Eric Clapton
guitarist, singer, and composer
Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton, is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.
Biography
Eric Clapton's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Eric Clapton from around the web
The Grammy Awards 20 Years Ago Were So Typically '90s
Huffington Post - 12 days
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Eric Clapton rolling out documentary and anniversary tour this year
LATimes - 19 days
Film producer Lili Fini Zanuck is directing a documentary on rock guitar hero Eric Clapton titled “Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars,” according to Variety. Buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin, running Feb. 9-17, are scheduled to get the first look at the film by Zanuck, the producer of...
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LATimes article
North Korean Elite Turning Against Leader Kim Jong Un, Defector Says
Huffington Post - 27 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The North Korean elite are outwardly expressing their discontent towards young leader Kim Jong Un and his government as more outside information trickles into the isolated country, North Korea’s former deputy ambassador to London said on Wednesday. Thae Yong Ho defected to South Korea in August last year and since December 2016 has been speaking to media and appearing on variety television shows to discuss his defection to Seoul and his life as a North Kor ...
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Huffington Post article
Keane Singer Tom Chaplin Makes Triumphant Solo Debut in America
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Releasing an album no longer guarantees success in an industry where platinum-selling singers face the same pressures as fledgling artists. Yet, when Keane frontman Tom Chaplin kicked off a 15-date North American tour in Atlanta this weekend to celebrate his solo debut, The Wave, he proved that talent and heart still matter as much as the numbers do. In a triumphant return to the U.S. after more than four years away, Chaplin raised the roof with a dozen new songs that showcased his stellar vocal abilities - and also shared stories about his recovery from drug addiction. Chaplin's 90-minute set at the Buckhead Theatre included favorites "Everybody's Changing" and "Bend and Break" from Keane's 2004 debut, Hopes and Fears, as well as the current single, "Still Waiting." The Wave's "Hardened Heart" and "Bring the Rain" (co-written by Chaplin and Max McElligott ) recalled the joyous rave-ups for which Keane is best known, while "The River" (penned with Aqualung) suggested a clearer pop di ...
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Huffington Post article
Sunny Skies Forecast Over Art Miami 2016
Huffington Post - 3 months
Franz Kline, Untitled, Circa 1947, Oil on canvas, 28 x 35 in. (71.1 x 88.9 cm). Courtesy of Allan Stone Projects, New York. © The Franz Kline Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. All signals point to an optimistic and rising art barometer as another whirlwind Miami Art Week approaches. Not only is the expected temperature perfect for the first week in December, but recent auction results show a healthy push for acquiring outstanding examples of contemporary art. Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips' recent evening sales totaling almost $450 million were perhaps the best predictor that the art market is alive and well and has weathered an earlier dip successfully, so now it looks like sunny skies are ahead. Not surprisingly, most financial advisors are recommending a healthy percentage of wealth be invested in contemporary art. Concerns about the impacts of continued lagging oil prices (not oil on canvases), the aftermath of Brexit, and the unexpected U.S. presidential ele ...
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Eleven More Bass Players Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Huffington Post - 3 months
"You ask the average person what a bass is, or what a bass sounds like, and most of the time, they don't know. But remove the bass from any piece of music and suddenly it becomes the largest missing piece in the world! Whoa, fifty percent of the music just went away with one instrument! It is an instrument that is much more conspicuous by its absence than by its presence..." As told to this writer by Michael J. Visceglia, bassist, author, educator, recording artist The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were revealed a few weeks ago and I congratulate all the artists: Bad Brains, Chaka Khan, Chic, Depeche Mode, Electric Light Orchestra, J. Geils Band, Jane's Addiction, Janet Jackson, Joan Baez, Joe Tex, Journey, Kraftwerk, MC 5, Pearl Jam, Steppenwolf, The Cars, The Zombies, Tupac Shakur, and Yes. Some of the choices are obvious to me, some less so. A few leave me bewildered, but that's rock and roll...the mistakes make the music real. And I see that a few of the nomi ...
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In the Wake of Trump Victory, New York's Auction Week Perseveres With Solid Results
Huffington Post - 3 months
Edvard Munch, Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge), 1902, oil on canvas, 39 3/4 x 40 3/8 in. (101 x 102.5 cm). Estimate: on request, in excess of $50 million. Price Realized: $54,487,500 million. While there was much speculation about the effect that the United States' upset presidential contest might have on the art market, this week's New York sales proved that the auction market remains as impervious to politics as it does to criticism. The Picassos, the Warhols, and the Richters were bought and sold, like any other day, regardless of who is advancing to the White House and who is marching in the street. And while the market is certainly experiencing a contraction from the spectacle of just a few years prior, overall the sales were solid and steady, though a touch subdued. László Moholy-Nagy, EM 1 Telephonbild, conceived in 1922, executed in 1923, porcelain enamel on steel, 37 1/2 x 23 3/4 in. (95.2 x 60.3 cm). Estimate: $3,000,000 - 4,000,000. Price Realized: ...
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Eric Clapton sued by musician's estate over songwriting credit
Fox News - 4 months
The estate of a Mississippi blues musician has filed a lawsuit against Eric Clapton, accusing the Hall of Fame guitarist of giving a songwriting credit to the wrong artist.
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Fox News article
What to Expect during November's Auction Season
Huffington Post - 4 months
In New York, there are specialty art auctions throughout the year, but all eyes are on the day and evening sales in November and May that bring out the big-ticket pieces from major collections. Here are the works worth watching the week of November 13th. It seems as if the top three auction houses have Gerhard Richter fever, as they each are offering at least one of the artist's work for over $20 million with an expected hammer prices far above their estimates. In addition, both Sotheby's and Christie's have secured prominent collectors estates to offer this season. Christie's secured the estate of Sylvia Olnick, a committed collector who amassed a collection with works by Roy Lichtenstein and Agnes Martin (whose retrospective at the Guggenheim is a must-see). This estate, split between Christie's Post-War and Contemporary day and evening sales, is auctioning 53 objects. One notable piece is an Agnes Martin entitled Untitled #6 (1983) that is estimated between $5 million and $7 ...
