Clapton: The Autobiography by Eric Clapton. Crown. 396 pages. 2007
In this book, Eric Clapton writes about his incredible life as a blues musician, an addict and ultimately as a happily married man and father, a man who is sober and helping others to achieve sobriety.
I read this book when it was first published, and decided to read it again after seeing the now 77-year-old guitarist in concert for the first time last year.
Clapton begins by telling us he was raised by his grandparents, though for many years he grew up thinking that they were actually his parents. He was nine years old before he met his mother. As a child, he attended Sunday school, which is where he first heard a lot of the old, beautiful English hymns, his favorite being “Jesus Bids Us Shine.” Music became a healer for him, and he learned to listen with all his being. He found that it could wipe away all the emotions of fear and confusion relating to his family.
He taught himself how to play guitar. He writes about listening to the blues music of Robert Johnson, saying that following his example would be his life’s work. He writes about his work with the Yardbirds, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and as a solo artist.
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