Clapton: The Autobiography

Clapton: The Autobiography

Eric Clapton

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 076792536X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“I found a pattern in my behavior that had been repeating itself for years, decades even. Bad choices were my specialty, and if something honest and decent came along, I would shun it or run the other way.”

With striking intimacy and candor, Eric Clapton tells the story of his eventful and inspiring life in this poignant and honest autobiography. More than a rock star, he is an icon, a living embodiment of the history of rock music. Well known for his reserve in a profession marked by self-promotion, flamboyance, and spin, he now chronicles, for the first time, his remarkable personal and professional journeys.

Born illegitimate in 1945 and raised by his grandparents, Eric never knew his father and, until the age of nine, believed his actual mother to be his sister. In his early teens his solace was the guitar, and his incredible talent would make him a cult hero in the clubs of Britain and inspire devoted fans to scrawl “Clapton is God” on the walls of London’s Underground. With the formation of Cream, the world's first supergroup, he became a worldwide superstar, but conflicting personalities tore the band apart within two years. His stints in Blind Faith, in Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, and in Derek and the Dominos were also short-lived but yielded some of the most enduring songs in history, including the classic “Layla.”

During the late sixties he played as a guest with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, as well as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and longtime friend George Harrison. It was while working with the latter that he fell for George’s wife, Pattie Boyd, a seemingly unrequited love that led him to the depths of despair, self-imposed seclusion, and drug addiction. By the early seventies he had overcome his addiction and released the bestselling album 461 Ocean Boulevard, with its massive hit “I Shot the Sheriff.” He followed that with the platinum album Slowhand, which included “Wonderful Tonight,” the touching love song to Pattie, whom he finally married at the end of 1979. A short time later, however, Eric had replaced heroin with alcohol as his preferred vice, following a pattern of behavior that not only was detrimental to his music but contributed to the eventual breakup of his marriage.
In the eighties he would battle and begin his recovery from alcoholism and become a father. But just as his life was coming together, he was struck by a terrible blow: His beloved four-year-old son, Conor, died in a freak accident. At an earlier time Eric might have coped with this tragedy by fleeing into a world of addiction. But now a much stronger man, he took refuge in music, responding with the achingly beautiful “Tears in Heaven.”

Clapton is the powerfully written story of a survivor, a man who has achieved the pinnacle of success despite extraordinary demons. It is one of the most compelling memoirs of our time.

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and drugging, I still had music. It had always been my salvation. It made me want to live. Even if I wasn’t playing, just listening would pull me through. My own work in the Priory, and my relationship with Chris, now led to one of the most significant periods of my life. On recent trips to my house on Galleon Beach in Antigua, I had become increasingly disillusioned by the number of addicts and drunks who were springing up, or maybe it was just that I was noticing them more now. There were, for

all the posters, and he was very well respected and loved by everyone who worked with him. There were those who intimated that he was involved with some shady characters and was “connected,” but I never saw any evidence of that. We were told by Bill that we could play anything we liked for as long as we liked, even if this meant playing till dawn, and this is where we started openly exploring our potential. Anywhere else, our concerns might have been on our presentation, but playing at the

suffer.” Steve came over to Hurtwood in the first few weeks after Alice arrived, and we spent hours playing together. I had set up the front room as a music room cum living room, with a table and chairs and a large couch as well as a drum set, keyboards, and amps for the guitars. Equipment was everywhere, with tape recorders and microphones for recording and cables running down the hall. It was a semistudio, really, and we would jam and jam and record and record, all the time testing the air.

started in January 1986, when I had agreed to play six shows on successive nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was to become a tradition, with the number of gigs increasing each year, until they would peak in 1991 with twenty-four. With a band that included Nathan East and Greg Phillinganes from the August sessions, Steve Ferrone and Phil Collins on drums, and the addition of Mark Knopfler on guitar, the performances had gone so well that we decided to try and make it a regular booking.

but I thought it was sensitive and true to its purpose. It’s since become something of a cult hit, and I’m extremely proud of the music. I finished up the year by touring Japan with George Harrison. He and Olivia had been really kind to me over the last few months, and I wanted to express my gratitude. During the trip, Lori showed up out of the blue and just checked into our hotel. Her boyfriend Sylvio had faxed me, warning me that she was coming to see me. They had broken up, and he was worried

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