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How to Select Great Party Music

Your party’s going good, people are showing up and not breaking anything and it’s time to put on some good tunes. You cruise over to the stereo and fiddle with the controls.
Then, something weird happens. People start mulling around, and the party starts to die. People start leaving. What did you do wrong?

The ability to choose good music for a party is a skill that many claim to have and few exhibit. However, there are a few quick rules you can observe to make sure that your party’s tunes don’t clear everyone away.

1. Don’t go too obscure. Nobody wants to jam out to a song that they’ve never heard before, even if you think that it’s really, really good. The occasional melodic song from a decent band that hasn’t gotten much exposure is of course fine, but if you put nothing but Belle and Sebastian albums on all night, people aren’t going to dig it. Keep at least 2/3rds of the music from fairly popular artists.

2. Mix it up. One style of music will likely alienate part of your crowd, so go between a few musical styles throughout the night. You never have to play country music, though, and in fact, you probably shouldn’t to begin with, unless the party is taking place in a corn field.

3. Stay upbeat. This isn’t a high school dance, it’s a damn party, and you’ll want to play music that conveys that idea. Putting “Without You” on repeat will depress everyone and make them go somewhere else.

4. Play some gay music. And by gay music, I mean “music that makes girls scream when it comes on and start dancing, especially if they’re starting to get drunk.” Guys always scoff and call this music “gay” because it’s mainly found in clubs and sounds less rocking than anything Phil Collins has ever made. But if it gets the girls into it, it gets the party up and going.

5. Take some requests. Don’t hog the stereo, let someone else pick a track or two and add it to your play list. Of course, don’t let them pick anything that violates any of these other rules, but as long as they’ve got some semblance of good taste, you might as well give them a shot.

6. Stay away from cliches. There are certain songs that have no place on a stereo anymore. The biggest offender is “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot, which was a funny song, oh, say, the first time it got played. Another repeat offender is “Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake, but this one also qualifies as Gay Music, so it’s really a judgment call.

If you follow these general rules, your stereo should be kicking out some great tunes in no time. If all else fails, though, here’s one last tip: just throw on either Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle or Led Zeppelin II. Chances are, no matter what party you’re at, one of those albums will fly.

Do’s and Dont’s of Sitting in with the Band

As a full-time, working musician I have witnessed many painful scenes when people in the audience suddenly get the urge to be up there performing with the band.
No, I’m not going to make nasty comments about getting some talent first. There are plenty of musically talented folks out there who don’t play or sing professionally on a regular basis. The problem is those who conduct themselves in such a manner as to not only put off the band they’re trying to sit in with, but also make themselves look like –well, there’s no other word for it–jerks. I don’t think people do this maliciously (most of the time); they simply don’t know any better.

Therefore, I am setting down a few Dos and Don’ts for those who might one day take a notion to join a band onstage and play or sing a song or two with them.

DO: Fit your abilities /knowledge to the band’s style. If the band has been playing classic rock all night, chances are they’re not going to know any jazz tunes. Listen to a few songs first to see if you have anything in common.

DO: Wait to be asked. The way to do this is to introduce yourself to a bandmember on a break ( preferably the one whose instrument you want to play), compliment their playing, chitchat a bit, then casually mention that you, too, play guitar or drums or sing or whatever . If you’ve played out anywhere, this is the time to mention it. Most will take the hint and ask you if you want to sit in; if they don’t, it’s not because they aren’t getting it ( trust me, we all know that hint ) Many club owners/managers frown upon non-bandmembers playing due to the resulting “train wreck” that may occur (unless, of course, it’s their kid sitting in!). If you’re not asked, don’t take it personally. Waiting to be asked also spares you a flat-out and embarrassing “No”. Discretion is the key here!

