Around the first anniversary of Cale’s death, Eric Clapton will release a new album “The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale.” Featuring Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Derek Trucks of The Allman Brothers Band, and Clapton himself, the album is an over-due tribute to the man without whom Eric Clapton may not have had such success. In a statement about the new record, named for Cale’s 1972 single, “Call Me the Breeze,” Clapton stresses that he is just the messenger, wanting to bring more attention to JJ Cale the man who made him and so many other people famous when they covered his songs. “In this case . . . I’m just saying thank you,” he recently told Rolling Stone magazine.
<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/86389304" width="516" height="288" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/86389304">Naturally, JJ Cale - A New York Times Op-Doc</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/drewchristie">Drew Christie</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
Thank you – a powerful pair of words, typically unsaid when we need to hear them most. There’s a lovely minute or two in the Irish film, “Waking Ned Devine,” when the man from the Lotto shows up at Ned Devine’s funeral, just as Jackie O’Shea is about to give the eulogy. Always quick on his feet – and realizing their plan to cash in on Ned’s winning lottery ticket is about to come crashing down - Jackie looks over at his best friend, Michael O’Sullivan, who is posing as Ned, and as an easy smile spreads across his face, he begins:
“ Michael O’Sullivan was my great friend. But I don’t ever remember telling him that. The words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man who is dead. What a wonderful thing it would be to visit your own funeral. To sit at the front and hear what was said, maybe say a few things yourself. Michael and I grew old together. But at times, when we laughed, we grew young. If he was here now, if he could hear what I say, I’d congratulate him on being a great man, and thank him for being a friend.”
Thank you, JJ Cale.
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