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Clapton: The Autobiography Paperback – May 27, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“An absorbing tale of artistry, decadence, and redemption.”
—Los Angeles Times
“One of the very best rock autobiographies ever.”
— Houston Chronicle
“A glorious rock history.”
—New York Post
“This book does what many rock historians couldn’t: It debunks the legend . . . puts a lie to the glamour of what it means to be a rock star.”
—Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune
“Strong stuff. Clapton reveals its author’s journey to self-acceptance and manhood. Anyone who cares about the man and his music will want to take the trip with him.”
—Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone
“Clapton is honest . . . even searing and often witty, with a hard-won survivor’s humor . . . an honorable badge of a book.”
—Stephen King, New York Times Book Review
“An even, unblinking sensibility defines the author’s voice.”
—New York Times
“An unsparing self-portrait.”
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
First of all, this is an exceptional book, but unlike some biographies, and fewer autobiographies, it is not one that would be a "page turner" for everyone because it is not full of cute anecdotes that make for sharing stories around the water cooler the next day.
A case in point is the time when Eric first met Jimi Hendrix. Chas Chandler of the Animals was trying to develop a career as a promoter and came across Hendrix in New York. Promising him a chance to meet Eric Clapton, he took Jimi to London. After meeting several musicians (Eric Burton, Andy Summers, et. al.), Chas took Jimi to hear Cream play. Backstage, Chas introduced Jimi, and they asked if Jimi could sit in with them for a few numbers, which seemed kind of ballsey. In CLAPTON, Eric writes that Jimi played Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" in true Hendrix fashion playing "the guitar with his teeth, behind his head, lying on the floor, doing the splits, the whole business. It was amazing.....They (the crowd) loved it, and I loved it, too, but I remember thinking that here was a force to be reckoned with.Read more ›
"Cruel and vicious" is how Clapton describes himself upon throwing Boyd out of their house for refusing to sleep with him after she learned his mistress was pregnant. "Cruel and vicious" pretty much sums up this book and the man behind it.
Every attractive woman who gets near Clapton goes from inamorata to enemy in a heartbeat. He threatens to become a heroin addict when Boyd refuses to leave her husband, but once he wins her, he berates her. When a supermodel romances Clapton for the express purpose of meeting fellow reprobate Mick Jagger, and the inevitable happens, Clapton is reduced to plotting murder.
Every predictable action is met with Clapton's predictably insane reaction. Clapton is attracted mostly to women as ruthless or vapid as he is, guaranteeing disappointment. The prime exception is Boyd, the indisputable love of Clapton's life. Boyd was a compassionate but insecure woman, and she was also married to close friend George Harrison, which is why Clapton wanted her.
Clapton resents Boyd for resisting his pleas to run off with him. When she does, he resents her even more because he realizes he's not good enough for her. He demands Boyd join him on his drinking binges and then resents her for that. He resents her for pushing him into rehab. He resents her for being infertile. He resents her most of all when she divorces him and slips out of his control forever.Read more ›
The opening chapters are interesting, although very little new information is provided for any one who has read at all about the music scene of the 60's and 70's. As the book progresses, it moves into a second stage which is, frankly, rather boring. Like much of Clapton's music from this era, it lacks focus and tends to ramble.
However, it's the last third of the book that I find most disturbing. I'm not only very familiar with the guitar, but also addiction and recovery. To those familiar with 12-step programs, Clapton's almost complete disregard of his commitment to anonymity, and lack of true humility, is shocking and a red flag to anyone who knows about recovery. This guy may not be drinking or drugging anymore, but is clearly selective as to which parts of the program he cares to follow. An argument can be made that he needed to tell the story of his recovery, but this could have been done in a much more careful way -as many before him have done. Reading this book, I for the first time now truly understand why the rule of anonymity is so important in recovery. If the program that made Clapton "sober" produced the kind of man that is revealed in the last chapters of this book, then many people may decide to not try that route for themselves.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Consider me a fan of Eric's guitar work from Bluesbreaker through Cream. First off, if you're a guitarist (like me), this book is NOT going to give you ANY insights whatsoever into... Read morePublished 8 days ago by David Baron
Part tragedy, part recovery, musical expression and lots of name dropping. But I read twice, several years apart, and love his development of character, musical ability, and just... Read morePublished 9 days ago by T. Lucas
I usually avoid celebrity memoirs, because I have found them to be too self-aggrandizing, either in a "look how great I am" sense, or a "look how horrendous I used to... Read morePublished 23 days ago by P. Christopher Colter
Clearly written, though in the traditional bland British style -- it can get a little droll and dispassionate at times. Read morePublished 24 days ago by George M.
clapton had better hang around awhile. we lost bowie earlier in the week. and then alan rickman. losing another brit would just about do me in.Published 29 days ago by rebecca dekalb
Disappointing. It covers WAY too little of his early days and his days with Cream.
Personal opinion, but Clapton was boring after Blind Faith, Layla aside. Read more
Candid from page one to the very end. I have followed Mr Clapton's musical career since I first heard him play on a mixed tape in the early 1980's. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Karl Thorsson
Couldn't put the book down. He had an unbelievable life. He is a very talented man but a very troubled person. I'm glad he got his life on the right path. .Published 1 month ago by Joanne Dagato