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Clapton: The Autobiography | [Eric Clapton]

Clapton: The Autobiography

Eric Clapton is far more than a rock star. Like Dylan and McCartney, he is an icon and a living legend. He has sold tens of millions of records, played sell-out concerts all over the world, and been central to the significant musical developments of his era. His guitar playing has seen him hailed as "God". Now, for the first time, Eric tells the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty, and painfully honest autobiography.
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Publisher's Summary

Eric Clapton is far more than a rock star. Like Dylan and McCartney, he is an icon and a living legend. He has sold tens of millions of records, played sell-out concerts all over the world, and been central to the significant musical developments of his era. His guitar playing has seen him hailed as "God". Tracks such as "Layla", "Sunshine of Your Love", "Wonderful Tonight", and "Tears in Heaven" have become anthems for generations of music fans. Now, for the first time, Eric tells the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty, and painfully honest autobiography.

Eric was born illegitimate in 1945 and raised by his grandparents. He never knew his father, and until the age of nine believed his absentee mother to be his sister. In his teens his solace was the guitar, and he soon became a cult hero in the club circuits of Britain. With the foundation of the world's first super-group, Cream, in 1966, he became a world superstar.

But the rock-star lifestyle has had a darker side. In more than 40 years at the forefront of his profession, he has twice survived near fatal addictions to drugs and alcohol, the death of his four-year-old son, the deaths of friends such as Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, the break-up of marriage, and the disintegration of relationships with a succession of beautiful women.

These are the memoirs of a survivor, someone who has reached the pinnacle of success, who has had it all, but whose demons have never left him. At the age of 62, Eric is now ready to tell his story as it is, hiding nothing, with a directness and searing honesty that will make this book one of the most compelling memoirs of our time.

©2007 E. C. Music Limited; (P)2007 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"Both the youthful excesses and the current calm state are narrated with an engaging tone that nudges Clapton's story ahead of other rock 'n' roll memoirs." (Publishers Weekly)
"Clapton is honest - sometimes, as in the account of his son's death, even searing - and often witty, with a hard-won survivor's humor." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (422 )
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  •  
    Jody R. Nathan Tulsa, OK USA 10-19-07
    Jody R. Nathan Tulsa, OK USA 10-19-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable"

    I enjoyed the book. There were points in there where I felt like you do at some movies – you want to tell the person not to open the door because there is a monster or something outside. Its hard to know how “accurate” it is, but there is a clear attempt at honesty, and an attempt to make you understand what Eric was thinking (or not thinking) when he was doing things. There are some surprises – without ruining it for anyone, one of the biggest surprises to me is how much he has always been into fashion. Anyway, its all there: the Yardbirds, Cream, John Mayall, Derek and the Dominoes, his love for Patty, George Harrison’s wife; his addiction to heroin and his even more debilitating alcoholism. He talks about how some of his big hits came about; what makes a guitar “good”; getting wasted and being sober; family, friends and others. It was a good “read.” The narrator, Simon Vance, did a very nice job, as always.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Fairview, NC, United States 05-03-08
    Bruce Fairview, NC, United States 05-03-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Listenable but finally frustrating"

    I'm a Clapton fan and was glad to have the details of his life's course opened up to me. I listened to this entire book in just a few days, despite also working for a living, so it is somewhat compelling. But once Clapton's career's in full swing, the focus changes from music to substance abuse and recovery, and the second half of the book is really about nothing except recovery (including the recovery from grief at the death of his young son). That's OK, that's Eric's THING, and it's less didactic and self-aggrandizing than many recovery memoirs. But as a music fan, I wanted more details about the songs, the records. And the author gets his own facts wrong--he claims "Tears in Heaven" was a hit from the "Rush" soundtrack, when in fact it went largely unheard until his "Unplugged" CD came out--you know his mind is elsewhere. Still a good listen for fans, and certainly an essential text for artistic folks in recovery. Besides, how can you not love Clapton? Clapton is God, right?

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikoli Gogol Edmonton 12-27-07
    Nikoli Gogol Edmonton 12-27-07 Member Since 2005
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    "A Confessional Autobiography"

    I have followed Eric Clapton’s career. He is a complete guitarist, able to play in any genre, and able to collaborate with any artist. He plays electric, acoustic guitar, and slide guitar.

    This book is almost a confessional of his drug and alcohol use and his bad treatment of some people he used in his life. In his 62 years, he has been involved with an enviable number of beautiful young women. His chapters coincide with his albums and the band he played with.

