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In Honor - Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

Background -
Influenced by the Blues genre, Eric Clapton taught himself how to play the guitar (at the time, a Hoyer guitar) and blues music chords.  By the age of sixteen, Clapton's guitar skills were advanced to the point that he played gigs around Surrey with fellow blues artist, David Brock.  When he was seventeen, he joined the English R&B band, The Roosters, until August 1963.

In October 1963, Clapton joined the Yardbirds, a blues-influenced rock and roll band but departed in March 1965.  During his time with the band, however, they played at the Royal Albert Hall in London (Clapton's first appearance).  The success of the band's first major hit, "For Your Love," caused disagreement.  The Yardbirds wanted to go pop-oriented and Clapton wanted to stay in the blues genre.  (He was considered the most accomplished member by the time of his departure.)

In July 1966, Clapton joined Cream, where he developed into a singer and songwriter.  The band's first performance in the U.S. was at the RKO Theater in New York in March 1967.  In his time with Cream (who broke up in 1968), Clapton made great use of the Gibson SG - The Fool.  This guitar is one of the most well-known for its paint job reflective of the psychedelic era.

Cream briefly reunited in 1993 to perform when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 2005, the band again reunited to play at the Royal Albert Hall in London and at Madison Square Garden in New York.  

When fans discovered Eric Clapton's talent, they saw him as the greatest guitarist in the world.  He saw that honor as more of just an ideal.  After Cream, he formed a new band with intent to show better interest as part of an ensemble.

Solo Career -
"Layla" - "tale of a young man who fell hopelessly in love with a beautiful, unavailable woman and went crazy because he could not marry her" (Wikipedia)

"I Shot the Sheriff" - Eric Clapton's first No. 1 hit ... "important in bringing reggae and the music of Bob Marley to a wider audience" (Wikipedia)

"Cocaine" - Written and recorded by singer-songwriter, J. J. Cale, but made known by Clapton's 1977 cover version

"Tears in Heaven" - Sorrow over the loss of Clapton's 4-year-old son
Point of interest - This song and the album, Unplugged, earned Eric Clapton 6 Grammy awards.  ("Tears in Heaven" was a feature on the album.)  This song also earned him an MTV Video Music Award.

Continued Success, 1990s, Collaboration albums, Guitars
(Refer to Wikipedia)

Solo Discography -
23 albums
Debut - Eric Clapton (1970)
Most recent - Happy Xmas (2018)

Collaborations -
Riding with the King (with B.B. King, 2000)
The Road to Escondido (with J. J. Cale, 2006)

Eric Clapton Honors -
- 3-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 
(Solo, member of The Yardbirds, member of Cream)
- No. 2 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time"
- No. 4 in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time"
- No. 5 in Time magazine's "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" 
 - 18 Grammy Awards
- MTV Video Music Award 
- Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music
- 4 Ivor Novello Awards ... Including Lifetime Achievement Award 
- sold over 100 million records worldwide 

- Certified Diamond by the RIAA (Over 10 million copies sold)
- Certified 4x Platinum in the UK

There was drug addiction, alcoholism, and devastation to relationships especially due to infidelity.  This, of course, will remain in the past as Eric Clapton continues to rock on.

Auction of Clapton's guitars and amps
Support Crossroads Centre

Crossroads Centre was established by Eric Clapton in 1998 in Antigua to act as a drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation center.  The Crossroads Guitar Festival - performed in 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2013 - was organized to benefit the Crossroads Centre.  Clapton personally selects the performing guitarists.  

For this reason, among so many throughout Eric Clapton's career, I say -

Play it


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