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The Night Bob Dylan Made Sense
Huffington Post - 4 months
Twenty-four years ago, a concert predicted Dylan's future as a Nobel Laureate. Bob Dylan is officially the songwriter with the most bling. He's got plaques, statues, gramophones, and now a Nobel Prize in Literature. True to form, the Minnesota-born singer performed a career-spanning set at the Desert Trip music festival in California Friday night but never mentioned the amazing honor bestowed upon him Thursday morning. What a rock and roll thing to do: ignore the elephant in the room simply by being the bigger elephant. He's more decorated than Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, and Neil Young. With his new prize, Dylan has won the crown for all time. For America. But if Dylan is a living, breathing national hero, why have we been eulogizing him since he was a young man, almost as if he was dead ? I first asked this question when I attended a 30th anniversary Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. It was October 16, 1992, and the marquee read, "Columbia Recor ...
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Prince microphone among items at LA auction
Reuters.com - 5 months
Prince, Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton memorabilia going to auction in Los Angeles next month. Called "Icons and Idles: Rock n' Roll Auction" it also features pieces from rocker Slash, The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Jayson Mansaray reports.
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Reuters.com article
Eric Clapton recalls how Prince inspired 'Holy Mother'
Yahoo News - 10 months
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eric Clapton is recalling Prince as a true genius and the inspiration for Clapton's song "Holy Mother."
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Yahoo News article
Americana Blues Meets Italian Jazz: Chris Rundle Band's Debut Album, Cave Sessions
Huffington Post - about 1 year
With an infectious rolling groove led by the double bass, British bluesman Chris Rundle eases into Ray Bonneville's "Under the Bridge" with a natural and deceptively effortless sound on his debut album, "Cave Sessions," taking the Americana blues classic on a journey from New Orleans to Rundle's adopted streets in Bologna, Italy. Soon joined by Italian jazz guitarist Enrico Pitaro's haunting licks, Rundle's Americana guitar underlies a brilliant new collection that is hip without pretension, evocative without formality, and brings together a unique blend of down-home and jazz-laced blues. The collaboration between Rundle--whose spare style springs from Americana and country blues to global folk roots--and his Italian jazz counterparts is not only refreshing and engaging, but adds an original edge to traditional and contemporary blues tunes that is at once relaxed and incredibly accomplished. In "Sugar and Riley," Rundle's vocals trundle alongside Giannicola Spezzigu's double ...
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Huffington Post article
Hard Rock Cafe fetes 45 years with London memorabilia exhibit
Yahoo News - about 1 year
From Madonna's bustier to Paul McCartney's suit, fashion memorabilia from the world of music goes on display at an exhibition in London on Wednesday celebrating the 45th anniversary of the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe. The display, called "Hard Rock Couture", features items worn as well as instruments played by singers and musicians across the decades, including Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. The Hard Rock Cafe, which first opened its doors in central London before expanding with restaurants worldwide, has what it calls "the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia" -- all of which began with an Eric Clapton guitar.
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Yahoo News article
Discussing All Things Awesome With Jazz is Phish
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Adam Chase is the founder of Jazz Is Phish as well as an accomplished drummer, percussionist, song writer, teacher and multi-instrumentalist. What I love most about Adam and what he has created in his life is the fact that he took what he loves and is passionate about, invited people he loves and respects to collaborate with him and created something magical from that intention. He is an incredibly inspiring human that we all could learn something from so I obviously had to interview him. Taraleigh: How did the concept for Jazz is Phish come to be? Adam: In my years of touring, I constantly came across incredible musicians that were closet Phish fans, but for some reason didn't want to admit it. It kind of reminded me of when children rebel against their parents in their attempts to form their own identities. They don't want to be associated with the thing that shaped them and influenced them for such a big chunk of their lives. It became apparent to me that if I could cr ...
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Huffington Post article
Robert Stigwood: Impresario Extraordinaire
Huffington Post - about 1 year
On January 4th, my colleague, business partner and mentor of over 45 years, Robert Stigwood, died. Robert was remarkable. Our backgrounds and outlooks were very different but we bonded over my willingness to disagree with him. His sycophants feared losing pay and perks and were intimidated into silence. Robert wanted truth... I told him the truth. Stigwood's lofty position emerged from what I'd characterize as a pathological belief in himself plus a willingness to take risks - whether at the roulette wheel, the race track - or similar risks in how he conducted business and his life. He failed at times. No matter! Going against the grain, losing a company, he always got back into the game with resilience, tenacity and fortitude which defied logic but defined his success. "Ballsiness and luck" were his recipe for entrepreneurial success. Robert was a true impresario who knew how to market/package/present with glamour, dazzle and insight. We bonded in 1971. Robert had a p ...
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Eric Clapton
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    On 20 May 2016, Clapton released his twenty-third studio album I Still Do.
    More Details Hide Details On September 30, 2016 the live-album Live in San Diego will be released. Clapton cites Muddy Waters, Freddie King, B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Hubert Sumlin as guitar playing influences. Clapton stated blues musician Robert Johnson to be his single most important influence. In 2004 Clapton released CDs and DVDs entitled Sessions for Robert Johnson, featuring covers of Robert Johnson songs using electric and acoustic guitars. Clapton co-authored with others the book Discovering Robert Johnson, in which Clapton said Johnson was: Clapton also singled out Buddy Holly as an influence. The Chirping Crickets was the first album Clapton ever bought; he later saw Holly on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. In his autobiography, Clapton recounted the first time he saw Holly and his Fender, saying, "I thought I'd died and gone to heaven it was like seeing an instrument from outer space and I said to myself: 'That's the future – that's what I want'".