DO: Have your sh*t together when you are asked up there. Hopefully when you were chitchatting with the band on break you had the foresight to work out what song(s) you all know and can play together. Standing up on stage for 15 minutes of dead air while you go through “Well, do you know this song?” “Nope..how about this song?” etc. etc. is stressful for everyone. **Singers–for Pete’s sake, KNOW YOUR KEY!!! If you’re not versed in music theory, ask the pianist or guitarist to help you find a key you can sing BEFORE you go up there. Jeez, if I had a nickel for every singer that got up there and gave us a blank look when we asked him or her what key they wanted to sing in…

DO: Tip the band afterwards, if they have a tip jar out. Buying them a drink is a nice gesture, but some bands drink for free and some bands don’t drink while they play. Tipping is always appreciated.

DO: Know when to quit. After one song, turn and thank the bandleader. They may ask you to do one more, or they may not. Either way, be gracious and say “Thank you”. That may be the determining factor for you to stay up there for one more!

DON’T: Just jump up on stage while the band is playing. EVER. This is so incredibly rude I can’t believe anyone does it, but many do. Probably because that’s the way it happens in the movies. As mentioned above, there is some pre-planning involved as far as what to play so you don’t have a “train wreck”..not to mention again the fact that it’s VERY RUDE! When this happens with our band, the first thing we do is reach over and turn off the microphone, then end the song. We’re nice about it…I’ve seen other musicians holler “Get the hell off the stage!!” among other choice epithets to stage-jumpers. If you simply must jam along on your harmonica and don’t have time to ask, do it beside the stage while looking up wistfully into the bandleader’s eyes. That might do it. Jumping up uninvited never will.

FINAL( AND BIGGEST) DON’T: Touch someone’s instrument, or let your kids do it, without permission. Picture yourself on an airplane. You’re doing some work on your laptop. The stranger next to you suddenly reaches over and grabs it away from you and starts playing games on it. Or maybe your corporate cell phone is on the table in front of you, and someone you don’t know snatches it up and starts making phone calls with it. The only difference between the above scenarios and grabbing a musician’s instrument is this: the instrument probably cost a lot more than your laptop or cellphone. Like laptops and cellphones, instruments are a musician’s tools that he or she uses to make a living. Running up on stage and and picking up guitars, microphones or horns, or sitting down behind a drum kit or keyboard and banging away while your buddy snaps a photo, is not only boorish and rude but incredibly dangerous. Large, furious musicians and/or club bouncers are the least of your worries. Microphone cords, electrical cords, patchcords, guitar cords, speaker cords and entire scales of major and minor chords are up there waiting to trip you. All kinds of heavy equipment are just waiting for the slightest breeze or vibration from an unknown person’s presence to fall over with an alarming, embarrassing and expensive crash. Let us also not forget just how much electricity is required to amplify all of those instruments, and how unpleasant it would feel coursing through your stagestruck self when you accidentally spill your beer in the wrong place.

It’s not really that complicated. Many working musicians are happy to show you or your kids their instruments, or let you sit in for one–when you ASK. I’ve sat hundreds of little kids down behind my drum kit and showed them a few beats. The main thing to remember here is good manners. Accord respect to others and they will accord the same to you.

Oh, and one last tip: yelling out “Freebird” is neither original nor amusing. Yelling out “Freebird” is pretty much solid proof of one’s dorkmanship. I will not be responsible for what happens to anyone foolish enough to drag out that 20-year-old chestnut. The most polite response to that I’ve heard yet was one guitarist who held up both middle fingers and said “Here ya go, dude–no charge.”

That’s about it; be polite, have your sh*t together, and wait for an invite. Then the band will be on your side.

And don’t yell out “Freebird.”

Six Degrees of Eric Clapton

All the music played on classic rock radio stations are by bands that are within six degrees of legendary guitarist Eric Clapton.

Where were we?

Linda Ronstadt: Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Randy Meisner leave Ronstadt’s backing band in 1971 to form The Eagles with Bernie Leadon. Leadon was in The Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman. Hillman was in The Byrds with David Crosby, who later had a band with Steve Stills. Clapton plays on Stills’ first album. Ronstadt is5 degrees removed from God.

