Artists on Life Festival Oswiecim


Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton was born on 30 March 1945 in Ripley, England. In 1958, when rock and roll had exploded onto the world, Eric got his first guitar for his 13th birthday. A few years later he started to discover American blues. The blues meshed perfectly with his self-perception as an “outsider” and “different” from other people. In 1962, being influenced by his idols like Freddie King, B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy he asked his grandparents’ help in purchasing the electric guitar.

When he was 17, Clapton joined his first band – The Roosters. He also played in the band Casey Jones and the Engineers. But before music became his full-time job, he worked as a laborer at working sites and a bricklayer and plasterer.

From 1963 to 1965 Clapton played in the rock and roll band The Yardbirds. He got his first nickname there as “Slowhand” ans recorded first albums: Five Live Yardbirds” and “Sonny Boy Williamson and The Yardbirds”. He decided to leave the band when it appeared that The Yardbirds are going to play more commercially.

In April 1965 John Mayall invited Clapton to join his band John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Playing in this group, Clapton estabilished his reputation as a brilliant guitarist.

In 1966 Clapton left Mayall and formed Cream, together with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. They recorded a number of excellent albums, like: "Fresh Cream", "Disraeli Gears", "Wheels Of Fire" or "Goodbye" and some live records. As a member of Cream Clapton cemented his reputation as one of the best rock guitarists and was elevated to superstar status.

After Cream disbanded, Clapton formed Blind Faith, but the band recorded one album only. After that Clapton tried to hide from his growing fame and toured as a sideman with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Finally he decided to record his solo album, that was published in 1970.

In 1970 Clapton formed his next band – Derek And The Dominos. One of his most popular songs “Layla” was recorded with this band. It was actually one of the songs at the "Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs" album, that talked mostly about Clapton’s unrequited love for George Harrison’s wife, Patti. The band disbanded after one tour and a failed attempt at recording the second album.

After all these failures Clapton sunk into a heroin addiction. Came back after two years – in 1973 with a live album "Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert". The comeback was successful and Eric continued his solo career, recording a number of records including "Slowhand", "Another Ticket", "Money And Cigarettes".

In the second half of the 80s Clapton started to compose film scores. His biggest success became a “Rush” soundtrack that included a “Tears In Heaven” ballad dedicated to his four year old son Conor, who died after falling apart from the window of the New York’s apartment.

The 90s were a time of musical adventures for Eric. His “Unplugged” album was a huge hit, then “From The Cradle” (1994) was a came back to his blues roots. In 1997 Clapton, under the nickname “X-sample” took part in recording a dance album, released under the “TDF” name. Finally in 1998 Eric released the soul-influenced album, called “Pilgrim”.

Previous decade was the time of refreshing his musical fascinations and cooperations with his idols and friends – from “Riding With The King” (2000), recorded with B.B. King, through solo album “Reptile (2001), two albums, dedicated to blues legend Robert Johnson (2004), concert come back of Cream in 2005 up to “The Road To Escondido” (2006), recorded with J.J. Cale.

Eric Clapton is still a very hard-working musician. He releases his new albums (the newest are: “Clapton” – 2010 and “Old Sock” – 2013) and is still touring. This year’s tour will have a polish stop too – on 28th of June Eric will perform at Life Festival Oświęcim.

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