    In a 2016 interview with Classic Rock magazine, Clapton revealed that he had been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy in 2013, a condition which refers to damage in one's peripheral nerves and often results in stabbing, burning or tingling pain in the arms and legs.
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  • 2015
    Clapton performed two shows at Madison Square Garden in New York on 1 and 3 May 2015 followed by a 7-night residency at London's Royal Albert Hall from 14 to 23 May 2015 to celebrate his 70th birthday on 30 March.
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  • 2014
    On 27 June 2014 he confirmed his retirement plans attributing his decision to the road being "unbearable" in addition to "odd ailments" that may force him to put down his guitar permanently.
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    On 21 June 2014, Clapton abruptly walked off stage during a concert at the Glasgow Hydro.
    More Details Hide Details Although he did return to perform one final song, thousands of fans were upset by the lack of explanation from Clapton or the venue and booed after the concert ended around 40 minutes before advertised to finish. Both Clapton and the venue apologised the next day, blaming 'technical difficulties' for making sound conditions 'unbearable' for Clapton on stage.
    On 30 April 2014, Clapton announced the release of The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale as an homage to J.J. Cale who died on 26 July 2013.
    More Details Hide Details This tribute album is named after the 1972 single "Call Me the Breeze" and features 16 Cale songs performed by Clapton, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty and others.
  • 2013
    On 13 and 14 November 2013, Clapton headlined the final two evenings of the "Baloise Sessions", an annual indoor music festival in Basel, Switzerland.
    More Details Hide Details On 20 November 2013, Warner Bros released Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 in CD/DVD/Blu-ray.
    On 15 October 2013, Clapton's popular Unplugged album and concert DVD were re-released, titled Unplugged: Expanded & Remastered.
    More Details Hide Details The album includes the original 14 tracks, remastered, as well as 6 additional tracks, including 2 versions of "My Father's Eyes". The DVD includes a restored version of the concert, as well as over 60 minutes of unseen footage from the rehearsal.
    On 28 February 2013, Clapton announced his intention to stop touring in 2015 due to hassles with travel.
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    Clapton toured the US and Europe from 14 March to 19 June 2013 to celebrate 50 years as a professional musician.
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    On 8 April 2013, Eric and Hard Rock International launched the limited-edition Eric Clapton Artist Spotlight merchandise programme benefiting Crossroads Centre Antigua.
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    In January 2013, Surfdog Records announced a signed deal with Clapton for the release of his forthcoming album Old Sock on 12 March.
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  • 2012
    On 29 November 2012, Clapton joined The Rolling Stones at London's O2 Arena during the band's second of five arena dates celebrating their 50th anniversary.
    More Details Hide Details On 12 December, Clapton performed The Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden, broadcast live via television, radio, cinemas and the Internet across six continents.
    On 24 February 2012 Clapton, Keith Richards, Gary Clark Jr., Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II, Kim Wilson and other artists performed together in the Howlin' For Hubert Tribute concert held at the Apollo Theater of New York honouring blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin who died at age 80 on 4 December 2011.
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  • 2011
    He spent November and December 2011 touring Japan with Steve Winwood, playing 13 shows in various cities throughout the country.
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    On 24 June 2011, Clapton was in concert with Pino Daniele in Cava de' Tirreni stadium before performing a series of concerts in South America from 6 to 16 October 2011.
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  • 2010
    On 17 November 2010, Clapton performed as guest on the Prince's Trust rock gala held at the Royal Albert Hall, supported by the house band for the evening, which included Jools Holland, Midge Ure and Mark King.
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    Clapton released a new studio album, Clapton, on 27 September 2010 in the United Kingdom and 28 September 2010 in the United States.
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    Clapton performed a series of concerts in 11 cities throughout the United States from 25 February to 13 March 2010, including Roger Daltrey as opening act.
    More Details Hide Details His third European tour with Steve Winwood began on 18 May and ended 13 June, including Tom Norris as opening act. He then began a short North American tour lasting from 26 June to 3 July, starting with his third Crossroads Guitar Festival on 26 June at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.
    Clapton performed a two-night show with Jeff Beck at London's O2 Arena on 13–14 February 2010.
    More Details Hide Details The two former Yardbirds extended their 2010 tour with stops at Madison Square Garden, the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and the Bell Centre in Montreal.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    Clapton was scheduled to be one of the performers at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th anniversary concert in Madison Square Garden on 30 October 2009, but cancelled due to gallstone surgery.
    More Details Hide Details Van Morrison (who also cancelled) said in an interview that he and Clapton were to do a "couple of songs", but that they would do something else together at "some other stage of the game".
    On 4 May 2009 Clapton appeared as a featured guest at the Royal Albert Hall, playing "Further on Up the Road" with Joe Bonamassa.
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  • 2008
    In September 2008 Clapton performed at a private charity fundraiser for The Countryside Alliance at Floridita in Soho, London, that included such guests as the London Mayor Boris Johnson.
    More Details Hide Details In March 2009, the Allman Brothers Band (amongst many notable guests) celebrated their 40th year, dedicating their string of concerts to the late Duane Allman on their annual run at the Beacon Theatre. Eric Clapton was one of the performers, with drummer Butch Trucks remarking that the performance was not the typical Allman Brothers experience, given the number and musical styles of the guests who were invited to perform. Songs like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" were punctuated with others, including "The Weight", with Levon Helm; Johnny Winter sitting in on Hendrix's "Red House"; and "Layla".
    On 28 June 2008, he headlined Saturday night for Hard Rock Calling 2008 in London's Hyde Park (previously Hyde Park Calling) with support from Sheryl Crow and John Mayer.
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    Clapton's 2008 Summer Tour began on 3 May at the Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa, Florida, and then moved to Canada, Ireland, England, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, and Monaco.
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    In February 2008 Clapton performed with his long-time friend Steve Winwood at Madison Square Garden and guested on his recorded single, "Dirty City", on Winwood's album Nine Lives.
