Eric Clapton Accused Of Stealing "Layla"

April 5, 2016

It is one of the greatest hits of all time, it was ranked 27th in the Rolling Stone list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and it is Eric Clapton's most famous song, and he's accused of stealing it. 

Vocalist Rita Coolidge claims that she is responsible for penning part of "Layla" but had received no credit. She claims that Clapton had taken the chords and melody that she performed for him at Olympic Studios in London, England in 1970, and alleges he had taken them when she heard them on the radio.

Coolidge claims that she was told off by Clapton's manager when she asked to be credited for the song by telling her, "You're a girl singer - what are you going to do?"

In her autobiography, Coolidge emphasizes "I think it's time everyone knew that it (Layla) also has a mother."

The official story behind the song is that it was written by Clapton and when he was the lead singer of Derek and the Dominos with some help by drummer Jim Gordon of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. "Layla" is said to be Clapton's declaration of his love for Pattie Boyd who was married to his best friend, George Harrison of The Beatles.

Coolidge, who is the winner of two Grammy Awards for her own songs as well as the theme song for the James Bond film "Octopussy," says that she was also a backing singer for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young before she became famous. She recalls touring with Clapton at that time and says, "I remember clearly sitting at the piano at Olympic Studios while Eric listened to me play it all the way though. Jim and I left a taped cassette of the demo with Eric, hoping of course, that he might cover it. Nothing came of it and I largely forgot about it."

A year later, during a photoshoot for her first album, Coolidge says that when she turned on the radio and heard "Layla" for the first time, she screamed "That's my music! That's my music!"

In her book she writes, "I was infuriated. What they had clearly done was take the song Jim and I had written, jettisoned the lyrics, and tacked it to the end of Eric's song."

There has been no comment from Clapton on Coolidge's claims.

(source: Daily Mail)