Roxy Music: Bassist John Wetton was in UK with Eddie Jobson, who was in Yes with Alan White. Drummer White was in Balls with Denny Laine. Laine was in Wings with Paul McCartney. McCartney’s old drummer, Ringo, played on some Lennon tracks with Clapton. Roxy Music is 6 degrees removed from God.

Todd Rundgren: Clapton is on the Free Creek album with Rundgren. Todd is not God, but he is 1 degree removed from Him

Rush: Terry Brown produced their first album. Brown also produced Procol Harum. Chris Thomas produced an album for Procol Harum. He also produced Badfinger. Paul McCartney produced Badfinger’s first album. McCartney was involved in the recording of The Beatles “All You Need is Love” in which Clapton appears. Rush is 6 degrees removed from God.

Leon Russell: Clapton plays on Russell’s 1970 Lean Russell album. Leon is 1 degree removed from God.

The Rutles: Clapton plays on one of Neil Innes’ albums. The Rutles are 2 degrees removed from God.

Mitch Ryder amp; The Detroit Wheels: Wheels’ drummer John Siomos replaced Mike Kellie in Peter Frampton’s band in the early 70’s. Frampton played on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album with Clapton in the early 70s as well. Mitch Ryder is 4 degrees removed from God.

Santana: Gregg Rolie and Neil Schon left Santana’s band to start Journey. Journey’s drummer, Aynsly Dunbar, played on Lennon’s Sometime in New York City with Clapton. Devadip is 3 degrees removed from God.

Savoy Brown: Stan Webb joined the band in ’74. Webb used to be in Chicken Shack with Christine Perfect. Christine joined Fleetwood Mac and married John Me Vie, who was in The Bluesbreakers with Clapton. Savoy Brown is 3 degrees removed from God.

Leo Sayer: Leo’s bass player, Jimmy Leverton was in Savoy Brown with Stan Webb. Webb used to be in Chicken Shack with Christine Perfect. Christine joined Fleetwood Mac and married John McVie, who was in The Bluesbreakers with Clapton. Leo is 4 degrees removed from God.

Boz Scaggs: Scaggs did two albums with Steve Miller. Paul McCartney plays bass on Miller’s “My Dark Hour” under the name Paul Ramon. McCartney recorded a number of songs with Michael Jackson. Clapton recorded the Michael Jackson song “Behind the Mask” in 1987. Scaggs is 5 degrees removed from God.

The Scorpions: Michael Schenker was in the band briefly before forming his own band. Cozy Powell played in that band. Powell also played for Jeff Beck. Beck played on the Winwood amp; Friends album with Clapton. The Scorpions are 5 degrees removed from God.

Seals amp; Crofts: Jim Keltner played drums on a couple of their albums. He also plays on Marc Benno’s Lost in Austin album with Clapton. Seals amp; Crofts are 3 degrees removed from God.

Bob Seger: Little Feat’s Bill Payne plays on Seger’s Stranger in Town album. Little Feat’s Lowell George played on a couple of Nilsson tracks. John Lennon produced a Nilsson album. Clapton was a member of The Dirty Mac with Lennon. Seger is 5 degrees removed from God.

The Sex Pistols: Chris Thomas produced The Pistols with Bill Price. Thomas also produced for Roxy Music. Roxy bassist John Wetton was in UK with Eddie Jobson, who was in Yes with Alan White. White plays drums on Harrison’s All Things Must Pass with Clapton. The Sex Pistols are 6 degrees removed from God.

Carly Simon: Simon is on John Hall’s John Hall album. Steve Gadd plays on that album as well. Gadd has played with Clapton. Carly is 2 degrees removed from God.

Simon amp; Garfunkel: Steve Gadd plays on a number of Paul Simon albums. Gadd also played with Clapton. Simon amp; Garfunkel are 3 degrees removed from God.