    More Details Hide Details The two former Blind Faith bandmates met again for a series of 14 concerts throughout the United States in June 2009.
  • 2007
    In 2007 Clapton learned more about his father, a Canadian soldier who left the UK after the war.
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    The rights to Clapton's official memoirs, written by Christopher Simon Sykes and published in 2007, were sold at the 2005 Frankfurt Book Fair for US$4 million.
    More Details Hide Details On 26 February 2008, it was reported that North Korean officials had invited Clapton to play a concert in the communist state. Clapton's management received the invitation and passed it on to the singer, who agreed in principle and suggested it take place sometime in 2009. Kristen Foster, a spokesperson, said, "Eric Clapton receives numerous offers to play in countries around the world", and "there is no agreement whatsoever for him to play in North Korea".
    The chemistry between Trucks and Clapton convinced him to invite The Derek Trucks Band to open for Clapton's set at his 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival.
    More Details Hide Details Trucks remained on set afterward and performed with Clapton's band throughout his performances.
  • 2006
    On 13 August 2006, Clapton made a guest appearance at the Bob Dylan concert in Columbus, Ohio, playing guitar on three songs in Jimmie Vaughan's opening act.
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    On 20 May 2006, Clapton performed with Queen drummer Roger Taylor and former Pink Floyd bassist/songwriter Roger Waters at the Highclere Castle, Hampshire, in support of the Countryside Alliance.
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    He invited Trucks to join his band for his 2006–2007 world tour.
    More Details Hide Details Bramhall remained in the band as well, giving Clapton three elite guitarists in his band and thus allowing him to revisit many Derek and the Dominos songs that he hadn't played in decades. Trucks became the third member of the Allman Brothers Band to tour supporting Clapton, the second being pianist/keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who appeared on the MTV Unplugged album and the 24 Nights performances at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1990 and 1991, as well as Clapton's 1992 US tour.
  • 2005
    In May 2005 Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker reunited as Cream for a series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
    More Details Hide Details Concert recordings were released on CD and DVD. Later, Cream performed in New York at Madison Square Garden. Back Home, Clapton's first album of new original material in nearly five years, was released on Reprise Records on 30 August. A collaboration with guitarist J. J. Cale, titled The Road to Escondido, was released on 7 November 2006, featuring Derek Trucks and Billy Preston (Preston had also been a part of Clapton's 2004 touring band). The 14-track CD was produced and recorded by the duo in August 2005 in California.
    On 22 January 2005, Clapton performed in the Tsunami Relief Concert held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, in aid of the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
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  • 2004
    In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Clapton No. 53 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".
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    Guitarist Doyle Bramhall II worked on the album with Clapton (after opening Clapton's 2001 tour with his band Smokestack) and would join him on his 2004 tour.
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    In 2004, Clapton released two albums of covers of songs by bluesman Robert Johnson, Me and Mr. Johnson and Sessions for Robert J.
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  • 2002
    Clapton married Melia McEnery in a low-key church ceremony in January 2002.
    More Details Hide Details They have three daughters: Julie Rose (born June 2001), Ella May (born 2003) and Sophie Belle (born 2005). His grandson Isaac Eric Owen Bartlett was born in June 2013 to his oldest daughter Ruth and her husband Dean Bartlett. Clapton is a supporter of the Countryside Alliance which promotes issues relating to the British countryside. He has played in concerts to raise funds for the organisation and publicly opposed the Labour Party's ban on fox hunting with the 2004 Hunting Act. A spokesperson for Clapton said, "Eric supports the Countryside Alliance. He doesn't hunt himself, but does enjoy rural pursuits such as fishing and shooting sports. He supports the Alliance's pursuit to scrap the ban on the basis that he doesn't agree with the state's interference with people's private pursuits".
  • 2001
    Following the release of the 2001 record Reptile, in June 2002, Clapton performed "Layla" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the Party at the Palace concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
    More Details Hide Details On 29 November 2002, the Concert for George was held at the Royal Albert Hall, a tribute to George Harrison, who had died a year earlier of lung cancer. Clapton was a performer and the musical director. The concert featured Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Ravi Shankar, Gary Brooker, Billy Preston, Joe Brown and Dhani Harrison.
    They married on 1 January 2001 at St Mary Magdalene church in Clapton's birthplace, Ripley.
    More Details Hide Details As of 2005 they have three daughters, Julie Rose (13 June 2001), Ella May (14 January 2003), and Sophie Belle (1 February 2005).
  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    In October 1999, the compilation album, Clapton Chronicles: The Best of Eric Clapton, was released, which contained a new song, "Blue Eyes Blue", that also appears in soundtrack for the film, Runaway Bride.
    More Details Hide Details Clapton finished the twentieth century with collaborations with Carlos Santana and B.B. King.
    At the 41st Grammy Awards on 24 February 1999, Clapton received his third Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, for his song "My Father's Eyes".
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    He quietly dated her for a year, and went public with the relationship in 1999.
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  • 1998
    In 1998 Clapton, then 53, met 22-year-old administrative assistant Melia McEnery in Columbus, Ohio, at a party given for him after a performance.
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  • 1996
    In 1996 Clapton had a relationship with singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow.
    More Details Hide Details They remain friends, and Clapton appeared as a guest on Crow's Central Park Concert. The duo performed a Cream hit single, "White Room". Later, Clapton and Crow performed an alternate version of "Tulsa Time" with other guitar legends at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in June 2007 as well as Robert Johnson's blues classic "Crossroads" at London's Hyde Park in August 2008 with John Mayer and Robert Randolph.
    Clapton's 1996 recording of the Wayne Kirkpatrick/Gordon Kennedy/Tommy Sims tune "Change the World" (featured in the soundtrack of the film Phenomenon) won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1997, the same year he recorded Retail Therapy (an album of electronic music with Simon Climie under the pseudonym TDF).
