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Clapton: The Autobiography

by: Eric Clapton

Album Artwork

(Broadway)

After reading Clapton’s book, I sat back, breathed a sigh and said out loud to nobody in particular, “ It’s a wonder he lived through all of that.” And it really is.

Fighting a lifetime of depression, drug and alcohol addiction and general bad behavior patterns, Eric Clapton created some of the finest music of the 1960’s onward. His work with Cream stands the test of time, as does his Blind Faith/Steve Winwood music. And I can’t say enough about the greatness that was Derek and The Dominos. There are plenty of stories about Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett and their influence of E.C., as well as his lessons learned from Duane Allman. If you are like me, these sections of the book will draw you in even more than the parts of his life where he worked with The Beatles. It’s a Southern thang.

The whole truth finally comes out about his love affair with George Harrison’s wife Patti Boyd and his never ending friendship with the “quiet Beatle.” Clapton’s self destructive behavior is put on the line for all to see, from the multiple auto wrecks, any one of which should have killed him, to the excessive use of recreational drugs, alcohol and sex.

The detailed story of the death of his son Conner is told, as well as his multiple relapses into the world of booze and narcotics, but as they say, “all’s well that ends well.”  Clapton brings himself together and changes his life for the better, opening the Crossroads Centre for addicts and playing some of the best music of his life, including work with Doyle Bramhall and Derek Trucks, which Clapton discusses toward the end of the book.

I have read a couple of bios on Eric in the past, but none can hold a candle to this one, straight from the horses mouth. One of the best rock and roll memoirs I have ever read.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

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