Great Rock and Roll guitarist, Eric Clapton (1945-) was born Eric Patrick Clapp on this day in Ripley, England. Young Eric joined the Yardbirds at age 18, but when the band began playing more pop than blues, he left and joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.
In 1969, Clapton formed the legendary group Cream with bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. Over the next two years he also formed Blind Faith, then Derek and the Dominos. By then, he had perfected his playing so that London graffiti and fans proclaimed, "Clapton is God."
The versatile artist earned the nickname "Slowhand" for the times in concert that he’d play so hard, break strings, and have to stop. He’d restring to the audience's slow handclap.
With an illustrious career marked by achievement and heartache, with heroin addiction and the tragic accidental death of his young son, he once admitted, "Music has helped save my life.”
In 1997, Clapton founded the Crossroads Centre, a nonprofit, 36-bed rehab clinic in Antigua. The legend auctioned over 100 of his personal vintage guitars and raised over $5 million for the Caribbean rehab retreat. An anonymous phone bidder paid a record $497,000 for his 1956 Stratocaster dubbed "Brownie," the guitar behind those memorable riffs on Layla (1970).
"I want to give something back," Clapton explained. "Something that recovery from drugs and alcohol has given me - the chance to live again - with my health - and a better understanding of who I am and what is important in my life."
More ROCK Quotations
Let the bad stuff dissipate.