Simple Minds: Jim Kerr married Chrissie Hynde in 1984. Chrissie sings on “Love Can Build a Bridge” with Clapton. Simple Minds are 3 degrees removed from God.

Simply Red: Veteran rhythm team Sly amp; Robbie play on the Life Album. They also play on Dylan’s Infidels album. Clapton plays on Dylan’s Desire album. Simply Red is 4 degrees removed from God.

Siouxsie amp; The Banshees: Siouxsie Sioux was in The Bromley Contingent with Billy Idol. Idol played ‘Ace Face’ in the touring show of The Who’s Quadrophenia. Clapton plays with Keith Moon on Lennon’s Some Time in New York City. The Banshees are 4 degrees removed from God.

Slade: Managed by former Animal Chas Chandler. Chandler also steered Jimi Hendrix to the top. Hendrix plays on the first Steve Stills album with Clapton. Slade is 4 degrees removed from God.

Sly and The Family Stone: Sly did a duet with The Motel’s Martha Davis on the soundtrack to the movie Soul Man . Martha did a remake of “Monkey Time” with The Tubes. Tubes drummer Prairie Prince played on a session with George Harrison. Harrison recorded with Cream. The Family Stone are 6 degrees removed from God.

The Small Faces: See’The Faces’.

Patti Smith: Ivan Kral played guitar with Patti Smith in 1975. In 74 Kral was in Blondie. Blondie drummer Clem Burke went on to play with The Eurythmics. Dave Stewart left The Eurythmics and formed The Spiritual Cowboys. Ex-Pretender Martin Chambers joins The Spiritual Cowboys in October of 1990. Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders has done a duet with Clapton. Patti Smith is 6 degrees removed from God.

Soft Machine: Hendrix plays rhythm guitar on “Feelin’ Reelin’ Screemin”. Hendrix also played on Steven Stills’ first album with Clapton. Soft Machine is 3 degrees removed from God.

Sonny and Cher: Sonny’s backing band became the backbone of Toto. They also backed up Boz Scaggs. Scaggs did two albums with Steve Miller. Paul McCartney plays bass on Miller’s “My Dark Hour” under the name Paul Ramon. McCartney recorded a number of songs with Michael Jackson. Clapton recorded the Michael Jackson song “Behind the Mask” in 1987. Sonny and Cher are 6 degrees removed from God.

Spandau Ballet: Trevor Horn remixed “Instinction” from the Diamond album for single release in 1982. Horn joined Yes two years earlier with Alan White. White plays with Clapton on Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. Spandau Ballet is 4 degrees removed from God.

The Specials: Their first album was produced by Elvis Costello. John McFee plays on Costello’s first album. McFee was in The Doobie Brothers with Pat Simmons. For a short time Little Feat’s Bill Payne was in The Doobies. Little Feat’s Richie Heywood is on a Ringo album with Clapton. The Specials are 6 degrees removed from God.

Spirit: Former Spirit guitar player Mark Andes joins Heart in 1982. Ann Wilson did “Surrender to Me” as a duet with Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander. Cheap Trick’s All Shook Up album was produced by George Martin, who produced The Beatles, who recorded with Clapton. Spirit is 5 degrees removed from God.

The Split Enz: Their first album was produced by Phil Manzanera. Manzanera was in Roxy Music with Eno. Eno produced Bowie’s album Low. Bowie produced Mott the Hoople ‘s “All the Young Dudes”. Mott guitarist Mick Ralphs played on the 1978 album White Mansion with Clapton. The Split Enz are 6 degrees removed from God.

Rick Springfield: Nigel Olsson and Dee Murray played on his Wait For the Night album. Murray was in The Spencer Davis Group. Steve Winwood was in The Spencer Davis Group and he was in Blind Faith with Clapton. Springfield is 4 degrees removed from God.

Bruce Springsteen: Former E Street Band guitar player Nils Lofgren was in Crazy Horse with Neil Young. Young played The Band’s Last Waltz with Clapton. The Boss is 3 degrees removed from God.

