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Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

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Also Known As: Eric Patrick Clapton Died:
Born: March 30, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Surrey, England, GB Profession: musician, singer, composer, construction worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Arguably one of the most significant rock-n-roll artists of the 20th century, Eric Clapton was a member of four influential bands - the blues-driven Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, the soul-drenched Derek and the Dominos, and the psychedelic Cream - before embarking on a four-decades long solo career that produced such hits as "I Shot the Sheriff," "Wonderful Tonight," "After Midnight," "Tears in Heaven" and "My Father's Eyes." His formidable guitar skills, rooted deeply in the blues, first drew attention in the early 1960s, spawning the infamous "Clapton is God" graffiti that earmarked him as a legend. Clapton shrank from the spotlight, forming the power trio Cream, which favored improvisation over pop songs. The oversized talents of each member proved too great for one band, but he soon returned to a group format with Derek and the Dominos, which produced one of his greatest works, the epic "Layla," inspired by his unrequited passion for Patti Boyd, wife of his friend and Beatle George Harrison. Heartbreak turned to drug addiction that temporarily halted Clapton's career until he resurfaced in the mid-1970s with a run of acclaimed solo albums that carried into the '90s and beyond. Clapton's...

Arguably one of the most significant rock-n-roll artists of the 20th century, Eric Clapton was a member of four influential bands - the blues-driven Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, the soul-drenched Derek and the Dominos, and the psychedelic Cream - before embarking on a four-decades long solo career that produced such hits as "I Shot the Sheriff," "Wonderful Tonight," "After Midnight," "Tears in Heaven" and "My Father's Eyes." His formidable guitar skills, rooted deeply in the blues, first drew attention in the early 1960s, spawning the infamous "Clapton is God" graffiti that earmarked him as a legend. Clapton shrank from the spotlight, forming the power trio Cream, which favored improvisation over pop songs. The oversized talents of each member proved too great for one band, but he soon returned to a group format with Derek and the Dominos, which produced one of his greatest works, the epic "Layla," inspired by his unrequited passion for Patti Boyd, wife of his friend and Beatle George Harrison. Heartbreak turned to drug addiction that temporarily halted Clapton's career until he resurfaced in the mid-1970s with a run of acclaimed solo albums that carried into the '90s and beyond. Clapton's greatest triumph came at a terrible cost: his multi-Grammy-winning song "Tears in Heaven" was inspired by the loss of his young son, Conor, in 1991 who fell to his death from a high-rise apartment. Clapton recovered by returning to the healing power of the blues, on which he had built one of the most acclaimed musical careers in rock-n-roll.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