    Unfortunately, Clapton makes little mention of the various guitarists he collaborated with. Duane Allman gets two paragraphs though these two pushed each other into making one of the all-time great guitar albums, Layla and other Love Songs. Fans of Clapton as a musician will find little here about the musical aspects of his career. This information has to be sought out in the many interviews he gives in various magazines.

    In all other aspects, this is a great read.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Rowe Raleigh, NC USA 11-12-07
    Chris Rowe Raleigh, NC USA 11-12-07 Member Since 2003
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    "Good Listen"

    I was really excited when I saw that this book was released on audiobook. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed in this audio book. I wanted more detail on the incredible bands and the wonderful songs that Clapton was involved in, this was usually short treated. To be honest, I found the guy to be a bit whiney. I got tired of hearing about his women. Sometimes you learn more in biographies than you ever wanted to know.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celeste San Luis Obispo, CA, United States 12-14-12
    Celeste San Luis Obispo, CA, United States 12-14-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT!!!"
    If you could sum up Clapton in three words, what would they be?

    Just finished listening to "Clapton" by Eric Clapton. He writes how CranioSacral Therapy helped his youngest daughter when (as a newborn) she was unable to latch onto her mom's breast, and had colic. She had immediate relief after the first session.

    I was so impressed with his intelligence. Due to his journaling throughout his life, this book chronicles his experiences with such detail... making this a fascinating read. I was sorry it was over.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Clapton?

    It's not a moment, but instead my astonishment at how intelligent he is.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was a profound walk down memory lane, as he is only a few years older than I am.


    Any additional comments?

    Simply outstanding!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Char Omaha, NE, United States 01-24-10
    Char Omaha, NE, United States 01-24-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Clapton"

    I already read this in print a few years ago but wanted the audio version which is always special. Simon Vance did a great job as I knew he would. Like everything he has narrated.

    For those of you who thought this was going to be a piece of total recognition of Erics music, you were wrong to think so. We all know his musical success and recognition. Stars or others do not write autobiographies for that sort of thing. Those that do it correctly and honestly write it for the truth of where things have gone over the years. This is very truthful. It is exceptional and Eric's struggle with drugs and alcohol are at the heart of this. We are darn glad he is still alive because things were not necessarily going to go that direction. With the help of friends and his own will, we still have him playing that incredible guitar today. A good autobiography is kind of "stripping of the soul" and not just the accolades that have been presented to a particular person in his lifetime. The best accolade I can think of is that he finally got his act together and is still with us and doing philanthropic things with "Crossroads" to help others. It doesn't get any better than that. Get into the real story here and the blessings since his recovery and don't look at just the awards...........he would be the first to tell you that the awards are not at the heart of this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue San Diego, CA, USA 02-17-08
    Sue San Diego, CA, USA 02-17-08
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    "Excellent"

    If you are going on a long trip, this is an incredible way to pass the time. I've never been a fan of books on tape but this one kept my interest on a 10 hour drive. If you are an Eric Clapton fan you will enjoy this!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Ratliff Paradise Valley, AZ, USA 11-07-07
    Vicki Ratliff Paradise Valley, AZ, USA 11-07-07 Member Since 2007

    Vickiinaz

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    "too much detail!"

    You can only listen to so many tales of drunken exploits and incessant womanizing before going.... ho,hum, so what.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie WARSAW, IN, United States 10-25-07
    Jackie WARSAW, IN, United States 10-25-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Loved it!"

    I have been a fan of Clapton for 35 years. Not only does he share the greatness of his life, but also the very lows. He has some profound thoughts on recovery, which I found very interesting. If you love rock'n' roll, you'll love this book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Velvet 11-26-13
    Velvet 11-26-13
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    "Required reading"
    Where does Clapton rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've only listened to half a dozen audiobooks so far, and this currently ranks first. Simon Vance's reading is lovely.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Clapton?

    I love the early stuff: childhood leading into the Yardbirds and Cream: I loved looking up songs of Bluesmen that I hadn't heard before that were so seminal to Clapton. However, what makes this most memorable is his story of recovery, providing his experience, strength, and hope.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The most moving element was how he dealt with so many losses, starting with the untimely death of his son... all in sobriety.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    His recovery story brought tears to my eyes.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm such a fan of his early work (through Derek & the Dominos) and his later work (MTV Unplugged and beyond), and had always wondered what had happened in between. The answer? The toll of drugs and alcohol made his middle (solo) work less interesting for me at the time; but this is also what makes the autobiography that much more compelling....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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