24 Nights

24 Nights: The Limited Edition. Music by Eric Clapton, commentary by Derek Taylor, drawings by Peter Blake (Guildford: Genesis Publications, 1991). Graphic Arts division (GAX) 2009- in process

Guitarist Eric Clapton has been playing annual concerts in London’s Albert Hall since 1987. What began as a three-night engagement for his small band has grown in format and duration each year.

In February of 1990, Clapton played 18 concerts with four different bands. These performances were recorded but he was unhappy with the results. Clapton returned in 1991 for a one-month stint, playing 24 concerts using different back-up bands every week. Recordings from 1990 and 1991 were mixed and released at the end of the year as 24 Nights.

This project came at a difficult moment in Clapton’s life because that March his young son died. Many of his friends came forward to offer their support, one of whom was Sir Peter Thomas Blake. A leading artist of the British Pop movement of the 1960s, Blake is perhaps best known for the album cover he designed for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Blake not only designed the 1991 album art for Clapton but went on to create a scrapbook/collage of performance and tour remembrances. British journalist Derek Taylor (1932-1997) joined the project, offering a commentary to match Blake’s images. A limited edition two volume set was published to accompany a double CD with 18 live recordings of Clapton playing with Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Phil Collins, and the National Philharmonic Orchestra.