    More Details Hide Details On 15 September 1997, Clapton appeared at the Music for Montserrat concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, performing "Layla" and "Same Old Blues" before finishing with "Hey Jude" alongside fellow English artists Paul McCartney, Elton John, Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler and Sting. That autumn, Clapton released the album Pilgrim, the first record featuring new material for almost a decade.
  • 1995
    In 1995, Clapton for the first and only time featured on a UK No. 1 single, collaborating with Chrissie Hynde, Cher and Neneh Cherry on a solo to a cover of "Love Can Build a Bridge" released in aid of the British charity telethon Comic Relief.
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  • 1994
    While Unplugged featured Clapton playing acoustic guitar, his 1994 album From the Cradle contained new versions of old blues standards, highlighted by his electric guitar playing.
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  • 1992
    In October 1992 Clapton was among the dozens of artists performing at Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.
    More Details Hide Details Recorded at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the live two-disk CD/DVD captured a show full of celebrities performing classic Dylan songs, with Clapton playing the lead on a nearly 7-minute version of Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" as part of the finale.
    On 9 September 1992, Clapton performed "Tears in Heaven" at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, and won the award for Best Male Video.
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    Unplugged features Clapton performing live in front of a small audience on 16 January 1992 at Bray Film Studios in Windsor, Berkshire, England.
    More Details Hide Details The album reached number one on the Billboard 200, and has since been certified Diamond by the RIAA for selling over 10 million copies in the US.
  • 1991
    Then, on 20 March 1991, Clapton's four-year-old son, Conor, died after falling from the 53rd-floor window of his mother's friend's New York City apartment at 117 East 57th Street.
    More Details Hide Details Conor's funeral took place on 28 March at St Mary Magdalene's Church in Clapton's home village in Ripley, Surrey. Clapton's grief was expressed in the song "Tears in Heaven", which was co-written by Will Jennings. At the 35th Grammy Awards, Clapton received six Grammys for the single "Tears in Heaven" and his Unplugged album.
  • 1990
    On 27 August 1990, fellow blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was touring with Clapton, and three members of their road crew were killed in a helicopter crash between concerts.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1988
    They divorced in 1988 following his affair with Italian model Lory Del Santo, who gave birth to their son, Conor, on 21 August 1986.
    More Details Hide Details Conor died in 1991, at the age of four and a half, when he fell out of an open bedroom window on the 53rd floor of a Manhattan apartment building. The death of his son was the inspiration for Clapton's song "Tears in Heaven."
    In 1988 he played with Dire Straits and Elton John at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute at Wembley Stadium and the Prince's Trust rock gala at the Royal Albert Hall.
    More Details Hide Details On 30 June 1990, Dire Straits, Clapton and Elton John made a guest appearance in the Nordoff-Robbins charity show held at Knebworth. In 1991 Clapton was featured on Richie Sambora's album, Stranger in This Town, in a song dedicated to him, called "Mr. Bluesman". He contributed guitar and vocals to "Runaway Train", a duet with Elton John on the latter's The One album the following year. On 12 September 1996 Clapton played a party for Armani at New York City's Lexington Armory with Greg Phillinganes, Nathan East and Steve Gadd. Sheryl Crow appeared on one number, performing "Tearing Us Apart", a track from August, which was first performed by Tina Turner during the Prince's Trust All-Star Rock show in 1986. It was Clapton's sole US appearance that year, following the open-air concert held at Hyde Park. The concert was taped and the footage was released both on VHS video cassette and later, on DVD.
  • 1987
    At the 1987 Brit Awards in London, Clapton was awarded the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
    More Details Hide Details The 1990s brought a series of 32 concerts to the Royal Albert Hall, such as the 24 Nights series of concerts that took place around January through February 1990, and February to March 1991.
  • 1985
    As Clapton recovered from his addictions, his album output continued in the 1980s, including two produced with Phil Collins, 1985's Behind the Sun, which produced the hits "Forever Man" and "She's Waiting", and 1986's August.
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    Clapton, now a seasoned charity performer, played at the Live Aid concert on 13 July 1985.
    More Details Hide Details When offered a slot close to peak viewing hours, he was apparently flattered.
    He learned that Clapton's father was Edward Walter Fryer, born 21 March 1920, in Montreal and died 15 May 1985 in Newmarket, Ontario.
    More Details Hide Details Fryer was a musician (piano and saxophone) and a lifelong drifter who was married several times, had several children, and apparently never knew that he was the father of Eric Clapton. Clapton thanked Woloschuk in an encounter at Macdonald Cartier Airport, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
    Clapton won a British Academy Television Award for his collaboration with Michael Kamen on the score for the 1985 BBC Television thriller serial Edge of Darkness.
    More Details Hide Details In 1989, Clapton released Journeyman, an album which covered a wide range of styles including blues, jazz, soul and pop. Collaborators included George Harrison, Phil Collins, Daryl Hall, Chaka Khan, Mick Jones, David Sanborn and Robert Cray.
  • 1984
    In 1984 while recording Behind The Sun, Clapton began a relationship with Yvonne Kelly, the manager of AIR Studios Montserrat. Although both were married to other partners at the time, they had a daughter in January 1985.
    More Details Hide Details She was named Ruth Kelly Clapton, but her existence was kept from the public until the media realised she was his child in 1991. Clapton and Boyd tried unsuccessfully to have children, even trying in vitro fertilisation in 1984, but were faced instead with miscarriages.
    In 1984 he performed on former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters' solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, and joined the supporting tour.
    More Details Hide Details Since then Waters and Clapton have had a close relationship. In 2005 they performed together for the Tsunami Relief Fund. In 2006 they performed at the Highclere Castle, in aid of the Countryside Alliance, playing two set pieces of "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb".
