Eric Clapton

Mar. 30, 1945

Eric Clapton Artistfacts

  • He was born Eric Patrick Clapton in Ripley, Surrey, in 1945, the illegitimate son of Canadian soldier Edward Walter Fryer and 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton. Fryer returned to his wife in Canada before his son was born, and Clapton was brought up by his maternal grandparents, Rose and Jack Clapp, believing that his mother was his sister. His lack of identity is one reason he always related to the blues.
  • Clapton has been a member of The Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominos.
  • His nickname is "Slowhand," although he plays very fast. His manager started calling him that while he was touring with The Yardbirds in 1964. Clapton was famous for breaking strings because of his ridiculous bends. When he would go backstage to change strings the audience would start a slow hand clap until he returned. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Earl - NJ
  • He lived in a house in Miami on 461 Ocean Boulevard. The address became the name of one of his albums. The Bee Gees later lived in that house.
  • In 1991 his 4-year-old son Conor died when he fell out of a window at his mother's house in New York. His song "Tears In Heaven" is about Conor.
  • Clapton is the only person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times. He is in as a solo artist and as a member of Cream and The Yardbirds.
  • Clapton did a lot of drugs and went into a depression in the early '70s. He was deeply affected by the deaths of Duane Allman, Jimi Hendrix, and the grandfather who raised him. According to his autobiography Clapton, his heroin addition at one point was costing him about $16,000 a week, and when he finally kicked that habit he turned to cocaine and alcohol.
  • During his time with The Bluesbreakers and Cream, graffiti showed up around England saying: "Clapton Is God." This added to his legend.
  • In 1979, he married Pattie Harrison. She was previously married to George Harrison, who remained good friends with Clapton. Clapton declared his love for her on the Derek and the Dominos album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs in 1970, while she was still married to Harrison. Eric and Pattie divorced in 1988.
  • In 1998, he opened a drug and alcohol rehab center in Antigua called Crossroads. Clapton always loved the island, and thought its serenity and isolation were a perfect place for a treatment program.
  • He dated Sheryl Crow for about six months and was rumored to be inspiration for her song "My Favorite Mistake," but Crow said that the song is not about him, as she doesn't feel that relationship was a mistake.
  • Clapton has always had a very laid-back style when performing live. He did not want to look foolish jumping around the stage when he got older.
  • In 1962, he went to Kingston Art College and studied stained-glass design. This is where he taught himself to play guitar.
  • Along with Robert Cray, Clapton played with Stevie Ray Vaughan the night he died. Eric's tour manager, Peter Jackson, had traded flights with Vaughan because Stevie was in a big hurry to get back to their hotel. Peter offered his seat to Stevie and took the next helicopter out. It was originally reported that Peter was killed because he was scheduled for that flight.
  • For his North America 1995 Tour, Eric Clapton requested a special room be set up for his table football.
  • Clapton idolized his uncle Adrian. The album Reptile is a sort of tribute to Adrian, who died in spring 2000.
  • Clapton got his first guitar at age 15.
  • Harvard University named an asteroid after him.
  • His favorite guitar is a 1956 Stratocaster that he made from three other guitars.
  • He convinced Jimmy Vaughn to continue his musical career after his brother Stevie Ray Vaughn died.
  • Clapton married graphic designer Melia McEnery at a secret ceremony on New Year's Day, 2002. At the christening for their 6-month-old daughter, they had the minister marry them.
  • Clapton has cited Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley as influences. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jonathan - Nahant, MA
  • Clapton was one of the first major musicians to use the wah-wah pedal, especially on the album Disraeli Gears. He inspired Jimi Hendrix to incorporate the wah-wah pedal into his music. Hendrix was a huge Cream fan. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jason - St. Louis, MO
  • He has ties to both of the Allman brothers. He wrote the score to the film Rush (1991), which featured Gregg Allman; with the help of Gregg's brother Duane, Clapton recorded the album Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (1970). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Tracy, CA
  • In her 2007 book Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, Pattie Boyd explained that Clapton first started dating her younger sister, Paula, but tenaciously pursued Pattie and made his affections clear.
  • Eric Clapton's love for fly fishing dates back to learning to fish on Surrey's Wey River as a school kid. He later utilized it as a healthy pastime after getting sober in the 1980s. When touring during this period, Clapton would request that his manager book only hotels that were near fishing facilities.
  • At a show in Birmingham, England in 1976, Clapton reached one of his lowest moments in what he described as a "semiracial thing." His nationalist political views turned to vitriol when he ranted on stage about arabs, Jamaicans, and other "foreigners" that "don't belong here." He blamed it on the alcohol. "Being the drunk that I was, I just went on a rant," he said in 2017.

