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Being one of the most influential guitarists of the modern era places Eric Clapton in the Pantheon of all-time ax-men.
Eric Clapton grew up listening to blues masters Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf and Son House and his intense love for the blues led him to his first big gig as a member of The Yardbirds. Fusing his influences from electrified Chicago blues guitarists like B.B. King and Freddie King, Eric Clapton established an incredibly distinctive style and rapidly became one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British music scene.
After the Yardbirds, Eric Clapton joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. His intense playing on their first album (popularly known as the "Beano" album) inspired a spat of graffiti around London stating "Clapton is God".
Eric Clapton left the Bluesbreakers in mid-1966 to form Cream with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. While with Cream, Eric Clapton began to develop his singing prowess.
Cream achieved major commercial success during its short existence with the singles "Sunshine Of Your Love" from Disraeli Gears and "White Room" from Wheels of Fire.
Cream proved to be a short-lived juggernaut, releasing their Goodbye album, recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall in 1968. The live album also featured the studio single "Badge", co-written by Clapton's best friend George Harrison.
The close friendship between Clapton and Harrison also resulted in Clapton playing on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from the Beatles' White Album.
In a twist of music legend, Eric Clapton fell in love with Harrison's wife, model Pattie Boyd-Harrison, and she eventually left him for Clapton. Clapton's secret love for Harrison's wife was the inspiration for the classic song and album, "Layla."
Years later, Clapton wrote another song for Pattie, "Wonderful Tonight".
Eric Clapton then joined another super group - Blind Faith - in 1969 with Baker, Steve Winwood of Traffic and Rick Grech of Family.
After much hype and a disbanded tour, Clapton then decided to step into the background for a time, and he toured as a sideman with the American group Delaney and Bonnie and Friends
Soon thereafter, Eric Clapton took Delaney & Bonnie's rhythm section - Bobby Whitlock (keyboards, vocals), Carl Radle (bass) and Jim Gordon (drums) and formed a new band - Derek and the Dominos.
Eric Clapton's new band recorded the masterpiece Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. The Layla LP was actually recorded by a five-piece version of the group, thanks to inclusion of guitarist Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band.
In 1972, Eric Clapton withdrew from recording and touring and became addicted to heroin, resulting in a career hiatus interrupted only by the Concert for Bangladesh and the "Rainbow Concert" in 1973, organized by The Who's Pete Townshend, who was also instrumental in Clapton beating his heroin addiction
Clapton returned the favor by playing 'The Preacher' The Who's movie rock-opera Tommy in 1975, performing "Eyesight To The Blind."
Later that year, Eric Clapton toured the world and released E.C. Was Here.
Eric Clapton released 461 Ocean Boulevard in 1974, including cover-version of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff." Then came the 1975 album There's One In Every Crowd. equally ill-advised comments by David Bowie) led to the creation of the Rock Against Racism movement in the UK.
Eric Clapton's albums continued in the 1980s, with 1989's Journeyman achieving much critical acclaim, featuring a strong return to his blues roots.
The early 1990s saw tragedy enter Clapton's life again on two occasions. On August 27, 1990 guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was touring with Clapton, and two members of their road crew were killed in a helicopter crash between concerts. Clapton was originally supposed to be a passenger on the helicopter but gave his seat to Vaughan. Then, on March 20, 1991, Clapton's four-year-old son Conor died following an accidental fall from an apartment window. The tragic incident spawned the song "Tears In Heaven" which won a Grammy award.
Eric Clapton's 1994 album From The Cradle, featured a number of versions of old blues standards, and highlighted his economical acoustic guitar style. In 1997 Eric Clapton collaborated with Carlos Santana and B. B. King. Clapton's 1996 recording "Change the World" won a Grammy award for song of the year in 1997.
Following the release of the 2001's Reptile, Eric released two albums of covers in 2004 by legendary Bluesman, Robert Johnson. Me & Mr. Johnson.
In May 2005, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker reunited as Cream for a series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Concert recordings were released on CD and DVD. Later, Cream performed in New York at Madison Square Garden.
Back Home, was also released in 2005
The Road to Escondido, a collaboration with guitar legend J. J. Cale, was released in 2006.
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