JUAN ALVAREZ
JUAN ALVAREZ

1977, CLASSICAL GUITAR

Details
JUAN ALVAREZ
1977, CLASSICAL GUITAR
Labelled CONSTRUCTOR/JUAN ALVAREZ/ANO 1977/CALLE SAN PEDRO, 7 MADRID-14 ESPANA and bearing the signature J Alvarez, rosewood back and sides, cedar top, cedar neck with ebony fingerboard, length of back 19¼ in. (49 cm.); the top signed and inscribed in black felt pen For Giorgio and everyone at 'El Gadir' - my love Eric C. 96, additionally annotated with a heart motif, additionally inscribed by Clapton adjacent to the fingerboard "no more tears in heaven" and inscribed by Giorgio Armani in black felt pen ...Giorgio 2.3.01... [inscription indistinct]; and hardshell case

Eric Clapton was seen playing this guitar in the promotional video for Tears in Heaven, released as a single from the soundtrack album to the Lili Zanuck film Rush in 1991. In the video, Clapton is seen performing on the rehearsal set for the 1991 George Harrison Japan tour at Bray Studios. However, it is most recognisable from its appearance on MTV's Unplugged in January 1992, when Eric Clapton used it to play the opening number Signe as well as Tears in Heaven and Circus Left Town.

Clapton also used this guitar for the solo performance of Tears In Heaven at the end of a television special in 1992 featuring an exclusive interview with the British TV presenter Sue Lawley, filmed at his London home. This guitar was also used for performing Tears In Heaven, Circus Left Town and Signe during the 1992 UK Tour which incorporated the 12 show season at the Royal Albert Hall in February/March.

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Literature
WILLIAMS, Nigel Blues Brother published in Uncut Magazine, Issue 84, May 2004

Lot Essay

EC: I used this guitar on Tears In Heaven and Unplugged...I wrote most of those songs on this guitar. It's got a full-length story. There was a tour with myself and Ronnie Lane which was fairly bizarre...It was a tour of Europe on boats [1977]. We sailed around the Mediterranean, and we'd pull into different ports like Ibiza and St. Tropez...and most of the playing was done on the quayside for tourists [although] we had official venues to play also... We had one boat for the road managers, and one boat for the acts... and we'd be playing cards and having fun... When we got to Barcelona, John Porter, who was in Ronnie's band, and myself and Ronnie, were walking through the Ramblas, and we found this guitar stall and we bought three of these guitars... They were identical, all made by the same man, Alvarez. They were beautiful, all made of this beautiful dark wood. Tears In Heaven and My Father's Eyes were written on that guitar, it's got good provenance.

LD: It was a wonderful tour...It had had to be cancelled three times because of problems with the promoter, and it was the time of year when we couldn't get into hotels or villas, that's how we ended up on boats. I remember we did two gigs in Spain - a basketball arena that was a sweatbox, and a bullring in Ibiza, on the King of Spain's birthday... It was a wonderful, wonderful experience. Absolutely incredible.

In a recent interview with Nigel Williams, published in Uncut magazine, Clapton spoke of the solace he took from music, following the tragic death of his four-year-old son Conor in 1991. He spoke of ...the need to heal myself with music. I knew intuitively that if I played it would medicate me...the biggest problem was that I didn't know what to think or feel. I was bereft, and I went into numb zone - which is actually the body defending itself because madness beckons in these situations. So what I did to keep myself afloat was to play. I had a guitar in my hands all day until I went to sleep. And ...I composed. "My Father's Eyes" and "Tears In Heaven" came out of that. the songs just grew out of me. I played them over and over again. And it healed me and brought me back to life over a period of a year or more...
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