Squeeze: Paul Carrack was in Ace before he joined Squeeze. Poco’s Rusty Young plays steel guitar on Ace’s second album. Poco had a couple of albums produced by Steve Cropper. Cropper Was in Booker T and the MG’s with Duck Dunn, who played in Clapton’s band for a couple of tours. Squeeze is 5 degrees removed from God.

The Standells: Lowell George was a member of the band. George played on a couple of Nilsson tracks. John Lennon produced a Nilsson album. Clapton was a member of The Dirty Mac with Lennon. The Standells are 4 degrees removed from God.

The Staple Singers: Duck Dunn played on some of the early, Steve Cropper-produced tracks. Dunn was in Clapton’s band. The Staple’s are 3 degrees removed from God.

Status Quo: Roger Glover produced their 1975 album Down Down. Glover was in Deep Purple with Jon Lord, who played in Whitesnake with Cozy Powell. Powell was in ELP with Greg Lake. Lake used to be in King Crimson with lan McDonald. McDonald was in Foreigner with Mick Jones, who wrote the song “Bad Love” with Clapton. Status Quo is 6 degrees removed from God.

Steely Dan: Jeff Porcaro from Toto, long time Steely Dan drummer, also played with Clapton. Steely Dan is 2 degrees removed from God.

Steppenwolf: Flying Burrito Brothers guitarist Bobby Cochran joined the band in 74. The Burrito’s Gram Parsons was in The Byrds with Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, who were in an earlier version of The Byrds with David Crosby who was in a band with Steven Stills who played on Clapton’s first album. Steppenwolf is 5 degrees removed from God.

Cat Stevens: Bernard “Pretty” Purdie played drums with Stevens. He also drummed with Joe Cocker. Clapton plays on Cocker’s Sting Ray album. Cat is 3 degrees removed from God.

Al Stewart: Jimmy Page plays guitar on Stewart’s “Love Chronicles”. He also played guitar on Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help From my Friends”. Clapton is on Cocker’s Sting Ray album. Al Stewart is 4 degrees removed from God.

John Stewart: Stewart recorded “Gold” with Stevie Nicks. Nicks was in Fleetwood Mac with John McVie, who was in The Bluesbreakers with Clapton. John Stewart is 3 degrees removed from God.

Rod Stewart: Rod the Mod was in Steampacket in the mid-60s with Elton John. Elton and Clapton have toured together. Stewart is 2 degrees removed from God.

The Stools: Elvin Anderson from The Stools played bells on Greg Lake’s acoustic recording of “Father Christmas” for Boston radio station WBCN. Lake used to be in King Crimson with lan McDonald. McDonald was in Foreigner with Mick Jones who wrote the song “Bad Love” with Clapton. The Stools are 4 degrees removed from God.

The Stray Cats: The first album was produced by Dave Edmunds. Edmunds plays with Clapton on Chas amp; Dave’s Don’t Give a Monkey album. The Stray Cats are 2 degrees removed from God.

Styx: Styx were produced by Jerry Moss, who also produced for The Police. Clapton sings a duet with Sting on the soundtrack to Lethal Weapon 3. Styx are 3 degrees removed from God.

Supertramp: Supertramp were produced by Jerry Moss, who also produced for Squeeze. Paul Carrack was in Ace before he joined Squeeze. Poco’s Rusty Young plays steel guitar on Ace’s second album. Poco had a couple of albums produced by Steve Cropper. Cropper was in Booker T and the MG’s with Duck Dunn, who played in Clapton’s band for a couple of tours. Supertramp is 6 degrees removed from God.

Survivor: Darryl Dragon played on two of their albums. He also played in The Tremblers with Nigel Olsson. Olsson was in Elton John’s band with bass player Dee Murray. Murray was in The Spencer Davis Group with Steve Winwood who was in Blind Faith with Clapton. Survivor is 5 degrees removed from God.

