England: just to clear things up U2 is an irish band not british
- Nate, Charleston, SC
If you listen to Harrison songs like "run of the mill" you might get an inckling this was coming for a while. Like most Harrison songs it was multilayered in meaning
- wyatt, anywhere, United States
Why on earth would Harrison want to stay with a wife who is sneaking around with his best friend, And why would Eric do that to HIS best freind? It doesn't mean Harrison didn't care about her, there wasn't any point in fighting something that was going to happen anyway. All any of this proves is that Harrison was the better man. I have to wonder what Eric would have done if the situation was reversed. Of course that would never happen as Harrison wasn't that kind of man. Obviously Eric was
- wyatt, anywhere, United States
Classic love this song best lyrics to sing long to!
- bobby, sydney, Australia
Eric ask to meet Debby Hunter in 1969 when she was in Jr High. Right away he gave her the name Layla and ask her to marry him but she told him to come back when shes 16 and she'll give him a kiss. She was a talented singer and dancer that wrote many of his best songs until the 80s. He continued to ask her to marry him until about 2000. It was so private that Eric would tell the media not to make her public thats what I heard in an interview.
- D. K., not listed, MO
When I first checked out this song I thought a lot of people must love one of my favourites. Unfortunately, most of the posts are a tiresome argument between 'Nathan' & 'Bryant'. Describing this song for me I don't think I could put it any better than Annabelle of Canada..."truly dazzling, passionate and exquisite epic" and "fiery, unforgettable riff, pleading vocals and graceful, touching piano coda" and "its bold, honest, innovative, powerful, memorable and elegant". Perfectfully expressed Annabelle, thank you.
- Guy, Wellington, New Zealand
I'm not any more impressed by people who bully each other with music history than I am by people who argue using verses of the Bible. I like to read the Bible, but I don't want to argue using verses against someone to prove how smart and well-read I am. Music is the same way. Use music as you would use religion: it is a spiritual thing, not a reason to argue with strangers across the world!!! People can't even sing "happy birthday" anymore without getting sued, for cryin' out loud! As for Eric Clapton, he is a god. And believe it or not, the person on this list I agree most with is Ben from NY. I nodded with your whole list. That is what music is. That is what a song like "Layla" does to me. Thank you, Eric Clapton, for a song that makes me swivel my hips in a bar and raise my cigarette and my beer in the air and yell, "WOOOOOOOOOO!!! THIS IS MY SONG!!!!"
- andrea, lorton, VA
To clear things up, according to my original pressing of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs:

Layla is credited to "Eric Clapton & Jim Gordon"

Eric Clapton - guitars & lead vocals
Bobby Whitlock - organ, piano, vocals & acoustic guitar
Jim Gordon - drums, percussion & piano
Carl Raddle - bass & percussion
Duane Allman - guitars
With thanks to Albee for piano & assistance
- Eric, Byron, NY
Hey man is that freedom rock? Well turn it up man! Does anybody remember that commercial besides me?
- Darrell, Williamsburg, KY
Pattie Boyd inspired a number of great songs. Another Clapton song inspired by her is "You Look Wonderful Tonight." Also, when George Harrison was in The Beatles, he wrote "Something" and "I Need You" about her. She was quite a beauty, but she must have had something more.
- Mike, santa barbara, CA
And didn't Bobby Whitlock play the acoustic guitar?
- Cedric, Sinking Spring, PA
By the way, I believe Bobby Whitlock played acoustic guitar. When I read the personnel for the Layla album on Wikipedia, it said that Eric Clapton played guitar and sang the lead vocals; Bobby Whitlock played the organ, piano, acoustic guitar, and provided the vocals; Carl Radle played the bass and percussion instruments; Jim Gordon played the drums, percussion and piano; and Duane Allman played guitar on tracks 4 through 14.
