Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important, Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazines list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and fourth in Gibsons Top 50 Guitarists of All Time. He was also named number five in Time magazines list of The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players in 2009, in the mid-1960s Clapton left the Yardbirds to play with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Furthermore, he formed rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood. For most of the 1970s Claptons output bore the influence of the style of J. J. Cale. His version of Marleys I Shot the Sheriff helped reggae reach a mass market, two of his most popular recordings were Layla, recorded with Derek and the Dominos, and Robert Johnsons Crossroads, recorded with Cream. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Claptons grief was expressed in the song Tears in Heaven, Clapton has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004 he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music, in 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers. Clapton was born on 30 March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England, to 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Walter Fryer, Fryer shipped off to war prior to Claptons birth and then returned to Canada. The similarity in surnames gave rise to the belief that Claptons real surname is Clapp. Years later, his mother married another Canadian soldier and moved to Germany, Clapton received an acoustic Hoyer guitar, made in Germany, for his thirteenth birthday, but the inexpensive steel-stringed instrument was difficult to play and he briefly lost interest. Two years later Clapton picked it up again and started playing consistently, Clapton was influenced by the blues from an early age, and practised long hours to learn the chords of blues music by playing along to the records. He preserved his practice sessions using his portable Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder and his guitar playing was so advanced that, by the age of 16, he was getting noticed. Around this time, Clapton began busking around Kingston, Richmond, in 1962, Clapton started performing as a duo with fellow blues enthusiast David Brock in pubs around Surrey. When he was seventeen years old, Clapton joined his first band, an early British R&B group and he stayed with this band from January until August 1963. In October of that year, Clapton did a stint with Casey Jones & the Engineers. In October 1963, Clapton joined the Yardbirds, a rock and roll band
Image: Eric Clapton 01May 2015
Clapton (right) with Cream
Clapton's The Fool guitar (replica shown), with its bright artwork and famous "woman tone", was symbolic of the 1960s psychedelic rock era.