Leo Fender’s Music Man amplifiers, with their pioneering ‘hybrid’ valve and solid-state circuitry, plus master volume control, were Clapton’s preferred amps through the mid-1970s and early 1980s. “We have four head-and-cab set-ups and two combos in the sale,” explains Saiichi. “Some of them have what’s known as the ‘Clapton mod’, with the bright switch replaced by a mid boost switch and a ‘preamp out, power amp in’ circuit so that the amps could be linked up.
“The 112RD 50 combo featured in Clapton’s first ever video shoot, directed by Godley and Creme in 1985, for the hit single Forever Man. Clapton also used this amp during a number of low-key appearances, including Stan Webb of Chicken Shack’s Finchley Cricket Club charity cricket match gig in August 1986.
“Another combo was used at a St Valentine’s Day dance in Cranleigh, in 1977. This is a 2 x 10, which is unusual for Eric. Then we have a set-up that was used for an ARMS concert in America. Around 1980, Music Man reversed the logo from black lettering on silver, to silver on black. This is a 150W head, with Eric’s special 2 x 12 JBL stack.
"We also have one HD130 Reverb stack, closer to the one that he was using in 1974-5. When Ernie Ball bought Music Man the amp range wasn’t continued, so Clapton used a variety of amps, including Bob Bradshaw rack systems (one of which we also have in the sale), before settling on the Fender Twin.”