- Cedric, Sinking Spring, PA
Man, Layla is such an emotional, full of pain, in your gut classic song. Thirty + years on and it's still as relevant and powerful as ever. Every time I hear that song (then and now) and the others from Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs album,it still gives me the shakes and I feel like banging my head against the wall because of the raw emotions which was so evident thorough-out that whole album. Eric Clapton started Blues Rock (John Mayall with the Bluesbreakers), Hard Rock (Cream), popularized Reggae (461 Ocean Boulevard), showed how the Unplugged sessions should be done, gave a moving, mind numbing, mouth wide-open tribute to the king of delta blues Robert Johnson (Me and Mr. Johnson), recorded his stupendous long-awaited full-tilt Blues album without any overdubs except for two songs (From The Cradle), and brought out the best ever live recorded album in history (E.C. Was Here). One thing that is really far-out with Clapton is his ability to play any songs (especially the covers) to make it sound as if it was his own and own alone. Lynyrd Skynyrd did a live version of Crossroads and it was patterned note for note and sung to the version of Clapton's, amazing. I remember reading the remarks of J.J. Cale (another great singer/guitarist/songwriter)that, thanks to Clapton for making him famous and well-known for using some of his songs, now he doesn't need a day-job anymore. With all this achievements, it's really mystifying how he could still possibly have something else to offer us (some grateful and some ungrateful lot). As Clapton often stated, Robert Johnson has been his most inspirational deity in music and in life. They were correct when they said "CLAPTON IS GOD".
- Ed, Manila, Other
There were SO many great artists from the 60's and 70's but if you boil it down for me, I tend to classify (in my mind) 1. the kind of guitar that makes you want to stand up and play the air guitar....Stairway to Heaven, Layla, Sympathy for the Devil and just about anything from Duane Allman and Dickie Betts. and 2. The kind of guitar that wrenches your gut, makes you close your eyes and actually feel like the guitar has a voice and the guitarist IS the guitar. For this catagory, in my opinion, no one can hold a candle to Carlos Santana....Samba Pa Ti, Europa and many others. He makes his guitar cry. I'm really surprised no one has mentioned him.
I've been fortunate to see the early concerts of the Stones, Zepplin, George Harrison, The Band, The Who (this one was the best) and Jimi Hendrix (in SIC stadium in Seattle..this one was the worst maybe because either Jimi or I was too high) but I really regret never seeing Clapton or the Allman Bros.
Just my opinion. FYI great vidios of live perfomance and improvs on www.you-tube.com
- Judy, Apex, NC
If you wanna talk about great songs, Layla is #3 on my list.

1. Stairway to Heaven
2. Free Bird
3. Layla
4. American Pie
5. Bohemian Rhapsody
6. Hotel California
7. A Day in the Life
8. Won't get Fooled Again
9. Hey Jude
10. Satsifaction(I Can't Get No)
- Ben, Hilton, NY
Am i the only one who doesn't like the piano part at the end? It is so different from the rest of the song that at first i didn't even think it was part of the same song. When i heard it on the radio i always thought that it was a song that they played after Layla all the time (like We Will Rock You + We are the Champions). I dislike it so much that i used my Nero software to delete the end and fade out before it gets to that point. In fact i prefer the unplugged version.
- Brandon, Peoria, IL
This song is great, and their vesion of Little Wing is one of my favorites.
- Ella, Sydney, Australia
I believe that clapton was a great guitarist and a decent songwriter.
- Bob, Los Angeles, MS
This song does kick @ss.
- Jon, Oakridge, OR
Thanks Mick, for informing us and shout out to you Stefanie.
- Jon, Oakridge, OR
Hey Nathan, words of wisdom: "DON'T ARGUE WITH IDIOTS, THEY LOWER YOU TO THEIR LEVEL AND THEY HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE". (I'm refering to the argument with Bryant)
- Jon, Oakridge, OR
Is there any truth to the claim that Whitlock is the actual vocalist on this track?
- Steve, Jacksonville, FL
I prefer to call it an enlightened musical debate. Anyway, the similarity to this song and Freebird is ironic. Duane Allman played on this song and Freebird was dedicated to him by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
To anyone reading this page: look below. A dogfight happened between "Nathan" and "Bryant". It's so incredibly inane.

Anyway, this is one amazing song. Has anybody seen the similarities between it and "Free Bird"? The break, the change in tempo, the guitar playing?
- Mick, N.A., Other
I would have thought The velvet Underground were one of the biggest influences on punk. Any thoughts guys.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
The producer was probably on drugs at the time, not unlike his artists. Besides Duane played slide guitar on this song. I think Clapton only played acoustic.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
But back to my question--doesn't it seem like a producer with any backbone would've made Eric & Duane go back and re-record the sloppy guitar stuff? I mean--slide guitar players of the world correct me--are they not meandering all over the fretboard in search of the right key?... In fact, having two guitarists on slide at the same time is simply asking for trouble. The whole point of slide is to be able to "slide" into the right note for a very cool sound. But if BOTH of us are "sliding" into different notes, we're basically playing three or four different notes at the same time. Play a C and a C-sharp at the same time and see what it sounds like.
