Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Hollywood Bowl

Not to get controversial, but we'd like to put forth, in the pantheon of rock-related number ones and firsts and bests, that the strongest use of the vowel e comes in the pop ditty "Valerie" by Steve Winwood. You know the long, drawn-out "eeeee" part in the chorus, and you know that you love the song and that Steve Winwood songs, more than most ditties, can get stuck in the head, in a nice, sing-along-able way, for days.

And then there's Eric Clapton, and if we cite "Layla" as a favorite we don't want to be seen as part-time, Eric-come-lately fans who only go for the hits. But "Layla" is just. Just. We're thinking of how masterfully (and chillingly) it was used in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" (ohhh, that car shot) and how we've heard it a thousand times and always volume-up when it comes on. Always.

These two esteemed gentlemen, both rock-godly types of stage and sound, will be joining forces at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, June 30th. They both kicked off their guitar-based greatness in the '60s, and, as all the upcoming 40th-anniversary-Woodstock-remembrances should remind us, that decade was pretty epic in the rock-and-roll department. Like, earth-plates-moving important.


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