Hey there Hawks!!!
First of all I hope that you had a faaaaaaantastic start to your week. I know some of you probably have the blues, so Eric Clapton is a great way to start. That’s right, this week we had a look at an insanely good guitarist who wrote history with his music. Born in England in the 40s, he was the son of an English girl and a Canadian soldier (We get 50% bragging rights). His grandparents raised him as his own. Finding out that his sister was actually his mother scarred Eric for life. He started to slack, and failed the important standardized 11+ test. As a result, he was enrolled in the Arts department at a Secondary School (ouch!).
When he was 15, Clapton got his first guitar! By 16, he was enrolled at Kingston College. By 17, he was expelled, and borderline alcoholic. It was at this time that he started to record with his first band the Yardbirds. Together they released one album. When the Yardbirds veered off the blues sound, Clapton got fed up and left. Not long later he joined a new band that we already heard a little bit about in a past episode. In 1965, Eric Clapton joined John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.
Again, he recorded just one album with them, before leaving them to form the band ‘Cream’. This was a group that he was successful with for some time. Yet, many issues, including personal problems, saw him leave the band. By then, he was so famous that an enthusiastic graffitied “Clapton is God” on a wall. “God” was one of his two famous nick names. The second one was slowhand. Usually, when a performer breaks a string on stage, a roadie will give him a new guitar, and fix the problem of stage. However, Clapton had a habit of replacing his strings while on stage. Until then the audience was clapping slowly, or giving him a slow hand. The name stuck.
His next big band was Derek and the Dominoes. With this band he released his most acclaimed album, Layla and Other Love songs. Sadly, fame wasn’t the only part of Clapton’s career. For many years he was involved in a bizarre love triangle involving his best friend George Harrison, and George’s wife Patty. They later divorced, and she married Eric. That marriage ended when Eric Clapton had two extra-marital children. However, fate was cruel to Clapton. In 1991, at the age of 4, his young son Conor fell out of the 59th story of his mother’s apartment. R.I.P Conor.
This tragedy caused one of the most beautiful songs written; Tears in Heaven. It was performed in Eric Clapton’s unplugged album. This was an immensely successful album, that revamped many of his already successful songs, giving them a rudimentary, basic, yet heartfelt sound.
All in all, Eric Clapton has been an immensely succesful musician. In fact, he is the only person to be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame three times! (as a member of the Yardbirds, as a member of Cream, and as a solo artist!)
Thanks for tuning in this week, Hawks! I’ll see you next Monday at 3:00!!!