Eric Patrick Clapton is one of the most influential guitarists and also one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Among the numerous coveted accolades he has received so far, the most notable is being ranked fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All-time” and second in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

In 2009, Time magazine gave him the fifth position in the list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players”. Clapton has composed, sung, and written several songs in the English rock and blues genre. Though this career span, he sang with a number of bands including Yardbirds, John Mayall& the Bluesbreakers, Power Trio Cream, Blind Faith.

In 1970, Eric began a solo career and sang a number of hit songs collaborating with various other artists. He has also received four Ivor Novello Awards, 18 Grammy Awards, and Brit Awards too.

Personal Life

Eric Clapton was on 30 March 1945 to a 16-year old mother and grew up believing that this grandmother and her second husband were his parents. He was born in Ripley, Surrey, England but grew up in Canada hailed from Quebec.

Clapton had his first shot with music when he received an acoustic Hoyer guitar on his thirteenth birthday. However, the steel-stringed guitar didn’t pique his interest initially. It happened after two years when he started playing more consistently.

From a very early age, he got fascinated with blues music and practised the chords for hours. He used to tap his own strumming and listened to them to ensure that he was playing to this satisfaction. In 1961, he joined Kingston College of Art but was expelled at the end of the year since his primary focus was always the guitar.

While achieving spectacular feats in his career, Eric had some setbacks in his personal life.  He became addicted to alcohol and drug for a long time and lost his four-year-old son in 1991 whose grief was expressed in his song “Tears in Heaven”.

Early Musical Career

By the age of 16, Eric got quite proficient at guitar and started getting noticed for his public performances in the West End, Kingston, and Richmond. When he was 17, he joined his first band, the Roosters. He stayed with the band for 1 year and then did a brief stint of 7 gigs with Casey Jones & the Engineers.

In 1963, Clapton joined the blues-influenced rock and roll band, the Yardbirds while giving form to a distinctive style that made him one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British Music industry. He stayed with the band for 3 years which received a cult following.

They also took over the Rolling Stones’ residency and toured England with American bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson. They also recorded an album that was released in 1965. Eric earned the nickname of “Slowhand” following his act of replacing the guitar string every time he broke it during this performance.

Whenever he did that on stage, the audience would wait and slowly clap, hence, the name “Slowhand”. In the year 1964, Clapton performed in the Royal Albert Hall for the first time with Yardbirds and since then, he has performed there over 200 times.

Eric Clapton will always remain an inspiration for millions of musicians around the world.