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Transcript of Eric Clapton
Born March 30, 1945
"I am, and always will be, a blues guitarist"
Clapton: The Autobiography
Born in a small town called Ripley in Surrey, England
Born in my grandparents' house
Born illegitimate to Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Fryer
Lived in England for most of my life
I've known Ray Coleman for a long time now. He worked in the famous London paper known as the "Melody Maker."
He came to me in 1980 and asked if he could write a book on my life.
I thought it was a little early. It seemed my career was just beginning.
He was a journalist. He was looking for something to do. He had known me for a while and insisted that here was already so much to write about.
I'm usually shy when it comes to the press, but I was thinking of writing an autobiography or memoir for a while.
All of my friends wanted me to do it.
I wanted to wait just a little longer. I didn't think I had a full life to write about just yet.
I wrote it anyways. My memory was getting fuzzy and I was getting old.
I didn't want to have to rely on the memory of others. That would ruin the sincerity.
I am alive and well today. I'm more than twenty years sober and I'm proud of it.
Entered and won a local art contest at the age of 6 years
First popular band joined
1966 - 1968
461 Ocean Boulevard
Born to Lori del Santo August 21, 1986
Died in 1991 falling out of a window in his mother's apartment building
Fell out the 53rd story and landed on a four-story building adjacent
Deeply regret not being able to spend more time with him
A Gifted Child
A successful art student in school
Got first guitar for thirteenth birthday
Tried to imitate American blues musicians and pop sound
Helped me find myself as a person and musician
Quit because the Yardbirds began to succumb to commercialism
Marked getting over heroin addiction
How Education Level Affected My Life
I was strong in English and art as a child.
I was an above average student in the beginning of my schooling.
I eventually started to struggle with English as well and developed enthusiasm in a career in art.
My strength and passion for art led me to pursue music.
Recorded in Miami, Florida after leaving girlfriend, Alice Ormsby-Gore
One of my best-selling and most brilliant albums to this day
Fell in love with George Harrison's wife
Eventually married her after convincing her to live with me for five years
George and I were best friends. He was to laugh the situation off.
Inspiration for songs "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight"
Left to right: Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, me
Played the role of mediator between Jack and Ginger: they couldn't agree on anything and constantly fought
Had to end band because of conflict between Ginger and Jack
Led popular music from traditional blues to modern blues with pop elements
Written during time in Derek and the Dominos
Written for and about Pattie
Became one of the most important songs in rock history
Went into a heroin addiction from 1971 to 1974
Went through intense medical treatment
I considered myself to be a survivor of sorts. I went under and came back up brand new.
I wrote songs with a new voice.
I replaced heroin with alcohol
After Conor's death, I felt guilty for being a drunk and not spending much time with him
I went sober for Conor, and I still am to this day
My determination inspired other inmates at the rehab center I went to
"Clapton is God"
I became a legendary musician. People wanted to play like
People considered me a sort of god of guitar during my time in the Yardbirds
Only 3-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee with The Yardbirds, Cream, and as a solo artist
Happened from 1971 to 1974
During time with Derek and the Dominos
Wasted almost all of my money on drugs
Sold all of my guitars (almost 200 at the time) except one acoustic
Struggled through with my girlfriend at the time, Alice Ormsby-Gore
Drinking replaced heroin
I would drink constantly and whenever I could, but never around my son
Everyone I knew was extremely concerned for my health
Was still going through it when Conor was conceived
Sometimes people would encourage me to drink just to see the "god" be a drunken idiot
Had to go through extensive rehabilitation
Helped the Alcholics Anonymous program
Wrote "Tears in Heaven" for Conor
Why couldn't I stay in a band?
I have my own musical style
I quit the Yardbirds and Cream because they didn't stick the blues, where my roots were
I didn't want to be commercial... I just want to play the blues
I had to go solo to be happy with myself and my music
After quitting Cream, I formed Blind Faith with Steve Winwood, with Ginger Baker as the drummer
Blind Faith didn't go well... people thought it was a revival of Cream, which was exactly the opposite of what I wanted it to be
Cream was killed because the audience demanded a type of music that I didn't want to play
People began to demand a certain type of music from me
Derek and the Dominos
The group was excellent, but not what I wanted it to be
I formed Derek and the Dominos so I could go on tour in disguise as "Derek"
I wanted to test the reaction of audiences by playing in small clubs without them knowing the leader was famous
My recording company leaked out that I was Derek for maximum publicity
Derek and the Dominos became another Cream
I sometimes do concerts with old friends like Steve Winwood. I reunited with Cream once in 2005.
I have a loving wife named Melia and 3 daughters named Julie Rose, Ella May, and Sophie Belle
I released some new albums like "Old Sock" and "Complete Clapton"
Friends and Family
Guitarist and songwriter for the Who and a great friend
Helped me all he could to get over heroin addiction
Went through alcoholism at the same time as I did and helped me through it
Maintained a good relationship despite the situation with Pattie
Laughed off the situation with Pattie and let it happen
One of my best friends and a competitor
Grandparents: Rose and Jack Clapp
Rose, my grandmother, and I
Raised me when my mother couldn't
Supported my passion for art
Bought me my first guitar and supported my learning
Did whatever they to put me in art school so I could pursue a career in art
Lived during the Mod movement in England
New trends in hairstyle, fashion, and especially music
The Who were a Mod band
The Beatles were making new revolutions in music, transitioning from the skiffle craze to rock and roll
American artists were making all kinds of new music during the 50s
Took influence from the American artists, especially blues artists
60s was the psychedelic era of music
Drugs were becoming popular and widely used both in America and England
Drugs such as heroin...
Was never a huge part of life, but was always there
I always had somewhat of a lack of faith
I was converted to Christianity in my 20s
It appears in my music all the time
The song "Give Me Strength" on 461 Ocean Blvd. has lyrics like "Lord, give me the strength to carry on"
I thought a lot about it during my heroin addiction
I constantly prayed that I would get over the addiction
When I was learning guitar and how to create music, I tried to imitate black musicians particularly
I believe that black musicians created the blues
I once made a drunken speech in support of the Conservative minister Enoch Powell, who didn't support immigration
Apparently I said that we should stop England from being a "black colony." I don't remember any of this...
I knew nothing about politics at the time, but it still went out in the media as a racist rant
This speech was the catalyst for the formation of a movement in the UK called "Rock Against Racism"
I was rich for most of my life
The fact that I had so much money made it so that I could spend it endlessly
I had a financial crisis during my heroin addiction where I spent so much money that I had to sell my guitars
Popularity and money gave me quite the ego when I was young
I try to be more humble now.