  • 1982
    After calling his manager and admitting he was an alcoholic, Clapton flew to Minneapolis – St. Paul in January 1982 and checked in at Hazelden Treatment Center, located in Center City, Minnesota.
    More Details Hide Details On the flight over, Clapton indulged in a large number of drinks, for fear he would never be able to drink again. Clapton wrote in his autobiography: It was the only thing I thought was worth living for, and the idea that people were about to try and remove me from alcohol was so terrible that I drank and drank and drank, and they had to practically carry me into the clinic. After being discharged, it was recommended by doctors of Hazelden that Clapton not partake in any activities that would act as triggers for his alcoholism or stress. A few months after his discharge, Clapton began working on his next album, against the Hazelden doctors' orders. Working with Tom Dowd, Clapton produced what he thought as his "most forced" album to date, Money and Cigarettes.
  • 1981
    In 1981 Clapton was invited by producer Martin Lewis to appear at the Amnesty International benefit The Secret Policeman's Other Ball.
    More Details Hide Details Clapton accepted the invitation and teamed up with Jeff Beck to perform a series of duets—reportedly their first ever billed stage collaboration. Three of the performances were released on the album of the show, and one of the songs was featured in the film. The performances heralded a return to form and prominence for Clapton in the new decade. Many factors had influenced Clapton's comeback, including his "deepening commitment to Christianity", to which he had converted prior to his heroin addiction.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1979
    Clapton and Pattie Boyd married in 1979 and had no children.
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    Although Radle would remain Clapton's bass player until the summer of 1979 (Radle died in May 1980 from the effects of alcohol and narcotics), it would be 2003 before Clapton and Whitlock appeared together again (Clapton guested on Whitlock's appearance on the Later with Jools Holland show).
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  • 1978
    This incident, along with some controversial remarks made around the same time by David Bowie, as well as uses of Nazi-related imagery by Sid Vicious and Siouxsie Sioux, were the main catalysts for the creation of Rock Against Racism, with a concert on 30 April 1978.
    More Details Hide Details In response to the comments, rock photographer Red Saunders and others published an open letter in NME, Melody Maker, Sounds, and the Socialist Worker. It read "Come on Eric... Own up. Half your music is black. You're rock music's biggest colonist". It concluded, "P.S. Who shot the Sheriff, Eric? It sure as hell wasn't you!" In an interview from October 1976 with Sounds magazine, Clapton said that he was not a political person and that his rambling remarks that night were not appropriate. However, in a 2004 interview with Uncut, Clapton referred to Powell as "outrageously brave". He complained that the UK was "... inviting people in as cheap labour and then putting them in ghettos". In 2004, Clapton told an interviewer for Scotland on Sunday, "There's no way I could be a racist. It would make no sense". In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton called himself "deliberately oblivious to it all" and wrote, "I had never really understood or been directly affected by racial conflict... when I listened to music, I was disinterested in where the players came from or what colour their skin was. Interesting, then, that 10 years later, I would be labelled a racist." In a December 2007 interview with Melvyn Bragg on The South Bank Show, Clapton reiterated his support for Enoch Powell and again denied that Powell's views were "racist".
  • 1976
    On 5 August 1976, Clapton provoked an uproar and lingering controversy when he spoke out against increasing immigration during a concert in Birmingham.
    More Details Hide Details Visibly intoxicated, Clapton voiced his support of controversial political candidate Enoch Powell, and announced on stage that Britain was in danger of becoming a "black colony". Among other things, Clapton said "Keep Britain white!" which was at the time a British National Front slogan.
    In 1976 he performed as one of a string of notable guests at the farewell performance of The Band, filmed in a Martin Scorsese documentary called The Last Waltz.
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  • 1974
    In 1974, Clapton started living with Pattie Boyd (they would not marry until 1979) and was no longer using heroin (although he gradually began to drink heavily).
    More Details Hide Details He assembled a low-key touring band that included Radle, Miami guitarist George Terry, keyboardist Dick Sims (who died in 2011), drummer Jamie Oldaker, and vocalists Yvonne Elliman and Marcy Levy (also known as Marcella Detroit). With this band Clapton recorded 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974), an album with an emphasis on more compact songs and fewer guitar solos; the cover version of "I Shot the Sheriff" was Clapton's first number one hit and was important in bringing reggae and the music of Bob Marley to a wider audience. The 1975 album There's One in Every Crowd continued this trend. The album's original title, The World's Greatest Guitar Player (There's One in Every Crowd), was changed before pressing, as it was felt its ironic intention would be misunderstood. The band toured the world and subsequently released the 1975 live LP, E.C. Was Here. Clapton continued to release albums and toured regularly. Highlights of the period include No Reason to Cry (a collaboration with Bob Dylan and the Band); Slowhand, which featured "Wonderful Tonight" and a second JJ Cale cover, "Cocaine".
  • 1973
    In January 1973, the Who's Pete Townshend organised a comeback concert for Clapton at London's Rainbow Theatre, aptly titled the "Rainbow Concert", to help Clapton kick his addiction.
    More Details Hide Details Clapton would return the favour by playing 'The Preacher' in Ken Russell's film version of the Who's Tommy in 1975; his appearance in the film (performing "Eyesight to the Blind") is notable as he is clearly wearing a fake beard in some shots, the result of deciding to shave off his real beard after the initial takes in an attempt to force the director to remove his earlier scene from the movie and leave the set.
  • 1971
    A second record was in the works when a clashing of egos took place and Clapton walked, thus disbanding the group. Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident on 29 October 1971.
    More Details Hide Details Clapton wrote later in his autobiography that he and Allman were inseparable during the sessions in Florida; he talked about Allman as the "musical brother I'd never had but wished I did".
    There he nursed a heroin addiction, which resulted in a lengthy career hiatus interrupted only by the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971 (where he passed out on stage, was revived, and managed to finish his performance).
