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Eric Clapton

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Introduction

Bryan Heck Orchestra 3/22/04 Eric Clapton was born on March 30, 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England. He was born the illegitimate child of Patricia Molly Clapton, who could not afford to raise him at the time. He spent his life being raised by his grandparents, Rose and Jack Clapp, who, until he was nine, shielded him from the fact that he was illegitimate. They pretended they were his parents, while his real mother claimed to be his sister. Even after Clapton knew that he was, in fact, a bastard, he would still visit his mother, and she would still pretend to be his sister. From an early age, Clapton had an aptitude for art and especially for music. At age 14, his grandparent bought him a �14 guitar, on which he copied the music of the greatest blues artists at the time. From there, he went on to perform music, at which point he started his first band, the Roosters (which had member Tom McGuinness who later joined Manfred Mann). ...read more.

Middle

His band very quickly became on of the most prominent bands of the 60s, even beginning to be compared with the all time greats of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. However, because of arguing egos among the band members and drug use in all of them, they broke up in 1969. Clapton, however, got back together with Baker and with bassist Rich Green and Traffic's Steve Winwood to record one album as Blind Faith, rock's first "supergroup". They released one cd and went on a 24 city tour in America, the stress from which caused the band to break up not even one year after it was formed. Clapton kept busy for a while with lesser bands and small-time performances, during which time he was influenced the most. He was involved in a complicated love triangle with his friend, George Harrison's, wife (who he eventually married in 1979 and divorced in 1988), which inspired him to write "Layla". He performed that on his ground-breaking double album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs with legendary slide guitarist Duane Allman. ...read more.

Conclusion

Clapton's grief affected his music, and earned him a Grammy for his tribute to his son, "Tears in Heaven." He also received five other Grammies for his single of that song and his album, Unplugged. In 1994, Clapton returned to his old blues style, and shocked critics and fans once again. However, in 1997, Clapton marked his final departure from his blues-laced rock with his techno-pedigreed Retail Therapy. From that point, he released one more album on his own in 1998 and played with BB King in 2000, once again in a traditional blues style. "Clapton is God" really isn't that far from the truth. His music was not only influenced by the greats, but he influenced them all back. Despite his many problems in life, they only benefited his music and what we now know as legend Eric Clapton. Clapton is the only rock artist ever to be admitted into the Rock & Roll hall of fame on three accounts (once for the Yardbirds, once for Cream, and once as a solo artist). He is still alive and well today, and even after he dies, he will remain one of the most influential musicians of all time. ...read more.

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