Legendary guitarist Walter Trout spoke in the recent interview with Ultimate Guitar’s David Slavkovic and mentioned the unknown conversation he had with John Mayall, which changed his musical career forever.

Back in these days, John was working with one of the iconic guitarists in the world, Eric Clapton, and these two legends parted ways in 1966.

After some years, John decided to add Walter Trout to his project and wanted to see what he is capable of. However, things didn’t go well as he though in the first place. Walter played just like Eric Clapton while they were playing the ‘Beano’ album and didn’t even miss a single one from Eric’s notes.

However, John wanted to talk with Walter privately on the backstage and said to John that he needs to play with his own style. John mentioned that he loves the way how John plays and if he wanted Eric, he would bring him instead of Walter.

Walter revealed that this moment of his life was one of the biggest milestones of his career because it pushed Walter to improve himself as a musician and developped his own music style.

Ultimate Guitar asked:

“…You went on to join John Mayall’s band, continuing the tradition of amazing guitar players in the group. Of course, one of the most famous members of his band was Eric Clapton. How did it feel like taking a spot that once belonged to him, and has Clapton’s playing and music influenced you as a musician?”

Walter Trout replied:

“I was incredibly influenced by the John Mayall ‘Beano’ album that featured Eric Clapton, but it was probably the thought of stepping in the shoes of Peter Green that most intimidated me.

He has such emotional, expressive power in his playing and I am a massive fan of his. My very first night playing with John on stage, we did some of the songs off of the ‘Beano’ album and I played Clapton’s solos note for note.

I thought that was what John would want. After the show, he asked me to come to his room for a talk.

He said to me: ‘If I had wanted Eric Clapton, I would have called him. I love the way you play and that’s why I hired you. So I want to hear what Walter Trout can add to these songs.’

This freed me to play and to grow and to expand and develop my own style. And it was a major turning point in my musical education.”

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