Happy Birthday Slowhand!

Who’s the greatest guitar god ever? My vote goes to Birthday Boy Eric  Clapton!    Born March 30th, 1945 in Surrey England this man has not only played the blues, he has lived them. At the tender age of nine Eric found out the truth about his grandparents  (who he thought were his parents) and met his mother and six-year-old half-brother. This single event was a determining factor in who he was to become. Becoming distant and moody Eric was living the blues’ . His first guitar acquired at age 13 was a Hoyer with steel strings.[imagine playing that] Eric enrolled in the Kingston Art College at 16 but was expelled for lack of progress after the first year, he had also got his first Gibson ES-335 clone a Kay cutaway.  At eighteen he joined The Yardbirds the blues based band that brought us Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page respectively. The Yardbirds recorded their first album “Five Live Yardbirds”  at the Marquee Club in London.

It was during this time that the nickname Slow Hand developed. Eric played with the band for eighteen months before leaving because of musical differences [his path was the blues.] and was replaced by another great Jeff Beck. Joining John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers Eric established himself as an equal to artists like Buddy Guy and Freddie King.  In July of 66′ Eric left and joined Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce to form Cream. Cream was a powerhouse band that only lasted two years due to inflamed egos but brought major influence to modern rock and roll. Dust off the vinyl of Disraeli Gears and reminisce your youth. Blind Faith was the next stop on this journey and is a resounding time in music history. While touring with Delaney, Bonnieand Friends, Eric was encouraged to sing and started composing more. He released his first album “Eric Clapton” in 1970. That summer also found Eric forming Derek and the Dominos and writing Layla professing his love publicly for Patti Harrison.

In 1974 after kicking a nasty heroin addiction that made him a recluse, Eric reappeared on the music scene with a whole new style. Another vinyl to dust off is ‘461 Ocean Boulevard’ where you’ll find “I Shot the Sheriff” single that brought his solo career into the light. Throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s Eric was cranking out new vinyl every year and touring the world staying extremely busy. Alcohol addiction grabbed ahold and Eric once again had a battle on his hands eventually going in for rehabilitation.  With a strong history in doing film scores among his already vast portfolio in 1992 Eric produced his Grammy award-winning “Tears in Heaven”. This song was to become deeply personal after losing friend Stevie Ray Vaughn in a helicopter crash just after performing in Wisconsin together and then a few months later losing his son Connor in a tragic fall. “From the cradle” in 1994 was a fantastic blues album that really gets into your soul.

This century has found Eric releasing “Riding with the King” with B.B.King in 2000, Reptile in 2001, and 2004’s tribute “Me & Mr Johnson” to great bluesmen Robert Johnson. In 05′  Cream got back together for a reunion 37 years after playing and preformed on the same stage that hosted their last live performance.  His lifetime rewards speak alone on how this musician has affected not only rock and roll but the world as a whole. He has won/shared in eighteen Grammy’s and is the only member to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times.

His 20th studio album “Old Sock” is a list of who’s who as he has artists such as Paul McCartney, Taj MaHal, JJ Cale, Chaka Kahn and more joining him for a jam session of his favorite songs. Eric has amazed more than his peers and generation and continues to forge ahead in what was pointed out in the sixties when graffiti appeared all over Britain stating ‘Clapton is God‘ musical career.

ref/ ericclapton.com, allaboutbluesmusic.com photos/same

until next time, peace



~ by beibejones on March 31, 2013.

One Response to “Happy Birthday Slowhand!”

  1. […] describe the sound this “GOD” puts down? His other nickname is maybe more well known, “Slowhand”  turns 70 years young this year and true to his style is doing what he enjoys most. Clapton opts  […]

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