- dirk, Nashville, TN
I guess I see your point. Its just hard to believe that you could credit a single band for starting an entire genre. Besides the hard rock scene since the 70's has sucked ass. Sabbath dissolved, the Who got soft, and terrible American metal bands have replaced the terrible British metal bands.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
And by the way, The LA trash metal scene of the early 80's was completely influenced by the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) bands of the mid to late 70's. So there u go again...
- Xavier, Pune, India
Wrong again nathan.. Black Sabbath were definitely the inventors of Heavy Metal(or classic metal) Hendrix and the others were definitely an influence, but calling Jimi hendrix Heavy metal, is like calling The Who a punk band, there's no doubt that they did influence punk, but they're not an outright punk band! Jimi hendrix wasn't even hard rock, he was more of blues rock person (That's great too!) but u get my point, right?? So the fact is that England did give birth to the two most important genres for me, i.e Hard Rock (The Who) and Heavy Metal (Black Sabbath).
- Xavier, Pune, India
What's with the 37 minute opus at the end? I can turn the radio station and listen to 3 songs and come back and it's still playing(?)
- Jay, Atlanta, GA
C'mon Xavier, success and innovation don't mean the same thing. Judas Priest are successful not innovators, same for most British bands. The fact is Iron Butterfly, Vanilla Fudge and Hendrix created and popularized heavy metal years before Sabbath. Black Sabbath is a great band but you can't call them the innovators of heavy metal. Punk was created in New York, it was copied by unimaginative Brits, then mass marketed, and ran into the ground. Thanks England. You probably don't know the Sex Pistols were a rip off of the NY band Television. Malcolm McLaren assembled them as a British response to the crappy music in England at the time, and even wanted an American to be the lead singer. Yes American Idol sucks, but where did that idea get started? Huh?
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
John in Boston--you should be so lucky as to be one-tenth the "mediocre" songwriter George Harrison was.
- dirk, Nashville, TN
Heavy Metal- Deep Purple no?
- Tony, Albany, NY
Hey Nathan, i think u need to get a few of ur facts right. If ur telling me that Black Sabbath weren't the innovators of heavy metal, then u must be kidding me. And later the NWOBHM revolutionised Rock'n roll. Judas priest, iron maiden.. Ring any bells??? Im not a huge fan of current metal, i prefer these classic heavy metal acts.. Also though the new york dolls and ramones may have created punk, but everyone knows who their inspiraion was.. it was The Who. And punk got noticed in the world (USA isnt the entire world!) only when Sex Pistols came up with 'Never mind the bollocks' and the smashing single 'God save the queen'. I dont have anything against american music, but we represent the rest of the world, and nearly all of the people that i know prefer british music. Its a fact. And the current music scene that u were talkin about, sucks everywhere, not just the UK. Even the US hasnt produced any good artistes recently, and dont even get me started on that idiotic thing known as American Idol!
- Xavier, Pune, India
How on earth could Clapton put something like this song together. There is no way that led zeppelin, or pink floyd could even put this together, even though there my favourite bands. Only Eric Clapton has the abbility to do this
- james, Toronto, Canada
I'm just stating the facts Dill. Sorry to have bored you. Anybody think its weird that George and Eric remained friends and worked together, even after he stole his wife?
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
Would you look up "banal?"
- Dill, Alexandria, VA
I love England, but irrelevant is a fitting word. The Bealtes, Stones, Zeppelin, Pistols, etc are creative geniuses, but other than that twenty or so year span England has done indredibly little for music. Actually Xavier, by definition, none of those bands were pioneers in those genres, since pioneers are the first to do something. The Brits just slighlty modified something already hugely popular in another country. England didn't really pioneer any style of music, except Skiffle and Glam . Reggae, Swing, Ska, Funk, Punk, Rock, R&B, Classical, Rap, Soul, Dance, Fusion, Tehno, Dub, Etc were all pioneered elsewhere.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
Yeah the British really did give rock n' roll a boost. It wouldn't be what it is today without those guys.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I didn't say all British bands were irrevelent, just the last twenty years. Even though British rock is entirely based on American music. Led Zeppelin ripped off Willie Dixon(and got sued), and just about every other great British band in the 60's and 70's covered American R&B as well.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
George Harrison - As far as songwrithing goes, he had his good moments. The Beatles were better as a group anyway.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
hey Bryant, I'm saying it now, you know nothing about music...you listen to songs like Layla, or Bell Bottom Blues, or Tears In Heaven, or Presence of The Lord, or etc, or heard the way the man plays guitar, he is easily among the top 3 of living guitarists, can sing better than most of the guys you listed, and wrote unarguably a couple of the most recongizable songs ever, George Harrison was a mediocre songwriter for most of his career, he did have hits such as My Sweet Lord, Something, Here Comes The Sun, and When We Were Fab, but I mean, George Harrison was nowhere the kind of songwriter Paul McCartney was
- John, Boston, MA
By the way, I respect american artists too.. Its true that the 50's American music was a gr8 influence on Led Zep and clapton in particular. But these english guys perfected it! and took it to another level. These are my views however.. Feel free to critisize it... ;) (I know im gonna get a lot of flak for this!)
