Week 25 – Eric Clapton

Our Guest This Week

The person in focus of this week´s edition of SiPgoes53 is British musician Eric Clapton. Rumour has it that there are people who haven´t heard of him before (as for myself: my first tattoo showed a cover of my favourite Clapton albums, but that’s a completely different story). Still most everyone will recognize some of his famous tunes like “Layla” or “Tears In Heaven”, as well as his versions of other artists’ songs like “Knocking On Heaven´s Door”(by Bob Dylan), “I Shot The Sheriff”(by Bob Marley) or “Cocaine”(by J.J.Cale).

The Music

Clapton started playing guitar when he was 15 years old. Three years later he joined the British band Yardbirds, playing Blues and Rock´n´Roll. As they say, the rest is history. From that time on he played in several bands before starting a solo career in the 1970´s.

Eric Clapton has since become one of the most influential guitarist. In 1965 a graffiti with unknown origin stated that “Clapton is God”. He is known for his passion for the Blues as well as his rock guitar. His version of Bob Marley´s “I Shot The Sheriff” made Reggae music famous for a wider audience. His 1992 session for MTV Unplugged remains the highest selling live album of all times with over 26 million sold copies.

Slowhand (the nickname he received for interrupting a show every time he broke a string while performing live; he wouldn´t continue playing before having replaced said guitar string on stage. The audience usually bid the time with a slow hand-clapping) won no less than eighteen Grammys. In 2004 he was awarded a CBE for his services to music. He is also the only three-time inductee to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

The Man

Although having been incredibly successful in his musical career, Eric Clapton had to face several hard times in his personal life.

He had experienced heavy abuses of alcohol and various drugs. Having overcome his addictions, from 1993 on he helped others fighting their dependencies. In 1998 he established the Crossroads Centre in Antigua. There he is active in management oversight and fundraising to the present day.

In 1991 his son Conor died at the age of four after having fallen out of an open window on 53rd floor. Clapton took all his grief and turned it into the song Tears In Heaven.

The Week Ahead

Eric Clapton continuously plays guitar and performs concerts all over the world. What will your vision of a SiPgoes53 picture look like? What´s the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of Eric Clapton? His favourite guitar Blackie? The mysterious graffiti from 1965? Or the acoustic music he successfully introduced to his audience?

As always, we´re looking forward to your pics using the hashtags #SiPgoes53 and #SiP_Eric_Clapton.

The article´s author may have seen Eric Clapton performing once or twice before.

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