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  • 1970
    On 17 September 1970, one day before Hendrix's death, Clapton had purchased a left-handed Fender Stratocaster that he had planned to give to Hendrix as a birthday gift.
    More Details Hide Details Adding to Clapton's woes, the Layla album received only lukewarm reviews upon release. The shaken group undertook a US tour without Allman, who had returned to the Allman Brothers Band. Despite Clapton's later admission that the tour took place amidst a veritable blizzard of drugs and alcohol, it resulted in the live double album In Concert.
    Clapton also worked with much of Delaney and Bonnie's band to record George Harrison's All Things Must Pass in spring 1970.
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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".
  • 1969
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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".
    On 15 December 1969 Clapton performed with Lennon, George Harrison, and others as the Plastic Ono Band at a fundraiser for UNICEF in London.
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    On 30 September 1969, Clapton played lead guitar on Lennon's second solo single, "Cold Turkey".
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    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.
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    The supergroup debuted before 100,000 fans in London's Hyde Park on 7 June 1969.
    More Details Hide Details They performed several dates in Scandinavia and began a sold-out American tour in July before their only album was released. The LP Blind Faith consisted of just six songs, one of them the hit "Can't Find My Way Home". The album's jacket image of a topless pubescent girl was deemed controversial in the United States and was replaced by a photograph of the band. Blind Faith dissolved after less than seven months.
  • OTHER
  • 1968
    Clapton was on good terms with all four of the Beatles; in December 1968 he had played with Lennon at the The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus as part of the one-off group the Dirty Mac. Cream briefly reunited in 1993 to perform at the ceremony inducting them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; a full reunion took place in May 2005, with Clapton, Bruce, and Baker playing four sold-out concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall, and three shows at New York's Madison Square Garden that October.
    More Details Hide Details Recordings from the London shows, Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6, 2005, were released on CD, LP, and DVD in September/December 2005. Clapton's next group, Blind Faith (1969), was composed of Cream drummer Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood of Traffic, and Ric Grech of Family, and yielded one LP and one arena-circuit tour.
    Harrison's debut solo album, Wonderwall Music, in 1968, became the first of many Harrison solo records to include Clapton on guitar.
    More Details Hide Details Clapton would go largely uncredited for his contributions to Harrison's albums due to contractual restraints, and Harrison was credited as "L'Angelo Misterioso" for his contributions to the song "Badge" on Goodbye. The pair would often play live together as each other's guest. A year after Harrison's death in 2001, Clapton was musical director for the Concert for George. In January 1969, when the Beatles were recording/filming what became Let It Be, tensions became so acute that Harrison quit the group for several days, prompting the others to consider replacing him with Clapton, an idea that particularly appealed to John Lennon. Michael Lindsay-Hogg, television director of the recording sessions for Let It Be, states, "I was there when John mentioned Clapton—but that wasn't going to happen. Would Eric have become a Beatle? No. Paul didn't want to go there. He didn't want them to break up. Then George came back."
  • 1966
    Hendrix attended a performance of the newly formed Cream at the Central London Polytechnic on 1 October 1966, during which he sat in on a double-timed version of "Killing Floor".
    More Details Hide Details Top UK stars, including Clapton, Pete Townshend, members of the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles, avidly attended Hendrix's early club performances. Hendrix's arrival had an immediate and major effect on the next phase of Clapton's career. Clapton first visited the United States while touring with Cream. In March 1967, Cream performed a nine-show stand at the RKO Theater in New York. They recorded Disraeli Gears in New York from 11–15 May 1967. Cream's repertoire varied from hard rock ("I Feel Free") to lengthy blues-based instrumental jams ("Spoonful"). Disraeli Gears featured Clapton's searing guitar lines, Bruce's soaring vocals and prominent, fluid bass playing, and Baker's powerful, polyrhythmic jazz-influenced drumming. Together, Cream's talents secured them as an influential power trio. In 28 months, Cream had become a commercial success, selling millions of records and playing throughout the US and Europe. They redefined the instrumentalist's role in rock and were one of the first blues-rock bands to emphasise musical virtuosity and lengthy jazz-style improvisation sessions. Their US hit singles include "Sunshine of Your Love" (#5, 1968), "White Room" (#6, 1968) and "Crossroads" (#28, 1969) – a live version of Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues". Though Cream was hailed as one of the greatest groups of its day, and the adulation of Clapton as a guitar legend reached new heights, the supergroup was short-lived.
    Cream's first gig was an unofficial performance at the Twisted Wheel Club in Manchester on 29 July 1966 before their full debut two nights later at the National Jazz and Blues Festival in Windsor.
    More Details Hide Details Cream established its enduring legend with the high-volume blues jamming and extended solos of their live shows. By early 1967, fans of the emerging blues-rock sound in Britain had begun to portray Clapton as Britain's top guitarist; however, he found himself rivalled by the emergence of Jimi Hendrix, an acid rock-infused guitarist who used wailing feedback and effects pedals to create new sounds for the instrument.
    Clapton left the Bluesbreakers in July 1966 (replaced by Peter Green) and was invited by drummer Ginger Baker to play in his newly formed band Cream, one of the earliest supergroups, with Jack Bruce on bass (previously of the Bluesbreakers, the Graham Bond Organisation and Manfred Mann).
    More Details Hide Details Before the formation of Cream, Clapton was not well known in the United States; he left the Yardbirds before "For Your Love" hit the US Top Ten, and had yet to perform there. During his time with Cream, Clapton began to develop as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, though Bruce took most of the lead vocals and wrote the majority of the material with lyricist Pete Brown.
    Although Clapton gained world fame for his playing on the influential album, Blues Breakers – John Mayall – With Eric Clapton, this album was not released until he had left the band for the last time in July 1966.
    More Details Hide Details Having swapped his Fender Telecaster and Vox AC30 amplifier for a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar and Marshall amplifier, Clapton's sound and playing inspired a well-publicised graffito that deified him with the famous slogan "Clapton is God". The phrase was spray-painted by an admirer on a wall in an Islington Underground station in the autumn of 1967. The graffiti was captured in a now-famous photograph, in which a dog is urinating on the wall. Clapton is reported to have been embarrassed by the slogan, saying in his The South Bank Show profile in 1987, "I never accepted that I was the greatest guitar player in the world. I always wanted to be the greatest guitar player in the world, but that's an ideal, and I accept it as an ideal".
    In March 1966, while still a member of the Bluesbreakers, Clapton briefly collaborated on a side project with Jack Bruce and Steve Winwood among others, recording only a few of tracks under the name Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse.
    More Details Hide Details During his second Bluesbreakers stint, Clapton gained a reputation as the best blues guitarist on the club circuit.
  • 1965
    In November 1965 he rejoined John Mayall.
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    In the summer of 1965 he left for Greece with a band called the Glands, which included his old friend Ben Palmer on piano.
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    Clapton joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in April 1965, only to quit a few months later.
    More Details Hide Details In June, Clapton was invited to jam with Jimmy Page, recording a number of tracks that would be retroactively credited to The Immediate All-Stars.
    In March 1965, Clapton and the Yardbirds had their first major hit, "For Your Love", written by songwriter Graham Gouldman, who also wrote hit songs for Herman's Hermits and the Hollies (and would later achieve success of his own as a member of 10cc).
    More Details Hide Details In part because of its success, the Yardbirds elected to move toward a pop-oriented sound, much to the annoyance of Clapton, who was devoted to the blues and not commercial success. He left the Yardbirds on the day that "For Your Love" went public, a move that left the band without its lead guitarist and most accomplished member. Clapton suggested fellow guitarist Jimmy Page to be his replacement, but Page declined out of loyalty to Clapton, putting Jeff Beck forward. While Beck and Page played together in the Yardbirds, the trio of Beck, Page, and Clapton were never in the group together. However, the three did appear on the 12-date benefit tour for Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis in 1983.
  • 1964
    The shows also mark 50 years since Clapton first played at the Royal Albert Hall – his debut was on 7 December 1964 when he performed as part of The Yardbirds for the BBC's Top Beat Show.
    More Details Hide Details Clapton returned to the venue four years later for Cream's UK Farewell Concerts on 26 November 1968. The 2-night concerts in the US marked the 46th anniversary since Clapton, with the band Cream, opened the "new" Madison Square Garden on 2 November 1968. Clapton has performed more times at Madison Square Garden than any other US venue, a total of 45 times. The concert film, Slowhand at 70 – Live at the Royal Albert Hall, was released by Eagle Rock Entertainment on 13 November 2015 on DVD, CD, Blu-Ray and LP.
    In December 1964, Clapton made his first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall, London with the Yardbirds.
    More Details Hide Details Since then, Clapton has performed at the Hall over 200 times and has stated that performing at the venue is like "playing in my front room".
  • 1963
    In October 1963, Clapton joined the Yardbirds, a blues-influenced rock and roll band, and stayed with them until March 1965.
    More Details Hide Details Synthesising influences from Chicago blues and leading blues guitarists such as Buddy Guy, Freddie King, and B. B. King, Clapton forged a distinctive style and rapidly became one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British music scene. The band initially played Chess/Checker/Vee-Jay blues numbers and began to attract a large cult following when they took over the Rolling Stones' residency at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond. They toured England with American bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson II; a joint LP album, recorded in December 1963, was issued in 1965. Yardbirds' rhythm guitarist, Chris Dreja, recalled that whenever Clapton broke a guitar string during a concert, he would stay on stage and replace it. The English audiences would wait out the delay by doing what is called a "slow handclap". Clapton's nickname of 'Slowhand' came from Giorgio Gomelsky, a pun on the slow handclapping that ensued when Clapton stopped playing while he replaced a string.
    He stayed with this band from January until August 1963.
    More Details Hide Details In October of that year, Clapton did a seven-gig stint with Casey Jones & the Engineers.
  • 1962
    In 1962, Clapton started performing as a duo with fellow blues enthusiast David Brock in pubs around Surrey.
    More Details Hide Details When he was seventeen years old, Clapton joined his first band, an early British R&B group, the Roosters, whose other guitarist was Tom McGuinness.
  • 1961
    In 1961, after leaving Hollyfield School in Surbiton, Clapton studied at the Kingston College of Art but was dismissed at the end of the academic year because his focus remained on music rather than art.
    More Details Hide Details His guitar playing was so advanced that, by the age of 16, he was getting noticed. Around this time, Clapton began busking around Kingston, Richmond, and the West End.
  • 1945
    Clapton was born on 30 March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England, to 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton (7 January 1929 – March 1999) and Edward Walter Fryer (21 March 1920 – 15 May 1985), a 25-year-old soldier from Montreal, Quebec.
    More Details Hide Details Fryer shipped off to war prior to Clapton's birth and then returned to Canada. Clapton grew up with his grandmother, Rose, and her second husband, Jack Clapp, who was stepfather to Patricia Clapton and her brother Adrian, believing they were his parents and that his mother was actually his older sister. The similarity in surnames gave rise to the erroneous belief that Clapton's real surname is Clapp (Reginald Cecil Clapton was the name of Rose's first husband, Eric Clapton's maternal grandfather). Years later, his mother married another Canadian soldier and moved to Germany, leaving young Eric with his grandparents in Surrey. Clapton received an acoustic Hoyer guitar, made in Germany, for his thirteenth birthday, but the inexpensive steel-stringed instrument was difficult to play and he briefly lost interest. Two years later Clapton picked it up again and started playing consistently. Clapton was influenced by the blues from an early age, and practised long hours to learn the chords of blues music by playing along to the records. He preserved his practice sessions using his portable Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder, listening to them over and over until he felt he'd got it right.
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