- Xavier, Pune, India
Lemme speak from a neutral's point of view... For me british music has always been closer to my heart. Face it! Nearly all the pioneers of diff genres were from the uk. Hard rock - Led zep, The who, Deep purple, Queen. Blues rock - Cream. Heavy Metal - Black sabbath, Judas priest, Iron maiden.
Punk - Sexp pistols, Clash (ramones were gr8 too), Progressive rock - Pink floyd, Yes... Also a gr8 solo artist in Ozzy osbourne! What else can u ask for??
- Xavier, Pune, India
I agree with Dave from Merseyside. Nathan is just not thinking clearly. I would bump up Dave's list of the all-time greatest and add the Clash, Pink Floyd, Cream and the Smiths. Rule Britannia! American culture produces great individual artists (Elvis, Sinatra, Aretha, Dylan, Michael Jackson, Springsteen) and the occasional great group. Britain produces the occasional great individual (Elton John, Bowie, Elvis Costello), but kicks tail on groups. ...Can't say why. Something in the water maybe.
- dirk, Nashville, TN
As far as I know Clapton has credited the original performer on all of his covers, which is more than I can say for Jimmy Page.
- Evan, Fullerton, CA
In response to Nathans comment about British music being irrelevent, you are completely wrong, Britain has produced the three greatest bands of all time, being the Beatles, the Stones and Led Zeppelin, and have continued to do so with bands such as Oasis and The Verve, and U2 still have a massive influence on modern day music. All that America has Produced over the last 20 years is glam rock and more recently a load of EMO crap, which unfortunately is catching on in england too, btw this song is GREAT!!!!
- David, Merseyside, England
Does it bother anybody but me that there are so many out-of-tune notes played in the long instrumental second half of Layla? It always sounded to me that Eric Clapton had strapped on the guitar and thought, "what the heck--I've got Duane Allman, the master of blues slide guitar here in the studio with me--I think I'll try playing slide guitar with him." And I'm sorry, but the result sounds like two alley cats meowing at each other. Two of rock and roll's greatest guitarists, and they can't seem to find the right key with their bottlenecks. A strong record producer probably would've said, "you know Eric, Duane--that whole second half of the song was very pretty piano playing, a very pretty melody, and very creative, but let's try re-recording it in tune this time."
- dirk, Nashville, TN
Its 'DUANE' Allman. He only came up with the final five notes, while Clapton got the first part of the riff from a blues tune.
I think there was a story that Clapton walked on stage during an ABB show and mid-solo Allman stopped playing because Clapton was standing before him! Their first meeting I think it was.
- MountainJam, Old Bridge, NJ
Anybocy know who really played the piano solo, Jim Gordon or Phil Spector?
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
I have a friend who absolutely loves the unplugged version! It's her favorite!
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
From the opening guitar riff to the end of the piano part, Layla is a classic rock classic. It was also one of the longest singles of the 70s. I also remember the acoustic version on Eric Clapton's Unplugged album.
- Howard, St. Louis Park, MN
Never mind I did het his name. Jaws wouldn't read it right. jaws is the speaking software that reads stuff to me. I can't see.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
To add to your point Nathon, if I'm not mistaken John Lennon couldn't read music and neither could Jimi Hendricks. For some reason, I can't write an s. Can't get it to spell his name right.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I've had enough of this nonsense. Layla is one of the greatest rock songs written by one the greatest guitarists ever. If you don't respect him because he isn't a prolific songwriter you are probably going to be shocked that a lot of great musicians can't write at all. Including Elvis, Elton John, Roger Daltry, etc.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
Btw, without artists such as Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and Chick Berry, and the American blues artists such as Robert Johnson Rock n Roll wouldn't be here. These people were the primary influences of a loof t of the British rock stars. So they were just as influential if not more so.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I have Crossreoads, and Johnson is creditted as the sole composer if I remember correctly. if not he at least has a song writing credit.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Another side note, Los Lonely Boys have a great first album.
