One of my younger colleagues had a blank look on her face today when I mentioned Derek & the Dominoes. Egad!
For those who don't know, Derek & the Dominoes was a group formed by Eric Clapton--one of the many late 1960's/early 1970's so-called "super groups." Band members included Duane Allman, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon and Clapton. It combined the guitar virtuosity of Clapton and Allman, he of The Allman Brothers, one of the great blues/southern rock groups of all time. Allman is still considered one of the best slide guitarists ever.
The group published one album in 1970 but it wasn't until 1972, when the single "Layla" was released, that the album received the attention it deserved. To many rock critics, the Derek & the Dominoes album was the defining moment of Clapton's long and illustrious career. And, it was Allman who pushed Clapton to great heights.
The rap on Clapton was that he would sometimes get sloppy with his playing but Allman, while a close friend, pushed Eric as they recorded such great songs such as "Little Wing," "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad," and, of course, the uber-classic, "Layla." (Allman contributed the opening notes to this all-time great rock anthem.)
Sadly, Allman died an untimely death in a motorcycle accident in 1971. And, other band members had their share of personal problems as well. Clapton, of course, had a very famous and long battle with chemical and alcohol dependency. Radle died in 1980 from complications of a kidney disease caused by alcohol and drug problems. And, Gordon, an undiagnosed schizophrenic, killed his mother with a hammer and was institutionalized.