3.
4.
6.
8.
 Concert For George (2003) Himself--Musical Director
9.
 Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) Guitar--The Louisiana Gator Boys Band
10.
 Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, The (1995) The Dirty Mac--Band Member
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Received first guitar from grandmother
1963:
Worked with Tom McGuinness (later of Manfred Mann) in first band the Roosters
1963:
Worked seven-gig stint with Top 40 band Casey Jones and the Engineers
1963:
Played with Yardbirds until they traded power blues for psychedelic pop
1964:
Made recording debut with album <i>Five Live Yardbirds</i>
1965:
Joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers; also with Mayall, participated in studio band Powerhouse, which included Jack Bruce and Steve Winwood
1966:
After leaving the Bluesbreakers, formed Cream with Bruce and Ginger Baker; recorded rock classics like "Sunshine of Your Love" (which would grace 1994 feature "True Lies") and "Crossroads"
1968:
Cream broke up
1968:
Formed short-lived supergroup Blind Faith with Baker, Winwood, and Rick Grech; embraced Christianity during U.S. tour, which he has given up and reaffirmed periodically since
1970:
Worked with Delaney and Bonnie
1970:
Recorded first solo album <i>Eric Clapton</i>, which yielded U.S. hit "After Midnight"
1970:
Formed Derek and the Dominos with Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, and Bobby Whitlock, all former Delaney and Bonnie sidemen; released group's only studio album <i>Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs</i>
1970:
Retreated to isolation of his Surrey home to battle heroin addiction
1971:
Played at benefit concert for Bangladesh
1973:
Began comeback with a concert at London's Rainbow Theatre
1974:
Released <i>461 Ocean Boulevard</i>; scored No. 1 hit single with cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff"
1974:
Provided music along with Brian Ahern and Van Morrison for Canadian film "Slipstream"
1975:
Made acting debut as The Preacher in "Tommy"
1981:
Had Top 10 hit with "I Can't Stand It"; song would later resurface in feature film "Georgia" (1995)
1981:
Hospitalized briefly for alcoholism
1985:
Received Grammy nomination for his contribution to "Back to the Future"
1987:
Wrote (along with Michael Kamen) music for "Lethal Weapon"; Clapton and Kamen (with David Sanborn) would also score "Lethal Weapon 2" (1989) and "Lethal Weapon 3" (1992)
1991:
Scored feature film "Rush"; included performance of Grammy-winning song "Tears In Heaven" inspired by death of his son Conor
1992:
Released <i>Unplugged</i> album (from "MTV Unplugged" series); included "Tears In Heaven" and acoustic version of "Layla"
1994:
Payed homage to blues heroes of his youth with <i>From the Cradle</i>, an album of blues covers
1997:
Won three Grammy Awards for single "Change the World" from drama feature "Phenomenon" soundtrack
1997:
Provided music for Gary Oldman's directorial debut "Nil By Mouth"
1998:
Performed in "Blues Brothers 2000" finale with B.B. King (also Steve Winwood, Lou Rawls, and Jimmie Vaughn)
1998:
Announced plans to open an alcohol and drug treatment center in Antigua, West Indies
2000:
Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as solo artist
2001:
Released 15th studio album <i>Reptile</i>
2004:
Released two records packed full of covers by legendary bluesman Robert Johnson titled <i>Me & Mr Johnson</i>
2005:
Released first album of new original material in nearly five years <i>Back Home</i>
2006:
Released collaboration with guitar legend J.J. Cale titled <i>The Road to Escondido</i>
2010:
Debuted at No. 6 on <i>Billboard</i> chart with <i>Clapton</i>, featuring Grammy-nominated track "Run Back to Your Side"
2013:
Released 20th studio album <i>Old Sock</i>, featuring two new compositions, and guest artists Steve Winwood and Paul McCartney
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Kingston College of Art: -
Hollyfield School: -

Notes

Drummer and co-writer of "Layla", Jim Gordon was serving time for the murder of his mother when "Layla" won the Grammy as Best Rock Song of 1993.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2001.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Patricia Anne Boyd Harrison. Married in 1979, divorced in 1988; ex-wife of former Beatle George Harrison; inspiration for Clapton's song "Layla".
companion:
Yvonne Kellyn. Had relationship with Clapton in 1983; mother of his daughter Ruth.
companion:
Lori Del Santo. TV actor. Born c. 1959; Italian; mother of Clapton's late son Conor.
wife:
Melia McEnery. Graphic artist. Born c. 1976; mother of Clapton's daugter Julie; married on January 1, 2002 in Ripley, England.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

grandmother:
Rose Clapp. Raised Clapton as a son; first husband's last name was Clapton.
grandfather:
Jack Clapp. Grandmother's second husband; raised Clapton as his son son.
father:
Edward Fryer. Canadian soldier.
mother:
Patricia Molly Clapton. Beleived his mother was his older sister until he was nine years old.
half-brother:
Ted Rich. Guitarist. Father, Edward Fryer; Canadian newspapers discovered Rich's relationship with Clapton and reported it; Rich is now a heroin addict living in Vancouver.
daughter:
Ruth Patricia Clapton. Born in 1984; mother, Yvonne Kellyn; baptized in ceremony on January 1, 2002 when father married Melia McEnery.
son:
Conor Clapton. Born in August 1986; died as a result of a fall from the 53rd floor of a NYC condo at age 4 and a half on March 20, 1991.
daughter:
Julie Rose Clapton. Born on June 13, 2001; mother, Melia McEnery; baptized in ceremony when father married mother on January 1, 2002.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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