Delaney and Bonnie & Friends
By the late '60s the Rock star concept was passť in some circles. Making music was a collaborative effort, so it made sense to make it in an ego-free, communal environment. That vibe led to Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen's tour. It also played a huge part in Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett's rise - and eventual fall.
The husband and wife team of Delaney and Bonnie had been performing together since the mid '60s, working the Country/Blues vein. Since there was just the two of them, they needed backing musicians. Over a relatively brief period, Duane Allman, Dave Mason and Leon Russell contributed their talents. But Delaney and Bonnie's fortunes really changed when they opened for Blind Faith on the supergroup's U.S. tour. Eric Clapton admired their music and attitude. Once the Blind Faith misadventure disintegrated, Clapton joined, passing himself off as "just the guitarist," and not Clapton - the legend.
Delaney and Bonnie's '69-'70 tour yielded the successful "Delaney and Bonnie & Friends on Tour with Eric Clapton." They returned the favor by working on Clapton's solo debut (Delaney produced and Bonnie added backing vocals). But Clapton grew restless and decided to move on taking with him fellow tour mates Bobby Whitlock, Jim Gordon and Carl Radle to form the core of Derek and the Dominoes. Once Clapton was gone so was the audience. Delaney and Bonnie divorced in '72.
Triva: Bonnie Bramlett began singing professionally at age fifteen and was also an Ikette, the vocal group that backed Ike and Tina Turner.
Delaney and Bonnie & Friends is captured on "Best Of" with a cover of Dave Mason's "Only You Know and I Know" and their minor hit "Never Ending Song of Love." "On Tour with Eric Clapton" is a good concert record with fun, lively performances including a Little Richard medley ("Jenny, Jenny, Jenny," "Long Tall Sally," etc.) and a version of "Only You Know and I Know."