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Eric Patrick Clapton
From The Cradle...
Known as Rick by his close family, Eric was born in the village of
Ripley, Surrey, England. The illegitimate son of Patricia Clapton,
daughter of Rose and Reginald Clapton. Rose remarried Jack Clapp in
1942; thus the confusion with some believing his real surname to be
Clapp not Clapton. As was
often the way in the early 40's, Eric was brought up as Rose and Jacks son to avoid family embarrassment. Unfortunately, Eric discovered this fact at an early age and as a result became resentful at school and withdrew into himself. One notable exception was that Eric's first music award came from playing Greensleeves on the recorder at school. However, with the exception of Art his schooling suffered and he failed the English Eleven Plus exam, an exam designed to grade students and determine which High school they would attend. Eric received a second chance with the Thirteen Plus exams and was successful, this was one of the turning points in his early years. Hollyfield School in Surbiton although a regular school specialised in art and Eric's creativeness shone. Surbiton on the edge of London meant opportunities to skive off visit pubs and going to record stores he also passed Bells music store where he saw the instrument of his dreams, a Hoyer for £2.00. He badgered Rose and Jack till they eventually bought it for him. Talk about cart before the horse Eric couldn't tune it let alone play it and it wasn't long before he broke a string leaving him to learn with only 5. Eric had many musical influences in his early years, ; Rose played the piano her Father played the accordion, his brother Adrian (really his Uncle) played the harmonica. However, most of the music came from listening to the radio which was always on in the Clapp household and from listening to 'Hound Dog' on a friends radiogram. Like other teenagers he dabbled on the edge, shoplifting and getting involved in vandalism. It was the shoplifting that got him into his first addiction, the local Sweet Shop was where he pocketed handfuls of Horlicks or Ovaltine tablets, he couldn't resist them.
Early Music Years...
Eric at sixteen, note the cool moccasins and straight leg jeans. Eric had passed his A level Art and was enrolled into Kingston School of Art.
Note this part in Italics is a cut and paste from Wikipedia and not the final article only used for ease of reference.CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked fourth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.
In the mid sixties, Clapton left the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. In his one-year stay with Mayall, Clapton gained the nickname "Slowhand", and graffiti in London declared "Clapton is God." Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton formed with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, the power trio, Cream, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and "arty, blues-based psychedelic pop." For most of the seventies, Clapton's output bore the influence of the mellow style of J.J. Cale and the reggae of Bob Marley. His version of Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" helped gain reggae a mass market.
Two of his most popular recordings were "Layla", recorded by Derek and the Dominos, and Robert Johnson's "Crossroads", recorded by Cream. A recipient of seventeen Grammy Awards, in 2004 Clapton was awarded a CBE for services to music. In 1998 Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and heroin addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers.
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