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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 018
Mon, Feb 4, 2013

“Badge [feat. George Harrison]”
Cream

1969

“♫ I
told you
’bout the
swans that
they live
in the
park
♫”

It’s no coincidence that George Harrison chose the alter-ego moniker of L’Angelo Misterioso when working on Goodbye Cream with Eric Clapton. “Badge” the song Harrison and Clapton wrote together has this mysterious non-linear brilliance; Eric and George’s collaboration made for one of the most memorable pop gems in Cream’s short bluesy history.
Photo of Eric CLAPTON and George HARRISON

“Badge” has one of the most original and my favorite of Beatles related back-stories of this little pop song. Harrison explained, “I wrote most of the words, Eric had the bridge, and he had the first couple of chord changes. I was writing the words down, and when we came to the middle bit, I wrote ‘Bridge.’ And from where he was sitting, opposite me, he looked and said, ‘What’s that—“Badge”?’ So he called it “Badge” because it made him laugh. After that, Ringo walked in drunk and gave us that line about the swans living in the park.”
Photo of Eric CLAPTON and George HARRISON

I still can’t figure out what Eric Clapton is singing about. Although I love the fact that Starr’s vintage Ringo-isms inspired some of the most hilariously genius lines in “Badge.” But the star of the show is Eric Clapton. Harrison said it was the way that Clapton, “bends his notes,” is the attraction that made their collaboration so vibrant and timeless.

If he asks me to do anything, he’s got the best that I can give, whenever I can give it.” Eric Clapton told Rolling Stone Magazine in 1974 talking about his good friend and collaborator George Harrison. You can hear that Clapton brought his Slow Hand riffs of magic, mixed with George’s “Ringo inspired” lyrics created one of the best song co written by Eric & George. Revisit the honorable alliance of Clapton & Harrison within the pop song confines of Cream’s “Badge.”

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