Sweet: Many of their early hits were produced by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. They also produced for Blondie. Drummer Clem Burke left Blondie to play with The Eurythmics. Dave Stewart left The Eurythmics and formed The Spiritual Cowboys. Ex-Pretender Martin Chambers joins The Spiritual Cowboys in October of 1990. Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders has done a duet with Clapton. Sweet is 6 degrees removed from God.

Talking Heads: Jerry Harrison was in The Modern Lovers. D. Sharp was in The Modern Lovers. D. was also in Carla Bley’s band. Steve Gadd played drums on Bley’s 1977 Dinner Music album. Gadd also played with Clapton. The Talking Heads are 6 degrees removed from God.

James Taylor: His Walking Man album was produced by David Spinozza, who plays on Yoko’s Fly album with Clapton. James is 3 degrees removed from God.

The Teardrop Explodes: Jeff Hammer leaves the band to play in The Stray Cats. The Cat’s first album was produced by Dave Edmunds. Edmunds plays with Clapton on Chas amp; Dave’s Don’t Give a Monkey album. The Teardrop Explodes is 4 degrees removed from God.

Tears For Fears: Former Adam Ant drummer Chris Hughes produced their first album. Former Ant bass player Gary Tibbs was in Roxy Music after John Wetton left. Wetton played bass in Family after Ric Grech left to join Blind Faith with Clapton. Tears for Fears is 5 degrees removed from God.

10CC: Bass player Graham Gouldman (who wrote The Yardbird’s hit “For Your Love”) also produced The Ramone’s Pleasant Dreams album. Joey Ramone is on The Dead Boys’ We Have Come For Your Children album with Felex Pappalardi. Felex played with Clapton in Cream. 10CC is 4 degrees removed from God.

Ten Years After: Andy Pyle was in Lee’s post-Ten Years After band. Pyle was also in Savoy Brown with Dave Bidwell, who was in Chicken Shack with Christine Perfect, who was in Sounds of Blue with Chris Wood, who was in Traffic with Steve Winwood, who was in Blind Faith with Clapton. Ten Years After is 6 degrees removed from God.

Them: Jimmy Page plays guitar on early Them albums. He also plays on the first Screaming Lord Sutch album with Jeff Beck. Beck plays with Clapton on Steve Winwood’s Winwood amp; Friends album. Them is 4 degrees removed from God.

Thin Lizzy: Former Pink Floyd guitarist Snowy White joins the band in 1980. Clapton plays guitar on Roger Water’s “Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking”. Thin Lizzy is 3 degrees removed from God.

The Thompson Twins: Matt Seligman leaves the band just before they hit. He goes on to play with Bowie’s touring band. Bowie produced Mott the Hoople. Mott guitarist Mick Ralphs was on the Tommy soundtrack with Clapton. The Thompson Twins are 5 degrees removed from God.

George Thorogood: Mike Levine from The Destroyers was in Ultimate Spinach with Jeff Baxter. Baxter plays on Hoyt Axton’s “Rusty Old Halo” with Garth Hudson. Hudson was in The Band. Clapton plays on “Further on Up the Road” on The Band’s Last Waltz. George is 5 degrees removed from God.

Three Dog Night: Their first hit, “One”, was written by Harry Nilsson. Nilsson is on a Ringo album with Clapton. Three Dog Night is 3 degrees removed from God.

Thunderclap Newman: Pete Townshend plays bass on Thunderclap’s first (and I think only) alburn. Townshend plays with Clapton the Rainbow concert album. Thunderclap is 3 degrees removed from God.

Toto: The band played on an Earth, Wind amp; Fire album back when they were just session guys. Maurice White was a session drummer at Chess Studios when he was young. They recorded Howlin’ Wolf, among others. Clapton played on Wolfs London Sessions. Toto is 4 degrees removed from God.

Traffic: Conga drums player Rebop Kwaku-Baah played on the Rainbow concert album with Clapton. Traffic is 2 degrees removed from God.

