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Eric Clapton

Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. Clapton is the only person who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times; as a solo performer, as well as a member of rock bands the Yardbirds and Cream. Often viewed by critics and fans alike as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time, Clapton was ranked fourth in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and #53 on their list of the “Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2010, Clapton was ranked #4 on Gibson.com’s Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.

Although Clapton has varied his musical style throughout his career, it has always remained grounded in the blues; despite this focus, he is credited as an innovator in a wide variety of genres. These include blues-rock (with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds) and psychedelic rock (with Cream). Clapton’s chart success was not limited to the blues, with chart-toppers in Delta Blues (Me and Mr. Johnson), Adult contemporary (“Tears in Heaven”) and reggae (Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff”; he is often credited for bringing reggae and Bob Marley to the mainstream). Two of his most successful recordings were the hit love song “Layla”, which he played with the band Derek and the Dominos, and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”, which has been his staple song since his days with Cream.

Career

Early years

Eric Patrick Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, the son of 16 year old Patricia Molly Clapton (b. 7 January 1929) and Edward Walter Fryer (21 March 1920 – 15 May 1985), a 24-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, believing they were his parents and that his mother was his older sister. Their surname was Clapp, which has given rise to the widespread but erroneous belief that Clapton’s real surname is Clapp (Reginald Cecil Clapton is the name of Rose’s first husband, Eric Clapton’s maternal grandfather). Years later, his mother married another Canadian soldier, and moved to Canada, leaving young Eric with his grandparents in distant Surrey.

Clapton received an acoustic Hoyer guitar, made in Germany, for his 13th 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 practiced long hours to learn chords of blues music he listened to, 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 school 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 had advanced so far that by the age of sixteen people were starting to notice him. Around this time Clapton began busking around Kingston, Richmond and the West End of London. In 1962, Clapton started performing as a duo with fellow blues enthusiast David Brock in the pubs around Surrey. When he was 17 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 brief seven gig stint with Casey Jones & The Engineers.

Discography

Studio Albums

1970 Eric Clapton – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/eric-clapton-eric-clapton/

1974 461 Ocean Boulevard – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/eric-clapton-461-ocean-boulevard/

1975 There’s One In Every Crowd – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/eric-clapton-theres-one-in-every-crowd/

1976 No Reason To Cry – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/eric-clapton/eric-clapton-no-reason-to-cry/

1977 Slowhand – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/eric-clapton/eric-clapton-slowhand/

1978 Backless – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/eric-clapton/eric-clapton-backless/

1981 Another Ticket – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/eric-clapton/eric-clapton-another-ticket/

1983 Money and Cigarettes – Coming soon 04/10/2015

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