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Summary

Eric Clapton is far more than a rock star. Like Dylan and McCartney, he is an icon and a living legend. He has sold tens of millions of records, played sell-out concerts all over the world, and been central to the significant musical developments of his era. His guitar playing has seen him hailed as "God". Tracks such as "Layla", "Sunshine of Your Love", "Wonderful Tonight", and "Tears in Heaven" have become anthems for generations of music fans. Now, for the first time, Eric tells the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty, and painfully honest autobiography.

Eric was born illegitimate in 1945 and raised by his grandparents. He never knew his father, and until the age of nine believed his absentee mother to be his sister. In his teens his solace was the guitar, and he soon became a cult hero in the club circuits of Britain. With the foundation of the world's first super-group, Cream, in 1966, he became a world superstar.

But the rock-star lifestyle has had a darker side. In more than 40 years at the forefront of his profession, he has twice survived near fatal addictions to drugs and alcohol, the death of his four-year-old son, the deaths of friends such as Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, the break-up of marriage, and the disintegration of relationships with a succession of beautiful women.

These are the memoirs of a survivor, someone who has reached the pinnacle of success, who has had it all, but whose demons have never left him. At the age of 62, Eric is now ready to tell his story as it is, hiding nothing, with a directness and searing honesty that will make this book one of the most compelling memoirs of our time.

©2007 Eric Clapton (P)2007 Random House

Critic reviews

"Engrossing....some overwhelmingly poignant and wrenching personal meditations make the book a success." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Both the youthful excesses and the current calm state are narrated with an engaging tone that nudges Clapton's story ahead of other rock 'n' roll memoirs." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Eric Clapton

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GOOD BOOK

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Enjoyed this.My only slight criticism is the sudden jump from getting his first guitar to almost skipping straight to joining the yardbirds.As a guitarist myself i would have loved to hear much more of his private practice and teaching himself to play and the hundreds and then thousands of hours sat alone learning to play the very basics up to honing your craft and finding an individual style.It does not really hit upon how much time you have to put aside just to become an ordinary guitarist never mind a great world famous one.I have recommended this to a couple of people who want to learn guitar,and was hoping it would tell them just how long it takes to learn this complex instrument as they are under the impression that you can play stunning guitar riffs like your heroes after a month or two when we all know that even the best out there have spent years learning.

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Very underwhelming

Eric Clapton book if written by him ( I doubt it)
Is very underwhelming. The details of his playing and gigs are not covered in any details.
The book is a bit Alan patridge in the way it comes across .

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  • G
  • 01-05-21

Great insginto the man behind the Guitar.

Enjoyed every minute but wish it was longer and he spoke in more depth about writing and creating tracks, although it seemed to come so easy to him. Some very honest and interesting thoughts on his friends and fellow musicians.

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Abridged

There's quite a lot that's been expurgated in this audio version. It's still a good listen and Bill Nighy does a a good job of narrating.

Eric's honesty about his past is admirable, especially with regards to alcoholism and co-dependency in relationships. As well as the work he has subsequently done to help others with their addictions.
I read the Ray Coleman biography years ago and therefore already knew of a few of the things he talks about in the book but obviously this is more up to date.

There's no arguing that Clapton is a remarkable guitar player who has recorded some of the best music of all time. He has been friends and worked with some of the greatest blues artists, including B.B King, but the book is light on anecdotes about his experiences with them. I saw B.B in concert once and at this point he was talking a lot more during his show than playing guitar and he told some entertaining stories about working with Eric on the Riding With the King Album. One was that at one point he playfully asked Eric "what do we do now, God?" Eric is not fond of being called that.

Still not convinced about the merits of hunting and blood-sports. Of all the things to choose to leave out of the audio version I would have preferred that this aspect had been expurgated instead of others.

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An interesting insight into a great musician

An interesting insight into a great musician. perhaps a bit short but still great to hear about his amazing life

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Excellent insight into a great musician.

I completely enjoyed the book. it was a great insight into one of the worlds greatest musicians. I couldnt help but feel sorry for EC, ultimately so glad that he has found peace.

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Eric is God !!!

If you are a fan..... your going to love this

Sad... Funny ...... Entertaining..... Enjoyable !!!!

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Brilliant!

Fascinating autobiography. I’m amazed by Eric’s professional and personal life achievements. Talent and strength of character shines through. Inspirational.
Thank you.

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Brilliant

Excellent- wish it was longer plus Bill Nighy is the perfect guy to read this wonderful heart warming story of rock and roll

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A great listen

Lots of detail and stories from Eric's life. Love Bill Nighy's voice too. Terrific read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-04-20

Bill is a great narrator

Great read. Candid look back at a tortured lake of drugs, alcohol, redemption, love and family.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-12-17

compelling

I loved Bill s narration
very interesting life storey told in a very honest And understated way

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  • Looshbaby
  • 18-07-13

Fascinating, Turbulent

Would you listen to Eric Clapton again? Why?

Yes, I love historical factual accounts of famous people no matter what the career, especially if it seems to be a balanced and real account, as this seems to be.

What did you like best about this story?

The journey, good and bad, it is a very interesting life, and as i listened, i was taken through a journey myself, of emotional responses to the good, bad, ugly, honest, etc.

Have you listened to any of Bill Nighy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, he is fantastic, but needs to say Steve Lukather correctly.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Behind The Face

Any additional comments?

Loved it despite being shocked at some of the content. I shouldn't be amazed at the life of a Rock Star, with all the trappings, but i was.

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  • Phil
  • 24-01-13

Absolutely Brilliant!!!!

This is the greatest hands down rock bio I have ever listened too. I knew very little about the man and was blown away. Fans of his work, the man or just a great story will enjoy this. To be able to still go on after so much tragedy in his life is inspiring. PLUS Nighy's performance is wicked!

Do yourself a favour!

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  • Regan
  • 04-12-12

Amazing!

Would you listen to Eric Clapton again? Why?

Yes of course, being a huge Clapton fan myself. Found this book to be a wonderful insight into the mind of the master. I have listened to it 3 times now and am still loving it.

Have you listened to any of Bill Nighy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I wish i had, one of the best readings i have ever heard.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes but unfortunately i hardly have 5 hours completely spare haha.

Any additional comments?

Definately recommended

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  • Merle
  • 25-06-12

so honest!

that a man can be so talented and his own worst enemy at the same time, the world could have been so deprived. Eric Clapton balances the telling of his personal struggles with his exciting musical life very well, but I suspect his miraculous rehabilitation was the real story he wished to share.

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  • Scott
  • 24-04-12

Eric was brutally honest.

Would you listen to Eric Clapton again? Why?

Yes, I will get more out of the each time I listen to it. He had too much going on to get it all in one read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Eric, but the whole story is amazing.

What does Bill Nighy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think as I remember it Bill was one the people that snappen Eric out of his death spiral. He was one the good influence at a time , when there were so bad around him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The chapter where Eric lost his son when he fell to his death.

Any additional comments?

I loved the Eric Clapton story & I will listen to again in the next 6 months to see what else I can find out about the man. It has been a fasinating life, I am glad they put into a audio book.