Pat Travers: Pat Travers drummer, Nicko McBain, was in Streetwalkers with Roger Chapman who was in Family with Ric Grech, who was in Blind Faith with Clapton. Pat Travers is 4 degrees removed from God.

T. Rex: Tony Visconti produced most of Marc Bolan’s hits. Visconti also produced David Bowie. Former Bowie bass player, Trevor Bolder was in Uriah Keep. Former Keep bass player John Wetton was in Family. Ric Grech formed Family before joining Blind Faith with Clapton. T. Rex is 5 degrees removed from God.

The Troggs: Tony Murray was in Plastic Penny with Nigel Olsson. Olsson was in The Spencer Davis Group that once featured a young Steve Winwood, who was in Blind Faith with Clapton. The Troggs are 4 degrees removed from God.

Robin Trower: Trower was in Procol Harum, as was Mick Grabham. Grabham was in Plastic Penny with Nigel Olsson who was in The Spencer Davis Group before he joined Elton John’s band. Steve Winwood was also in The Spencer Davis Group, and of course, Winwood was in Blind Faith with Clapton. Robin Trower is 5 degrees removed from God.

The Tubes: Tubes drummer Prairie Prince did session work for George Harrison. Harrison was in The Plastic Ono Band with Clapton. The Tubes are 2 degrees removed from God.

Ike amp; Tina Turner: Tina and Clapton both appear on the Tommy soundtrack. Tina is 1 degree removed from God.

The Turtles: The Turtles’ Flo amp; Eddie were in Zappa’s Mother’s of Invention. Clapton played with The Mothers on the We’re Only In It For the Money album. The Turtles are 3 degrees removed from God.

UB40: UB40 did a cover of Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” with Chrissie Hynde. Hynde did a duet with Clapton. UB40 is 3 degrees removed from God.

Uriah Heep: John Wetton played bass in Family. Ric Grech formed Family before joining Blind Faith with Clapton. Uriah Keep is 3 degrees removed from God.

U2: Produced by Brian Eno. John Paul Jones plays on Eno’s 1992 album Nerve Net. J. P. Jones was in Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page. Page was in The Yardbirds with Keith Relf, who was the singer with The Yardbirds when Clapton was a member. U2 is 6 degrees removed from God.

Richie Valens: Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup gave up their seats to make room for Richie on the plane that killed him and Buddy Holly. Waylon plays on the White Mansions album with Clapton. Valens is 3 degrees removed from God.

Van Halen: Eddie Van Halen plays guitar on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. Michael did a duet with Paul McCartney. McCartney is on the Jamie Lomax Is This What You Want? album with Clapton. Van Halen is 4 degrees removed from God.

Vanilla Fudge: Carmine Appice played drums in Rod Stewart’s band. Rod Stewart was in Jeff Beck’s band. Jeff Beck was in Keith Relf s band, The Yardbirds. So was Clapton. Vanilla Fudge is 4 degrees removed from God.

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Double Trouble bass player Tommy Shannon was in The Johnny Winter’s Band circa 1970. Edgar Winter plays on Todd Rundgren’s Initiation album. Clapton is on the Free Creek album with Rundgren. Stevie Ray is 5 degree removed from God.

The Velvet Underground: Steve Howe played on Lou Reed’s first album. Before he was in Yes, Howe was in a band a called Tomorrow with Junior Wood, who went on to play with Jeff Beck, who replaced Clapton in The Yardbirds. The Velvet Underground is 5 degrees removed from God.

Joe Walsh: Joe plays on “Too Late the Hero” with John Entwistle. Entwistle plays on Rough Mix with Clapton. Walsh is 2 degrees removed from God.

War: War started out backing Eric Burton after he left The Animals. Andy Summers of The Police was briefly a member of The Animals in 1968. Sting does a duet with Clapton on the soundtrack to the 1992 movie Lethal Weapon 3. War is 4 degrees removed from God.

