American guitarist who played with legendary band Santana in the past, Neal Schon, spoke in the recent interview with ‘Live From Nerdville’ and revealed why he choose to reject the offer of Eric Clapton when he was 17 years old.
In the conversation, Neal recalled the times when he was a teenager and unveiled his inspiration from Eric Clapton. He stated that Eric was some kind of a mentor to him and learned lots of things from him.
Furthermore, Neil explained why he rejected Eric Clapton’s offer to join Derek And The Dominos’ by saying that he just joined the Carlos Santana and couldn’t accept the offer. Because of that, his former manager took him outside with his hand was around Neil’s throat and swore off to him.
“True or false: Eric Clapton asked you to join Derek and the Dominos? Why did you turn him down?”
Neal Schon responded:
“True. It was really crazy. I didn’t really recall what my ex-manager [Herbie Herbert] recalls, and I saw a program on Reelz the other night, there was a documentary on us that he was in, and he was telling the story about Clapton coming in while I was jamming with Santana.
We were coming up with material for the record that I was about to be on, and he didn’t know at that time that I was about to be in the band, but they would always invite me to the studio to hang out.
And so, we’re in there, jamming in the weird hours of the morning, and here walks Eric. I was like the shy little kid, and I was shocked because he was a mentor to me, a major mentor to learn how to play by listening to all of his records.”
“He sat down and we played a couple of hours, and then he got up and said, ‘I got to get out of here, I got a show tomorrow at Berkeley,’ and I was just astounded and couldn’t believe what was going down, even though I’ve never even talked to him.
Then I went into the studio the next day, and there was a note from him that he wanted me to come by Berkeley and jam with him in Derek and the Dominos.
And so I got a ride over there by somebody that was very nice, just gave me a ride – I didn’t have a car or a driver’s license – and I walked in, and Herbie Herbert was already over there.”
Neal Schon added:
“His story sounds – he didn’t know I was coming. I had gotten asked by Santana that day to join the band that day that he had asked me to go in, right before I was in to meet him.
Eric said, ‘Well, I’m really glad you came. I really want to jam, and I would love for you to be in the band.’ And I was like, ‘Well, I’d love to, but I just got asked to be in Santana.’
And then he Herbie claims that he took me outside and had his hand around my throat and said, ‘You little motherfucker,’ and that I said, ‘Go ahead, call Rowley up,’ and he goes that sure enough, they did.
But it was funny. He goes, ‘What would you like to play?’ And I said, ‘Well, I’d like to play the whole night.’ And so he got a laugh out of that, and he says, ‘Tell you what, let me talk to the band for a second, and I’ll come back to you.'”
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