Biography of Eric Clapton and Music Career

Published At: 14 January 2021 , 08:48 PM

Biography of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton is a British musician who became famous after the release of the singles "Autumn Leaves" ("Autumn Leaves"), "Tears in Heaven" ("Tears in Heaven"), and a cover version of Bob Marley's song "I Shot the Sheriff". During his career, the singer released 22 solo albums and became the only musician to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, the first time as a solo artist, and the next two - as a member of the bands "Cream" and "The Yardbirds" ...

Childhood and youth

Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945, in the English village of Ripley, located in Surrey. The composer's father, Edward Walter Fryer, was a military man who went to war before Eric was born. The singer's mother, Patricia Molly, having remarried, left her son in the care of her father-in-law and mother-in-law.

Singer Eric Clapton

As a result, grandmother Rose and her second husband Jack were involved in the upbringing of the future artist. At the age of 14, Eric got to the performance of singer Jerry Lee Lewis. Seeing an energetic, charismatic performer on stage, bathing in the love of the audience present at the concert, he understood who he wanted to become.

Clapton's growing interest in the illusory world of sounds was the reason why he was expelled from Kingston College of Art at the age of 17, where he managed to study for only a couple of months. After that, Eric devoted all his free time to playing the electric guitar, which his grandparents bought him, and listening to records of American blues artists.

Young Eric Clapton

Among musicians, Clapton was especially fond of the work of Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Bill Burnley, and Skip James. In March 1962, the Ealing R&B club was opened in London. Eric became one of his regulars and often replaced Mick Jagger in the ensemble "Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated".


In 1963, Eric Clapton joined the young group "Yardbirds". With this team, the first success came to him. The band played blues songs and even recorded a couple of live albums. The band's performances took place all over England, and after the release of the single "For Your Love", the musicians thought about changing the genre orientation of the group.

The composition "For Your Love" was distinguished by a more pop-sounding, which is why it quickly won the love of listeners all over Europe. While the song was actively played on the radio, the Yardbirds concerts were a success. In 1965, the band recorded an album, also called For Your Love. However, after the release of the disc, conflicts in the collective became more frequent.

The reason for the fights was that Eric was strongly against the transition from blues-rock to pop music. Other members had a different opinion, noting that it was pop music that brought them success. As a result, Clapton was already performing with The Bluesbreakers in a couple of months. After the end of cooperation with this collective, the artist was for a short time a member of the collective "The Glands".

Creative searches stretched out in Eric's life for many months, however, in the end, the musician still managed to find himself. The fateful moment in the life of the renowned guitarist was the meeting with other outstanding musicians - Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, with whom he created the group "Cream".

In the period from 1966 to 1969, together with this group, Clapton recorded four successful albums (Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, Wheels of Fire, Goodbye), which later became true classics of rock music. Few people know that as part of this team, Eric earned the nickname Lazy Hand, for his manner right on the stage to change torn strings to the slow claps of the audience.

The group became very popular and subsequently acquired the status of one of the brightest bands of its time. However, at some point, a conflict began to brew between Baker and Bruce. For a couple of months, Clapton tried to reconcile with his colleagues, but very soon he got tired of this state of affairs.

As a result, in the late sixties, after a successful US tour, the group announced a self-disbandment. Surprisingly enough, Cream got together in 2005. During this period, the musicians gave a couple of concerts and released two official collections of previous hits ("Cream Gold", "Icon")

After the group disbanded in 1969, the guitarist played for a while in the group "Blind Faith", but later became a solo artist. His first debut album, Eric Clapton, was released in August 1970. The disc was recorded in parallel with the artist's participation in the project "Derek and the Dominos", after the completion of a joint concert tour with the American duo "Delaney and Bonnie".

During the collaboration with Derek and the Dominos, a double album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, was written. Few people know, but the lyrics of the title track "Layla" are the true story of the love triangle between Clapton, his close friend George Harrison and his wife Patty.

Unfortunately, personal experiences and career vicissitudes led to the fact that the guitarist became more and more addicted to heroin during the period of work on the record. Clapton went into the shadows in the early 70s. It was a period of immersion in drugs and then a long struggle with this disease. The artist undertook a course of controversial but effective electro-acupuncture treatment, after which he completely abandoned the substances leading to death.