Like a musical game of Clue, we’ve uncovered an interesting musical mystery of sorts.
Sharp-eared music fans listening to Ed Sheeran‘s latest album ÷ (Divide) may have noticed some extra special guitar flourishes on the album’s third track Dive. And if they hunted down the liner notes and took a peek, they’d see that the recently engaged superstar credits a guy by the name of Angelo Mysterioso with guitar work on the song.
At this point, most normal, well-adjusted people would say, “Oh, okay,” and move on with their lives.
This author, however, had questions.
I wanted to know — who exactly is Angelo Mysterioso? An artist whose name conjures up images of some ancient magician who might have mentored Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series.
The real story is even more fascinating.
That mystery musician is actually a well known superstar. He’s sold over 130 million albums throughout his career (22 times more than Ed) and is the first artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame THREE TIMES.
Turns out, one of the greatest guitarists in history, has struck up an unlikely friendship with one of today’s biggest, if not unlikeliest, pop stars.
And here’s the craziest part. If you take a look at the liner notes for the mystery artist’s most recent release, you’ll see something curious:
As with Divide, the third track on this album features… dun dun dun… Angelo Mysterioso!
So, what gives?
The uncredited guitarist on Ed Sheeran’s “Dive” is the legendary ERIC CLAPTON!
And the uncredited guitar and vocalist on Eric Clapton’sI Will Be There is… ED SHEERAN!
The two became friends a couple of years ago, and have collaborated a few times since — something Ed says has been the biggest “pinch me” moment of his career. The chart topping ginger told People magazine, “He’s the reason I started playing guitar. It’s one thing having him on mine, but being his, that’s an honor that you can’t ever pinpoint on how great that is. That was really cool.”
Take a listen to Slowhand’s iconic licks on Dive:
Interestingly, 22 years before Ed Sheeran was born, a L’Angelo Misterioso was credited as a co-writer on a song with Eric Clapton, as well.
That mystery artist? The Beatles great George Harrison! Discogs, notes that, “due to contractual problems, Harrison’s name could not appear on the album, so he assumed the pseudonym.” The song Badge appeared on the Cream album Goodbye in 1969.
Final thought: It struck me when watching the performance below, that Ed Sheeran is probably close in age to Eric’s late son Conor, who passed away tragically and was immortalized beautifully in Eric’s classic Tears In Heaven.
After researching the dates, I must confess that it may have gotten a little dusty at this writer’s desk. Ed Sheeran, as it happens, was born the very month before Conor’s tragic death. I can only imagine this isn’t lost on Eric. In the following video, you may notice the legend looking over at the young man he’s sharing the stage with, with admiration and respect, but maybe something more…
WATCH Ed and Eric on stage together, performing I Will Be There in Tokyo: