Eric Clapton

Born:
Mar 30, 1945

About

From Wikipedia:

Eric Patrick Clapton CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is regarded as one of the most successful and influential guitarists in rock music. He ranked second in Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. In 2023, Rolling Stone named Clapton the 35th best guitarist of all time. He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009.

After playing in a number of different local bands, Clapton joined the Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965, and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers from 1965 to 1966. After leaving Mayall, he formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop”. After four successful albums, Cream broke up in November 1968. Clapton then formed the blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech, recording one album and performing on one tour before they broke up. Clapton then toured with Delaney & Bonnie and recorded his first solo album in 1970, before forming Derek and the Dominos with Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. Like Blind Faith, the band only lasted one album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, which includes “Layla”, one of Clapton’s signature songs.

Clapton continued to record a number of successful solo albums and songs over the next several decades, including a 1974 cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” (which helped reggae reach a mass market), the country-infused Slowhand album (1977) and the pop rock of 1986’s August. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Clapton’s grief was expressed in the song “Tears in Heaven”, which appeared on his Unplugged album. In 1996 he had another top-40 hit with the R&B crossover “Change the World”. In 1998, he released the Grammy award-winning “My Father’s Eyes”. Since 1999, he has recorded a number of traditional blues and blues rock albums and hosted the periodic Crossroads Guitar Festival. His most recent studio album is Happy Xmas (2018).

Clapton has received 18 Grammy Awards as well as the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004, he was awarded a CBE for services to music. He has received four Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. He 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 of Cream. In his solo career, he has sold more than 280 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. In 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for those recovering from substance abuse.


Clapton had met and become close friends with Harrison after the Beatles shared a bill with the Clapton-era Yardbirds at the London Palladium.

In 1968, Clapton played the lead guitar solo on Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, from the Beatles’ self-titled double album (also known as the “White Album”).

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 and filming what became Let It Be, tensions became so acute that Harrison quit the group for several days, prompting John Lennon to suggest they complete the project with Clapton if Harrison did not return. Michael Lindsay-Hogg, television director of the recording sessions for Let It Be, later recalled: “I was there when John mentioned Clapton – but that wasn’t going to happen. Would Eric have become a Beatle? No. Paul [McCartney] didn’t want to go there. He didn’t want them to break up. Then George came back.” Clapton was on good terms with all four of the Beatles.

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.

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 included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Ravi Shankar, Gary Brooker, Billy Preston, Joe Brown and Dhani Harrison.

In 2012, Clapton was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his artwork – the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life that he most admires to mark his 80th birthday.


Hanging out backstage at the Odeon was where I had my first meeting with the Beatles. Paul played the ambassador, coming out to meet us and saying hello. I remember him playing us the tune of “Yesterday,” which was half written, and asking everyone what they thought. He didn’t have the words yet. He was calling it “Scrambled Eggs,” and singing “Scrambled eggs… Everybody calls me scrambled eggs.” George and I hit it off right away. He seemed to like what I did, and we talked shop a lot. I Ie showed me his collection of Gretsch guitars, and I showed him my light-gauge strings, which I always bought from a shop called Clifford Essex on Earlham Street. I gave him some, and this was the start of what was to eventually become a long friendship; though not for a while, since the Beatles were then in another world to us. They were stars and climbing fast.

Eric Clapton – From “Clapton: The Autobiography” by Eric Clapton, 2008

Last updated on May 1, 2024

Albums, EPs & singles by Eric Clapton


Old Sock

By Eric Clapton • Official album

Albums, EPs & singles which Eric Clapton contributed to


All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK)

By The Beatles • 7" Single

Contribution: Backing vocals, Handclaps • 1 songs


All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (US)

By The Beatles • 7" Single

Contribution: Backing vocals, Handclaps • 1 songs


Magical Mystery Tour (US LP - Mono)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Backing vocals, Handclaps • 1 songs


Magical Mystery Tour (US LP - Stereo)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Backing vocals, Handclaps • 1 songs


Sour Milk Sea / The Eagle Laughs at You

By Jackie Lomax • 7" Single

Contribution: Lead guitar • 1 songs


The Beatles (Mono)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Lead guitar • 1 songs


The Beatles (Stereo)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Lead guitar • 1 songs


Yellow Submarine (Mono)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Backing vocals, Handclaps • 1 songs


Yellow Submarine (Stereo)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Backing vocals, Handclaps • 1 songs


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