Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Eric Clapton - The Autobiography
Any one that knows me is left in no doubt that I enjoy music, I am particularly fond of rock and blues. One of the artists to introduce me to what I might call true blues as opposed to the more modern development of electric blues is Eric Clapton.
My sister in law and her husband treated me to Eric Clapton's Autobiography for Christmas and it is not what I might have bought for myself, not because I don't read but because it seems every man and his dog is coming out with biographies of one form or another at the moment, some from people that have not been on the planet for more than five minutes and therefore do not have very much of substance to write about and others badly written or written by ghost writers, this fashion does not encourage one to read autobiographies.
So I have just finished reading Eric Clapton - The Autobiography, in the late 1960s, one of the most prominent pieces of graffiti seen in London and New York was "Clapton is God." Thirty years later, the guitarist and singer continues to hold the initiated enthralled, and a fair share of his present-day fans weren't even born when those words of worship were emblazoned in public. Clapton's meandering and groundbreaking musical career has been punctuated by extreme personal hardship and tragedy. Through the emotional truth of his music, he has sought refuge and release from the suffering of drug and alcohol addiction and personal relationships gone wrong, also the deaths of several loved ones.
Throughout the book, Clapton discloses his relationships with women, his bouts with drugs and alcohol, as well as the death of his son, Conor. Referring to the lowest points of his life, he states “…the only reason that I didn’t commit suicide was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink anymore if I was dead.”
His friendship with George Harrison and especially his obsession with Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd, returns again and again throughout the book. However, he barely touches on Harrison’s death, which I found surprising. I also noticed that he doesn’t hand over a great deal of praise to many living musicians; most of those he holds in high regard are dead. However, in all fairness, he doesn’t thoroughly bash those musicians whom he criticizes.
As harrowing as it is fascinating, this Autobiography offers a valiant portrait of an brilliant music legend. Honest and candid, Eric Clapton confides his life story with much the same sincerity that distinguishes his music. If you like Clapton you will certainly enjoy the book.
"Actions have consequences...first rule of life. And the second rule is this - you are the only one responsible for your own actions". Holly Lisle