Eric Clapton, Peter Blake, and 24 Nights

by Chris Murray on October 23, 2012

It was twenty years ago this month that Govinda Gallery hosted legendary English artist Peter Blake’s exhibition of drawings 24 Nights. That exhibition was also the launch for Eric Clapton’s limited edition book and box set with Peter Blake, 24 Nights, from Genesis Publications. The exhibition featured Blake’s drawings of Clapton and his band during rehearsals in Dublin and in concert at the Royal Albert Hall. His drawings were also featured on the cover of Clapton’s album, also titled 24 Nights. Clapton performed a series of twenty-four sold out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 1991. I was fortunate to attend one of the shows in Claptons’s box at the Royal Ablert Hall with 24 Nights publisher Brian Roylance, and to go to dinner with Eric and Brian after the concert at Eric’s favorite restaurant, San Lorenzo.

Derek Taylor, wrote in the Commentary volume of 24 Nights of attending the last night of Clapton’s concerts at the Royal Albert Hall with George Harrison, his wife Olivia, and other friends. Taylor, a long time friend and colleague of the Beatles, wrote that George remarked after the concert had begun, that; “I’m just glad he’s there – to be Eric, such a great fellow, such a good friend. It’s wonderful to have him among us, to know that he’s lived through it all”.

It’s a great time for drawing. The Morgan Library & Museum in New York is featuring Dürer to de Kooning: 100 Master Drawings from Munich, and the Frick Collection in New York is showing Mantegna to Matisse: Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery. Carlotta Hester’s exhibition The Pure Drop: Drawings of Traditional Irish Musicians, Singers, and Dancers just returned to the U.S. after a much acclaimed show at the Johnston Central Library Gallery in County Cavan, Ireland. More on that exhibition in our next post.

One of the drawings from the Govinda Gallery exhibition 24 Nights, October 1991. Copyright © Peter Blake. All Rights Reserved.

The exhibition invitation card for 24 Nights at Govinda Gallery. Copyright © Govinda Gallery Archive. All Rights Reserved.

24 Nights, the box set from Genesis Publications. Copyright © Genesis Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Photographs from 24 Nights of artist Peter Blake at work with Eric Clapton during rehearsals. Copyright © 24 Nights, Genesis Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Carlotta Hester’s live action drawing of Donovan during rehearsal for his show at the Hamilton Live October 6th, in Washington, D.C. Copyright © Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

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