Comments: 42

  • Todd from Mesa AzGreatest guitar player ever.
  • Drew from Humble, Txeric clapton was also nicknamed "god" due to graffiti proclaiming "eric clapton is god"
  • Mark from Vassar, Mi, MiAs an add, I'd like to add that the Stevie Ray Vaughan show that EC played at just before SRV was killed, also included SRV's brother Jimmie Lee, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and of course Stevie.
  • Mark from Vassar, Mi, MiEC was known in the '60's as the best white Blues guitarist bar none. In fact in England they called him God....they would graffiti it all over the place. This was around the time he played in the Yardbirds, early 60's. He quit the Yardbirds over creative differences, supposedly and went to play with John Mayall in the Bluesbreakers. The "God" thing was during this time. From there he played with Cream for 3 or 4 years, then he played in Blind Faith with Stevie Winwood. He played in Derek and the Dominos, early 70's with the legendary slide guitarist Duane Allman. He played with Delaney and Bonnie briefly. Since then he's mainly headed his own bands with various musicians. In 1994 he put out "From the Cradle", an excellent record of all-Blues covers, and toured in support. He lost his son Conor to a terrible accident around that same time. And yes, some of his stuff is among my favorite, especially c. Derek and the Dominos.
  • from Korat, ThailandI Want A Song : Let It Rain Of Eric Clapton
  • Shirley from Dallas, TxThe Feb 2008 interviews at Illuminati-News with ECs long time love Debra Hunter Pitts states: Famous people were involved in this Militia Group, such celebrities as Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana whom she has kids, and they had support from people in Hollywood as well. The interviews describes the Militia as covert and EC as a founding member in 1969.
  • Rachel from Lockport, NyTears in heaven is one of my favorite songs that he has written. I have always liked the song but now that my boyfriend has passed away I just cant pull myself away from this song. It's a sad but good song.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI read that Frank Zappa taught Jimi Hendricks to use the wa-wa peddle.
  • Jack from Newcastle, EnglandNot one to be a pain but it was in fact Jimmy Page who inspired Jimmi Hendrix to use the Wah Wah Pedal as he actually helped design it after using a similar but less succesful idea a few years before.
  • Kent from Provo, UtI think that Clapton i one of the 3 great guitarists. Number one is Jimmy Page, Clapton, and Hendrix. Clapton has the best style with the guitar, he is truly a blues guitarist. Page is of course better at guitar than clapton, but his stlye is not as good. I like then both for different reasons, but i think clapton is second best.
  • Ricardo from Mexico, MexicoEric Clapton, never played with Ravi Shankar, never were both at the same time playing together..... Ravi Shankar played as a Ravi Shankar himself in the same Concert, is not the same man!!!
  • Ricardo from Mexico, MexicoEric Clapton also played with "The Secret Police", with Sting and Bob Geldof
  • Clark from Uniontown, PaEric is such a diverse guitar player, he can make a subtle sound one second and the next thing you know hes shredding like there is no tomarrow, and he is not even comparable to any other guitar player, there is no limit to music but he is closer than anyone I gaurentee!
  • Cool Dude from Ottawa, Canadanow, now, Zach from Dublin, OH? well well, yeah he played with George Harrison in '71 at the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden along with Leon Russel, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, and Ravi Shankar
  • Zack from Dublin, OhClapton is the Greatest Guitarist of all time and he is at his best when he played with the beatles on While my Guitar Gently Weeps
  • Kartik from Peace River, CanadaClapton is my personal favorite guitar player. I think he is the best but that's just me. Genious by any standard though. A master of all sounds. I want to go a clapton concert some day
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScDavid Gilmour's my favorite, but Claptain's pretty awesome. Uf anyone doesn't have the cd of Cream's reunion concerts at Royal Albert Hall,, I'd definitely check it out. It's worth a listen.
  • Whitt from Castro Valley, CaSome of Clapton's Best Work is from 1965 to 1969 (The yardbirds, The Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith). After that period in time, his sound and style of music started to change. For instance if you watch something from the cream ferwell concert, like IM SO GLAD, and then you watch him play live from a concert in the seventies and on, he seems to have lost his great touch. BUT HE'S STILL ERIC CLAPTON AND HE WILL KICK YOU ASS ANY DAY!!!
  • Jason from St. Louis, MoI love Clapton not just for his amazing guitar playing ability, but for his amazing range of sounds. He has mastered psychadelic rock, pure rock, blues, the acoustic guitar, reggae, pop, and jazz. He's truely amazing, but I'd have to say his best stuff comes from his days with Cream.
  • Mark from Perth, Australiahow many people on this page agree with me on this.................. CLAPTON IS THE BEST GUITARIST OF ALL TIME!
  • Lachlan from New Plymouth, New ZealandTears in Heaven is an awesome song.
    It reminds me of my dad who died before I was born.
    It is an awesome song and I throughly Recommend it to every one.
  • Sean from Private Info :), Ne"most of Eric Claptons major hits were written by JJ CALE......loke AFTER MIDNIGHT,COCAINE and I SHOT THE SHERFFI was written by BOB MARELY"
    1) Eric Clapton never claimed to have written I Shot The Sherrif. That was the great Bob Marley.
    2)Yeh Cocaine is a great song but thats not all the guy has. What about Layla, and Sunshine of your Love, Tears in Heaven, My Fathers Eyes, Wonderful Tonight, Badge, Crossroads, the list goes on and on. He never knew his dad, his son died. He was in a horrible state with drugs. AND is still the greatest rock guitarist ever. Eric Cpaton is my Idol. Go Clapton, to heck with anyone who thinks he aint good.