- Todd, Denver, CO
Wow, where to start? Bryant, is that your name? You're angry and take things too seriously. It's MUSIC for crying out loud. Rock and Blues Rock music at that. I will concede that Layla has been overplayed. But to call Clapton a hack? His roots ARE in the blues, specifically the Delta blues of the 30's & 40's, and yes, Robert Johnson. Blues music is not only a style, but it by definition has limitations, which makes it hard to write a completely original blues track. Get "From The Cradle," it's a great tribute to the people who influenced Clapton. As for talent, get the early 90's PBC tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughn, featuring artists like Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raight, Jimmie Vaughn & Eric Clapton. Some did covers covered by SRV and some did originals. But Clapton's appearance was particularly impressive to me because he was flawless. Every note, every lick and bend was perfect and wasn't a Xerox copy of SRV's tune but was still true to the spirit of the song (side note, when EC solos, he doesn't use his left pinky). I'm not an EC fanatic, in fact I prefer SRV, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Lightnin' Hopkins (He was FUNNY), Sun House as well as young guns like Jonny Lang, Johnny A and Kenny Wayne Shepherd for their blues playing. Another side note: Denver has the Hornbuckle brothers, which smokes.
- Todd, Denver, CO
AC/DC is from Australia...and they suck, anyway.



As for Clapton (who has OFTEN said he doesn't enjoy writing songs), he is one of the best guitarists ever to walk the face of the planet. I don't care WHO writes them, I just care how they're played. Which might have something to do with me not caring that Zeppelin did "uncredited covers"of and "borrowed" from a *lot* of material...far more than Clapton's done.
- John, Winnipeg, Canada
Seriously Bryant, did the British even have music before American Blues and Rock got imported there in 1950's? Huh? By the way there hasn't been a decent British band to come around since Simple Minds, so don't feel too patriotic. British music is now completely irrevelant once again.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
yeah until britain got the beatles. but before that we were the awesome ones! haha...
- Jeanette, Irvine, CA
Because I don't have Crossroads, I couldn't find the credits on the internet, or at the nearest store, and I'm so tired of this stupid, pointless, ongoing debate I'll just assume you are correct. Having said that, I'm pretty sure he is credited as a COMPOSER, NOT AS A WRITER. Or maybe it was a misprint, I don't know. For legal reasons an artist cannot claim music that isn't his, or he will be sued. Seriously, do you think that anybody could get away with that! Look at what happened to George Harrison in the '70s with My Sweet Lord. I really hope that America can't produce good music was a sick joke. Where do you think all the good music in the twentieth century got its roots? Do I need to explain the importance of a men named Johnson? Berry? Holly? Hendrix? Dylan? Wilson? Cohrane? etc...........All of which made British rock possible. Before them, all you had were crappy skiffle groups.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
I hope you were making a joke when you asked what music the US has produced other than Aerosmith Bryant.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Bryant: I don't agree that Claptain's a hack, but that's just my opinion, and I haven't heard any of JJohnson's stuff, so you know more than I do.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Settle down people, I wasn't trying to debate anybody, I was just saying Clapton never took credit for work that wasn't his, and he isn't a hack. I wasn't insulting you Bryant, but you can take that any way you want. It should also be noted the Red Hot Chilli Pepppers among a million other bands also covered Johnson. By the way I wouldn't suggest Robert Johnson except those that really love old Rythym and Blues stuff. A little crude, made around 1930's.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
Nathan, like ive stated many times: There is about an albums worth of songs Clapton stole from johnsson, but i'll stick with one you might have heard of, it's called crossroads....

P.S. First of all, I'm entirely British, I just live in Canada. Second of all, what music has the U.S. ever produced besides Aerosmith?
- Bryant, Ottawa, Canada
In an interview with the BBC (i think) Clapton said that he thought he greatest guitarist was steve morse. second of all, who says you need to play incredibly dificult songs to be great. Anyone with a basic knowledge can play bob dylans songs.
