Mike Childress / Blog

Eric Clapton & Me Off The Beaten Path

Through the years I have had the pleasure of working with Eric Clapton and his concert production team many many times. Each time as we were in rehersals for a new tour I tried to find things to do that Eric, as well as others would enjoy doing away from the soundstage. We've had barbques, went to the local dirt track races and on and on. With each outing I help relieve the stess everyone was under and escape the pressure cooker if only for a short time. One of my most memorable outing was a request out of left field from Eric to take him target shooting with pistols. I just never figured a Brit to be a handgun enthisiast and I learned that he actually owned a .45 Colt Dragoon. So I assured him I would arrange it before he had to thit the road. I own several handguns and I contacted a buddy of mine who was a retired Texas Ranger. My friend Jim let me know he could supply the ammo and bring a few more weapons and I would be able to bring a few more crew members. I called a local gun range and explained the situation. They were very open to this and even reserved a private range for us. The only cost would that Eric Clapton had to sign his target which was no problem. We took about a dozen band and crew to the Winchester Range. The guys shot every caliber hand gun we brought over and over. When our ammo ran short the range master chipped in and let the guys conmtinue. This was the first time many had ever fired any gun and man they had a ball and we did too. It was an afternno I will never forget and as the stage was being torn down the next week Eric called me aside. He said that day was one of the best he had ever enjoyed on a tour. He profusely thanked me over and over, not for taking him but taking the band and crew. Till this day we remain friends sharing a bond from a side of him that many don not and will never. I am so lucky to have a friend who is a legend.