The Waterboys: The Fisherman Blues album was produced by former Bob Dylan producer Bob Johnston. Dylan has recorded with Clapton. The Waterboys are 3 degrees removed from God.

Bob Welch: Welch was a former member of Fleetwood Mac. John McVie was in The Bluesbreakers with Clapton. Welsh is 3 degrees removed from God.

Wham!: Elton John backs George Michael on “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” at 1985’s Live Aid. Elton backs Clapton on “Cocaine” at The Prince’s Trust Concert in ’88. Wham! is 3 degrees removed from God.

Whitesnake: Cozy Powell was in ELP with Keith Emerson. Emerson plays on the Free Creek album with Clapton. Whitesnake is 3 degrees removed from God.

The Who: Beck and Clapton were in The Yardbirds. Beck had Ron Wood in The Jeff Beck Group from ’67 to ’69. Wood left with Rod Stewart to join The Faces. Kenny Jones was the drummer for The Faces before he replaced the dead Keith Moon in The Who. The Who are 4 degrees removed from God.

Johnny amp; Edgar Winter: Edgar Winter plays on Todd Rundgren’s Initiation album. Clapton is on the Free Creek album with Rundgren. The Winter brother’s are 3 degree removed from God.

Steve Winwood: Winwood had Clapton play on his Winwood and Friends album. Steve is 1 degree removed from God.

Wishbone Ash: Ted Turner plays guitar on John Lennon’s “Crippled Inside”. Clapton played guitar in John’s Plastic Ono Band.. Wishbone Ash is 3 degrees removed from God.

Stevie Wonder: Wonder does a duet (“Ebony and Ivory”) in 1982 with Paul McCartney. Clapton plays on The Beatle’s “While My Guitar….” with Paul. Stevie is 3 degrees removed from God.

World Party: Sinead O’Connor is featured on World Party’s first album. Adam Ant guitar player Marco plays on Sinead’s first album. Adam Ant bass player Gary Tibbs was in Roxy Music after John Wetton left. Wetton played bass in Family after Ric Grech left to join Blind Faith with Clapton. World Party is 6 degrees removed from God.

XTC: Todd Rundgren produced the Skylarking album at The Tubes’ Soundhole Studio in San Francisco. Clapton is on the Free Creek album with Rundgren. XTC are 3 degrees removed from God.

The Yardbirds: Duh!

Yazoo: Clapton plays on the You and Me Both album. Yazoo is 1 degree removed from God.

Yes: Drummer Alan White was in Balls with Denny Laine. Laine was in Wings with Paul McCartney. Clapton was on Jackie Lomax’s Is This What You Want? album with Paul. Yes is 4 degrees removed from God.

Neil Young: Clapton tours with Elton John in ’92. Kenny Passarelli is a former bass player for Elton John’s band. He was also in Steven Stills’ Manassas. Stills was, of course, the same Steven Stills that did a song or two with Neil Young in CSNY. Neil Young is 4 degrees removed from God.

The Youngbloods: Guitar player Jerry Corbitt produced Don McLean’s debut album Tapestry. McLean played with Jim Croce at Villanova. Drummer Steve Gadd played on Croce’s / Got a Name album. Gadd also played on Stephen Bishop’s Red Cab to Manhattan album with Clapton. The Youngbloods are 6 degrees removed from God.

Warren Zevon: John McVie and Mick Fleetwood play on “Werewolves of London”. McVie was in The Bluesbreakers with Clapton. Zevon is 3 degrees removed from God.

The Zombies: Rod Argent plays on The Who’s “Who Are You?”. Clapton plays on The Who’s Tommy soundtrack. The Zombies are 4 degrees removed from God.

Z.Z. Top: The video for “Velcro Fly” is choreographed by Paula Abdul. She also choreographed the Michael Jackson/Mick Jagger video “Torture”. Jagger is in The Stones with Keith Richards. Richards was in The Dirty Mac with Clapton. Z.Z. Top is 4 degrees removed from God.

Any Questions?