- ben, north attleboro, MA
I'll take it you couldn't find any songs he 'ripped off', could you? Maybe you angry Canucks should stick to dissing Canadian artists, all three of three of them.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
You got one thing right Bryant, I misspelled do. I must have been too preoccupied with your rather erroneous statement to spell check. DO you you really think that the fact Clapton was in all three bands and that all those bands were successful albeit a very short time is a coincidence? C'mon! It seems that you have a problem with him taking credit for a song, which one I don't know. If his name is on any song it is probably in the role of composer. For example if you listen to the original Robert Johnson song and Claptons version (actually Cream did that song) you notice he did a few changes for creative and practical purposes. (Artists can take credit as composer, not just as songwriter). So his name is there for a reason. I don't think he ever took credit for that song or any other he didn't write. If he did take credit for something else someone else wrote please tell which song he 'ripped off' and I'll see if you're right. If you can tell me one song that he claims he wrote that he didn't, I guess you're right. If you can't, than you just wasted five minutes of my time. Hey look closely and see if you can find all the gramatical errors. Ready, Set, GO!
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
Nathan... I don't know where to start with you. Least educated rock and roll fan, I sincerely hope you are not talking about me. Three legendary bands, that is true, but I assume you are counting the Yardbirds, and if so I'd just like to let you know that they sucked in the clapton days. They only started being good when Jeff Beck joined, and only hit legendary status in their final days with Page as the lead guitarist. Playing on the white album doesnt help your case. It just proves further that he can't write his own music. Other bands do covers, yes, and I have no problems with that. But when someone takes credit for the songs, and gets famous because of it, that is just bullsh*t. And I find it hillarious that in your last sentence you spelled "DO" wrong. You told me not to embarrass myself, and in the same sentence, spelled "do" wrong. How braindead do you have to be to do that? One final thing... By no stretch of the imagination is Clapton creative. The guy barely changed most of the songs he covered. Now I like some of clapton's music, I have a couple albums. But by no means is he one of the best. Not even close. Ciao.
- Bryant, Ottawa, Canada
best guitar riff EVER. clapton owns.morse is ram
- Brick, Bridlington, England
Travis you are a tool. I never used the word "colaborated" I used the word "STOLE". I never said Johnson was alive when his music was stolen. Zeppelin was accused of stealing from Willie Dixon, personnally after hearing the songs (2 not a whole f*cking album) I think Dixon just wanted money, and zeppelin acted with class as a good musician should, and gave him writing credit. Therefor making it no longer stolen. I dont believe for a second that you can play any of Page's solos with ease, and if you can find me any Clapton solo that compares to the solo in Stairway to Heaven I would love to hear it. Also, if had any knowledge of guitar, you would see that the riffs in a song are more important then the solos. I'd suggest getting out of clapton's repetitive chord progressions and overall boring sound by listening to "No Quarter" "The Ocean" "Black Dog" or any number of Zeppelin classics. You think I don't know my music, F*ck you! You may think you know music history, but more important is skill, sound, and creativity. Page has the edge in all 3, especcially creativity. Anyone who has more cover hits than originals should not be considered one of the greatest. I stand by my "Clapton is a Hack" statement.
- Bryant, Ottawa, Canada
Bryant,i find it hard to believe that Robert johnson colaborated with Eric Clapton on the alblum seeing how he died on August 19th 1938, and if you had ever listened to robert johnson's classics you would see some similaties and some major differences. Eric Clapton wasn't ripping Johnson off he was making a tribute because of his great love for blues
- Travis, Don't worry about it, MI
Unplugged version is great too, but I like the other one better.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
CLAPTON IS A HACK!!!!!! HE WAS, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE A HACK! Layla is the only good song that he wrote himself. He does some great covers (Cocaine, I shot the Sheriff, ect...) but overall is an average song writer at best. He stole an entire album (note for note) from Robert Johnson and took credit for writing the songs. He later gave Johnson credit for a few of the songs hhe stole but still mislead about the creation of the songs saying they wrote them together. This was clearly untrue as Johnson had written, and performed them before he had ever met Clapton. Clapton is a hack.. He hit his prime years ago (a prime consisting of getting away with stealing songs and performing covers) and should have quit then.
