” Eric Patrick Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, the son of 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton (b. 7 January 1929 d. March 1999) and Edward Walter Fryer (21 March1920 – 15 May 1985), a 25-year-old soldier from Montreal, Quebec. 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.
After leaving Hollyfield School, in Surbiton, in 1961, 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. His guitar playing was so advanced that by the age of 16 he was getting noticed. Around this time Clapton began busking aroundKingston, Richmond, and the West End. In 1962, Clapton started performing as a duo with fellow blues enthusiast David Brock in pubs around Surrey. 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. He stayed with this band from January through August 1963. In October of that year, Clapton did a seven-gig stint with Casey Jones & The Engineers. “
” By the time Eric Clapton launched his solo career with the release of his self-titled debut album in mid-1970, he was long established as one of the world’s major rock stars due to his group affiliations – the Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Blind Faith – which had demonstrated his claim to being the best rock guitarist of his generation. That it took Clapton so long to go out on his own, however, was evidence of a degree of reticence unusual for one of his stature. And his debut album, though it spawned the Top 40 hit “After Midnight,” was typical of his self-effacing approach: it was, in effect, an album by the group he had lately been featured in, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.
Not surprisingly, before his solo debut had even been released, Claptonhad retreated from his solo stance, assembling from the D&B&F ranks the personnel for a group, Derek & the Dominos, with whom he played for most of 1970 and recorded the landmark album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Clapton was largely inactive in 1971 and 1972, due to heroin addiction, but he performed a comeback concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London on January 13, 1973, resulting in the album Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert (September 1973). But Claptondid not launch a sustained solo career until July 1974, when he released461 Ocean Boulevard, which topped the charts and spawned the number one single “I Shot the Sheriff.” “
” A January 1973 comeback concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre re-introduced him to public performing, but his solo career really commenced in earnest a year later with 461 Ocean Boulevard. Recorded in Miami, it was influenced by the mellower likes of J.J. Cale and Bob Marley. Striking a chord with the public, 461 Ocean Boulevard topped the album charts in 1974. Meanwhile, Clapton’s cover of “I Shot the Sheriff,” originally by Bob Marley and the Wailers, helped introduced reggae to a mass audience. Working with a steady band that included guitarist George Terry, Clapton pursued a mellow, song-oriented course that accentuated his husky, laid-back vocals. His Seventies output, including such albums as There’s One in Every Crowd (1975) and No Reason to Cry (1976) has been largely underrated and is ripe for rediscovery. Clapton again struck commercial paydirt in 1977 with Slowhand, a strong set that included Clapton’s definitive version of J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” and the #3 hit “Lay Down Sally.”
Clapton remained a prolific artist throughout the Eighties, releasing a live double album that reached #2 (Just One Night), cutting two albums (Behind the Sun and August) with Phil Collins as producer, and launching his own label, Duck Records, in 1983, with one of his stronger studio efforts, Money and Cigarettes. In January 1987, he undertook the first of what would become an annual series of multi-night stands at London’s Royal Albert Hall. In 1992, his career received a major boost from his appearance on MTV’s Unplugged series. Returning to his roots on the heels of that acoustic folk-blues set, Clapton next cut a long-promised blues album, From the Cradle (1994). Throughout the Nineties, he continued to amass hits–no mean feat, given the shifting musical climate–including “Tears in Heaven,” a memorable elegy for his late son Conor; “Change the World,” a beatbox-driven collaboration with R&B artist/producer Babyface that won a Grammy for Record of the Year; and “My Father’s Eyes,” a ballad from his 1998 album Pilgrim.”
“ Tears in Heaven” was written after his son’s tragic death. It was co-written with Russ Titelman and acknowledged with a Grammy in 1993.
Most recently, Eric Clapton has organized a benefit concert in honor of Hubert Sumlin, the great bluesman, to take place at the Apollo Theater in New York on February 24, 2012. He will be joined by Jeff Beck, Keb Mo, Levon Helm, and Derek Trucks among others. Clapton is known to sponsor an array of charitable events and concerts. He has also established a rehabilitation clinic in Monserrat to help those with substance abuse problems.
‘Clapton’ was released on September 27, 2010 by Reprise.
A live album titled Play The Blues Live At Lincoln Center performed with Wynton Marsellis was released on September 13, 2011 by Reprise.
Early 2013 saw the release of ‘Old Sock’, an album of 10 cover songs and two new originals, which was met with mixed reviews, some saying that it was lazy and unnecessary (“little commitment to the music here and even less enthusiasm”) whilst others appreciated the mastery he still exhibits over his craft (“winding down a legendary career with his typical class, reverence to the past and master’s touch”).
Eric Clapton is highly regarded as a premier musician, and continues to remain a force in music today.”
Happy Birthday Eric . Thank You
Eric Clapton - IMDb
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Where’s Eric | The Eric Clapton Fan Club Magazine
Eric-Clapton - The Unofficial Website
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