Clapton subsequently toured as a sideman for an act that had opened for Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. He also played two dates as a member of the Plastic Ono Band that autumn, including a recorded performance at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival in September 1969 released as the album Live Peace in Toronto 1969. On 30 September 1969, Clapton played lead guitar on Lennon's second solo single, "Cold Turkey". On 15 December 1969 Clapton performed with Lennon, George Harrison, and others as the Plastic Ono Band at a fundraiser for UNICEF in London.
Delaney Bramlett encouraged Clapton in his singing and writing. During the summer of 1969, Clapton and Bramlett contributed to the Music From Free Creek "supersession" project. Clapton, appearing as "King Cool" for contractual reasons, played with Dr. John on three songs, joined by Bramlett on two tracks. Using the Bramletts' backing group and an all-star cast of session players (including Leon Russell and Stephen Stills), Clapton recorded his first solo album during two brief tour hiatuses, titled Eric Clapton. Delaney Bramlett co-wrote six of the songs with Clapton, also producing the LP, and Bonnie Bramlett co-wrote "Let It Rain". The album yielded the unexpected US No. 18 hit, J. J. Cale's "After Midnight". Clapton also worked with much of Delaney and Bonnie's band to record George Harrison's All Things Must Pass in spring 1970. During this busy period, Clapton recorded with other artists including Dr. John, Leon Russell, Plastic Ono Band, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr and Dave Mason. Other notable recordings from this period include Clapton's guitar work on "Go Back Home" from Stephen Stills' self-titled first solo album.
"Layla" and solo career
Derek and the Dominos
With the intention of counteracting the "star" cult faction that had begun to form around him, Clapton assembled a new band composed of Delaney and Bonnie's former rhythm section, Bobby Whitlock as keyboardist and vocalist, Carl Radle as the bassist, and drummer Jim Gordon, with Clapton playing guitar. It was his intention to show that he need not fill a starring role, and functioned well as a member of an ensemble. During this period, Clapton was increasingly influenced by The Band and their album Music from Big Pink, saying, "What I appreciated about the Band was that they were more concerned with songs and singing. They would have three- and four-part harmonies, and the guitar was put back into perspective as being accompaniment. That suited me well, because I had gotten so tired of the virtuosity—or pseudo-virtuosity—thing of long, boring guitar solos just because they were expected. The Band brought things back into perspective. The priority was the song."