***He does not deserve to be put in the same category of the true greats of guitar.
EDDIE VAN HALEN
JIMI HENDRIX(also slightly overrated, but still incredible)
GEORGE HARRISSON
ALLEN COLLINS
KEITH RICHARDS
ANGUS YOUNG
**and the greatest guitarist of all time**
JIMMY PAGE
- Bryant, Ottawa, Canada
duane allman is a legend

just listen to his collabarations with wilson pickett on hey jude and born to be wild

wilson pickett blew steppenwolf to mars with his rendition
- Frank, chelsea, England
duane allman did not die in a plane crash

he was killed on the same stretch of road as berry oakley who was the bass player of the allman brothers

both tragically died in motorcycle accidents - what a terrible loss to music

frank
- Frank, chelsea, England
The song "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd is a tribute to Dwayne Allman who played lead guitar on this song. Allman died in plane crash, and oddly so did members of Lynyrd Skynyrd some years later.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
The riffs and guitar solos in this song, prove without doubt, that the electric guitar is the god of all instruments. It is AMAZING how Allman made his guitar scream, sing and cry. The piano part is good too. I knew the fact that the song was based on a middle Eastern story before reading it here. I asked my mother about the name Layla (she's not fond of rock), and she told me about the story.

Majnun is an Arabic word, it means mad.
- Ali, Islamabad, Pakistan
Quite simply my all time favorite song. I saw Clapton play it last summer and I was in tears.
- Sam, Chicago, IL
This is #27 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
- Ross, Independence, MO
Damn that is one hell of a tite guitar riff
- Zola, Dublin, OH
The title of the song was inspired by a Middle Eastern fairytale, similar to Romeo and Juliet. Layla roughly translates to night
- Kittie, Boston, MA
I love the rock version! The guitar riff at the begining is probably one of the most recognizable of guitar riffs. every time it comes o, you know that the song is "Layla." Sort like iron man & smoke on the water you what is the second u here it.
- John, Mobile, AL
LAAAAYLA. Probably my favorite song. Sends shivers down my spine when i hear the first riff. Amazing. This song itself is one of the reasons why Clapton if one of the best guitarists in the world.
- Zack, Hinesburg, VT
good to play in concerts but I dont sing I play the riff
- Rob, ST Davids, Wales
I love the rock version! The giutar riff at the begining is probably one of the most recognizable of guitar riffs. every time it comes o, you know that the song is "Layla." The piano part is great too! Btw, I'm amazed that Claptain and Harrison remained friends through it all!
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Jim Gordon wrote the piano section on Layla. Evidently, according to Bobby Whitlock, he had it prior to hearing Layla and the song was originally recorded without it. Then they added it onto the song. PS -- Whitlock did not like the piano ending. Jim Gordon is still incarcerated in California -- he killed his mother in 1983 by repeatedly hitting her head with a hammer then stabbing her with a butcher knife. Gordon had a well-documented history of mental problems and a firm diagnosis of acute schizophrenia.
- Andy, Chattanooga, TN
Supposedly it was Duane Allman's guitar work on Wilson Pickett's version of Hey Jude that Eric had heard prior to meeting. Tom Dowd (Eric record producer) took Eric to an Allman Brother's concert and Eric was blown away.
- Andy, Chattanooga, TN
I just watched the Tom Dowd documentary last night and near the end, Dowd sits at the control panel and plays each individual track of Allman and Clapton. It's amazing!!! According to Dowd, the Allman Brothers were in Miami for a show the same night Clapton was to be at the studio recording Layla. Clapton convinced Dowd to go to the outdoor A.B show and they were on the front row normally reserved for security. Dowd says that Duane was in mid-solo when he glanced to the first row and saw EC and forgot what he was playing momentarily. You need to see the documentary. It is truly amazing and gives a great story of this tune!
- Paul, Greenwood, SC
One of the top 10 songs ever...The change is awesome.
- Steve, Troy, NY
Just wondering if any other woman has inspired three no.1 hit singles (Something, Layla, Wonderful Tonight)?
- Charlie, London, England
In Scott Freeman's book, Midnight Riders, he says Clapton just considered the song to be "a little ditty", recorded after most of the other songs on the album were already done, but when Duane Allman heard it, he said to up the tempo into a rocker, then he came up with the intro. The book says people who knew Duane Allman said he would always brighten up when he heard the intro and say, "that's my lick!" but only in private, never in public.
Also interesting, the book says when Clapton played it for the woman it was about, Patti Harrison, he was disappointed, because "she didn't give a damn!"
