CSX Classic Cuts

13th January 1973: British blues-rock singer and guitarist, Eric Clapton, in concert at the Rainbow Rooms. (Photo by Express/Express/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Eric Clapton: “Cocaine”

The Hook: Recording it was easy. Everyone was smiling and knew they’d got it right.

Album: Slowhand (studio) and Just One Night (live)

Year: 1977 (studio) 1979 (live)

Writer: J.J. Cale

Stats: The studio recording wasn’t the single, but the live on peaked at number-30 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: Both the studio and live versions of Eric Clapton’s cover of J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” were favorites on rock radio during the late ’70s and early ’80s. Tulsa-born drummer Jamie Oldaker played on the studio recording. He recalls having a great time cutting the track.

Longtime Eric Clapton drummer Jamie Oldaker on recording the J.J. Cale song “Cocaine.” OC:…was right. :18

“It was a good track to cut, because it was real rhythm oriented, which I am, and I’d played with J.J. off and on back in Tulsa. And I come from the school of you learn the groove first and feel and then you worry about learning the song later. Plus it was very easy, y’know, there wasn’t a lot to the tune. When we cut it everybody was having fun — there was a lot of smiling. You know, we kind of knew when it was right.”

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