  • Gary from Sault Ste Marie, Canadahi ya'll-this is an article that you will find interesting if you are interested in Eric Clapton's life.I hail from Sault Ste Marie and knew Eric's dad rather well.(he played a great piano)Does anyone know a site where there is a fair chance that Mr.Clapton will go to and read or a site where one would go to book him?read""
  • Jay from Virginia Beach, Va'I Shot the Sheriff' was written by Victor Ford,
    not Bob Marley, although the(original)
    Wailers* were probably the first to record it.

    *Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Tosh
  • Matt from Adelaide, AustraliaEric Clapton was not named Slow hand for sarcassim or from his manafer or anything like that. He got this name because of his forceful string bending. He would often snap the strings on stage and he would replace them while the fans do a slow clap. That is all nothing more nothing less. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the greatest band in the world... If you listen to lots of their songs u will see what i mean... Blues and the rest are still great but this is my type of music. Funk Rock/Pop is the greatest
  • Pat from Westmont, NjSpencer, your probably the only Canadien I've ever agreed with..and Greg from Little River I kno exactly what you mean..Bottom line, Clapton is geneous..
  • Joel from Tempe, AzEric Clapton is actually a better guitar player now than he was 30 years ago, both electric and acoustic. His sound has changed through the years. Because of music technology, his tone now has more of a twangy "Gilmour" sound. In the 70's he had more of a Buddy Guy kind of tone. Although he is known for playing strats, nobody made a Les Paul sound better than Clapton.
    People also need to realize that the band he has right now with Billy Preston may be one of his best bands ever, except that they only play old material.
  • Miliama from Auckland, New ZealandI think he's the mantis bro. I don't know him. But whoever he is he can come to my crib anytime. Holla @ 911 and maybe we can talk sometime or we could ride in my black and white cop car. Catch you up.
  • John from Sugar Land , TxActually, the nickname 'Slowhand' was given to EC because of the slow applause his audience gave him when he would break a string from bending it too much.
  • Clapton from San Fran , Caim going to have to agree with don. in my opinion he is the greatest guitar player, he was too in your face but, what in gods name is he doin? Mabye he just cant play like he used to but i dont know man somethings just aint right when clapton doesnt rip a face melting solo at a concert.
  • Spencer from Edmonton, CanadaEric Clapton is one of the all time greats with every band he played for, and, in my opinion, Layla is one of the greatest songs ever recorded
  • Rknrne from Vancouver, CanadaClapton has reinvented the blues ... seeing him with Buddy Guy you can tell he spent a lot of time listening to him ........ but he polished up all his (BGuy's) wanky notes to artistic smoothness.... thanks for the inspiration E.C.
    ps... What's his brother' name he discovered hanging out in the pubs in Vancouver doing all those BAD Drugs infiltrating our streets ?
  • Mike from St.louis, Momost of Eric Claptons major hits were written by JJ CALE......loke AFTER MIDNIGHT,COCAINE and I SHOT THE SHERFFI was written by BOB MARELY
  • Shana from Pembroke, CanadaEric Clapton is awesome...solo and in Cream, he is just great. Ive grew up listening to him
  • B from Toronto, CanadaClapton's guitar "Blackie" which he used throughout the 70's was auctioned for $959,000 in July. This is a record for a guitar.
  • James from Bransgore, EnglandAlso, he grew up thinking that his mother was his sister. It was a great shock when the woman he thought was his sister turned out to be his mother.
  • Bob from Mt. Laurel, NjSometimes I would compare Clapton's solos to David Gimour's solos.
  • Mike from Spokane, WaHis son's death was the inspiration for the song "tears in heaven"
  • Don from Pittsburgh, PaEric Clapton is one of the greatest guitarists ever. He has written some of the most memorable music, I have listened to. But, honestly what has Eric done in the last ten years? Nothing original and only blues covers. I've seen him live and he is incendiary with his playing. Eric Clapton has become steeped in banality. What happened, man?
  • Wilbert from Poughkeepsie, NyEric was named "slowhand" as a joke by the manager of the Yardbirds Giorgio Gomelsky as sort of a joke because of Clapton's speed on the fretboard.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrMany sources have said that Eric Clapton's real name was Eric Patrick Clapp. This is wrong! His Real Name was actually Eric Patrick Clapton. Clapp was only the last name of his Grandmother and Grandfather.
  • Greg from Little River, ScThe one thing I admired about clapton is that he never gose "all out" on his solos. He makes the solo flow right in to the song. Which show that you don't have to go crazy on the guitar to sound good.
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