- Dill, Alexandria, VA
@Al from OH. Ya, Allman sucked so much that EC said he was a better guitarist than himself and requested that he join DATD permanently (He refused wanting instead to hang with ABB).
- Jim, Boston, MA
I really thought the lyrics to the this song were written in reference to Yoko Ono, but I am probably wrong.
- Bob, Norristown, PA
This is the best love song ever written.
- Richard, Herndon, VA
Brad is right that EC did not write "Have You Ever Loved A Woman?" but the way he was feeling at the time, is it any surprise he wanted to record it?
- Steve, Hamilton, Canada
brad from rochestor- Have You Ever Loved a Woman is not about patti...its a blues classic...eric didnt even write it, billy myles i believe did
- Schmitty, Vienna, VA
Charles in Charlotte: No, he did not die. He's in a mental institution (as it says in the Songfacts). Joseph in Manteca: No, Phil Spector did not play the piano break--Jim Gordon and Bobby Whitlock did (as it says in the Songfacts). Now, about Duane Allman: I hate to speak ill of the dead, and I'm sure Allman was a wonderful guy; but his slide playing on the Layla recordings was absolutely awful. He's out of tune much of the time (for example, during the piano coda on Layla). It's beyond me how he got his reputation as a great slide player. Sonny Landreth or Dave Hole--now THOSE are great slide players.
- Al, Amherst, OH
During the Live Aid concert in 1985 Eric Clapton performed this at JFK Stadium in Philidelphia. Fresh from his performance in England, Phil Collins flew on the Concord so he could be at both concerts. He played drums with Eric Clapton on Layla.
- Will, Roswell, GA
"something" was written for Patti. Harrison meet her while filming "A Hard Days' Night" To have two of the greatest loves songs written about you. Harrison and Clapton refered to each othe as husbands-in-law.
- David, Waco, TX
I believe that "Wonderful Tonight" was also written for Patti...
- Jo, Newcastle, Australia
Layla means night in Persian.I'm George's biggest fan...
- Janis, Port Arthur, TX
The Song 'Have You Ever Loved A Woman' Is Also About Patti. It Has Lines Like 'She Bares Another Man's Name', 'She Belongs To Your Very Best Friend' And 'You Won't Wreck Your Best Friend's Home'. Those Lines, When They Say 'Other Man' or 'Best Friend', They Refer To George
- Brad Nash, Rochester Hills, MI
A truly dazzling, passionate and exquisite epic love song aided greatly by Eric Clapton's unabashed earnest sincerity both vocally and lyrically. With its fiery, unforgettable riff, pleading vocals and graceful, touching piano coda (which provides an excellent juxtaposition), "Layla" embodies what is great about popular music generally and the rock genre specifically: its bold, honest, innovative, powerful, memorable and elegant.
- Annabelle, Alliston, Canada
I absolutely love the rock version of this song, the slow one is good too, but the piano at the end makes this one much better.
- Brittany, Wood River, IL
The Piano break is played by Phil Spector
- Joseph, Manteca, CA
i LOVE the name layla. some might call it an obsession with me. the name layla just says so much to me. when i happened to discover this song some time ago, it floored me. my favorite name in the world is a song! i soon fell in love with the song as well. it is truly a great song.
- Jamie, Baltimore, OH
I really love the song "Layla". I thought the electric version was one of the best ever songs and was stunned to hear the accoustic (unplugged) version, but it "grew" on me. I still prefer the electric version but when the song comes into my head it is usually a mixture of the two.
- janet, perth, Australia
Band member and composer of the piano break(Jim Gordon) died within a few years of recording this song.
- Charles, Charlotte, NC
-The piano break is used at the end of Goodfellas
-Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Giles has a copy of Layla and Other Love Songs in his apartment.
- Ethan Bentley, Southampton, England
One of the greatest rock love songs ever written,
from its screaming guitars to that beautiful piano
solo a truly great song.Nothing can touch this for
perfection.



Graham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. England.
- Graham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
One of the most beautiful songs ever written. It is perfect. It has the elements of Legend. Duanne Allman and Eric Clapton were amazing together. What was done on this album may never be equalled.
- Patrick, Durham, NC
When first released, some people thought the piano break was a "mockery" of the Beatles and George Harrison, taken from Abbey Road's medley ("You Never give Me Your Money...Carry That Weight." Only later was this "urban myth excised when it was discovered that Clapton did not have anything to do with the creation of the piano break.
- Tom, Memphis, TN
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