- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Broadway; 1ST edition (October 9, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 038551851X
- ISBN-13: 978-0385518512
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1,057 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Clapton: The Autobiography Hardcover – October 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Readers hoping for sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll won't be disappointed by the legendary guitarist's autobiography. As he retraces every step of his career, from the early stints with the Yardbirds and Cream to his solo successes, Clapton also devotes copious detail to his drug and alcohol addictions, particularly how they intersected with his romantic obsession with Pattie Boyd. His relationship with the woman for whom he wrote Layla culminated in a turbulent marriage he describes as drunken forays into the unknown. But he genuinely warms to the subject of his recovery, stressing its spiritual elements and eagerly discussing the fund-raising efforts for his Crossroads clinic in Antigua. His self-reckoning is filled with modesty, especially in the form of dissatisfaction with his early successes. He professes ambivalence about the famous Clapton is God graffiti, although he admits he was grateful for the recognition from fans. At times, he sounds more like landed gentry than a rock star: bragging about his collection of contemporary art, vigorously defending his hunting and fishing as leisure activities, and extolling the virtues of his quiet country living. But both the youthful excesses and the current calm state are narrated with an engaging tone that nudges Clapton's story ahead of other rock 'n' roll memoirs. (Oct. 9)
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One of the very best rock autobiographies ever.
Like the bluesmen who inspired him, Clapton has his share of scars . . . his compelling memoir is . . . a soulful performance.
An absorbing tale of artistry, decadence, and redemption.
Los Angeles Times
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.
Top customer reviews
candid RE his thoughts & actions. Music lovers would appreciate this book.
Eric Clapton revealed he learned his parents were actually his grandparents, who doted
on him. He never met his birth father and he was not raised by his unwed mother who lived
elsewhere. He hated the "bastard" label & these secrets contributed to his distrust of others,
He admired blues artists, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Robert Johnson & wanted to
play like them. Later in his career, he was able to collaborate with some of these heroes. He
considered Muddy Waters a "father figure."
Clapton, in his early career came off as smug & pompous, because he thought he was more
artistically "pure" than bandmates such as The Yardbirds & Cream. Clapton,by his own admission,
had difficulty expressing his emotions & was a "people pleaser." Once he obtained something he
sought, IE affection of Patti Boyd Harrison, he seemed to experience a let down & then move onto
a new challenge.
He abused many substances- alcohol, pot, cocaine, heroin, etc result- ing in ulcers, seizures,
near death. He was arrested for drunkenness & a verbal altercation, while on a plane in Tulsa.
And was released from the county jail when he showed police who he was by playing his guitar.
He was in rehab twice, the first time he was unable to bring his guitar.
When be became 'clean & sober' he questioned who was he? Just a musician? Who were his
friends? What would he do with his leisure time other than drink & drug? How did his sobriety
affect existing relationships? How did his sobriety affect guitar-playing? He shared he matured
after 20 years of sobriety. He started Crossroads- Antigua to help other addicts. Clapton and
associates auctioned off personal guitars to raise funds for Crossroads Treatment Centre.
The most poignant sections were recounting his grief after the accidental death of his young son
Conor. And hope in establishing a relationship with his 6 yr old daughter Ruth who was raised by
her mother. The only complaint I had was he called some fans "loonies." He eventually understood
the stigma of addiction, why couldn't he acknowledge the stigma of mental illness?
About a third of the way into the boom, the writing improves and Clapton's story is engaging. I enjoyed reading his approach to playing the guitar and the stories behind the songs and albums.
Towards the end, Clapton spends endless pages thanking everyone. It's nice he's grateful but the gratitude is boring.
It's a worthwhile read and I'm glad I took the time to read it.
So Eric is old now. His wife is young, and they have young children. Now he's a loving family man. However, without the money and fame, I doubt that this marriage would ever have happened. Yea, he's happy now, but look at all the death and disappointed people in his wake.
I still love EC's music, and that won't change. I'll continue to listen to it, but man, what a freaking disappointment he turned out to be.