Classic Hit Academy – Songs About Encounters with the Law - I Shot the Sheriff – Eric Clapton

In 1973, one of Eric Clapton’s bandmates introduced him to the latest album by Bob Marley and convinced him to cover this song. Clapton agreed and the result was fantastic but he was not sure about releasing it. He thought it might seem disrespectful to Bob Marley. His band and management urged him to make it his next single.

Clapton decided to call up Bob Marley and ask for his blessing. “I tried to ask him what the song was all about, but couldn’t understand much of his reply. I was just relieved that he liked what we had done.”

The story is told from the point of view of a fugitive who admits to having killed the corrupt local sheriff, and claims to be falsely accused of having killed the deputy sheriff.

Marley explained his intention as follows: “I want to say ‘I shot the police’ but the government would have made a fuss so I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead… but it’s the same idea: justice.

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