It’s the middle of the sixties and Eric Clapton, now lead guitarist with the Yardbirds, is about to meet the Beatles for the very first time, backstage at the Odeon in London. Paul was the ambassador in the band, friendly to Eric and singing new half-written songs about scrambled eggs – ended up being “Yesterday.” George and Eric became fast friends too. The Beatles’ lead guitarist showed Eric his collection of Gretsch guitars. Eric showed him his light-gauge strings – gave him some too. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. But when it came to meeting the Beatles’ leader, things went a little differently. Eric was on his way to the Hammersmith to see the Beatles again, and he took the underground. On his way, he met an elderly American woman who was lost. The conversation led to Eric taking her along to see the Beatles. They arrived at the Beatles’ dressing room and everyone was friendly – except John. When John saw Eric with this older woman, he totally acted bored. And would you believe John then started to pretend he was “spanking the monkey.” Eric was embarrassed, insulted, and although he and Lennon would become friends eventually, more or less, he thought twice about who he’d bring around to meet the Beatles.
– Jeff Woods, “Legends of Classic Rock” Q107 Toronto