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Eric Clapton: The Man Who Brought Back The Blues

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor?

Do you want to hear me beg you to take you back?

I'll gladly do it

Because I don't want to fade away...

-Eric Clapton, "Bell Bottom Blues"

Eric Clapp was born in England March 30 1945, he was raised by his grandparents and became interested in music at a very young age. He studied music for a short time at a prestigous school. Eventually he became interested in the electric guitar. He became interested in the syles of the old blues guitarists of the 30s 40s and early 50s, and did all he could to learn to imitate them. Eventually he had a short lived association with the Roosters and the Yardbirds. During this time he got the nickname 'Slowhand'. Eric Clapton, however wanted to stay away from more commerical bands and eventually formed his own band, named Cream, so called because they believed they were the 'cream of english blues bands'. Finally, Clapton had the chance to reinvent rock by reinfusing it with older blues, as evidenced by one of his biggest hits, "Crossroads", based on Robert Johnson's 'Crossroads Blues' and 'Travelling Riverside Blues'. However, the band didn't survive the huge egos involved and after only two albums, broke up. It was during this time that Clapton began his life-long association with BB King and met, and greatly inspired, Jimi Hendrix, who looked up to Clapton. Soon, Clapton formed the hugely-successful Blind Faith, but that didn't last long either. He then tried to hide his identity with his next band, hoping that a new start would provide a more long lasting endevour. Derek and The Dominoes produced such hits as 'Layla' and 'Bell Bottom Blues'. However, again after only one album, the band broke up. This was the last straw for Clapton, and he became severely addicted to heroine, and it almost destroyed his life, and would have if not for his friend Pete Townsend (of The Who). He helped Clapton through this difficult period, and in the 70s Clapton bounced back with great solo success. During this time he wrote such popular songs as 'I Shot the Sherrif', 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot','Cocaine' and 'Wonderful Tonight'. He also married Patty Harrison, who was the inspiration for the unforgettable song 'Layla'. He eventually, unfortunately, became addicted to alcohol. But after his 4-year old son died in a terrible accident in the 80s, he was able to walk away from these chains, never to return. After this tragedy, Clapton wrote one of his most successful songs of all time, 'Tears in Heaven' and ode to his lost child. Clapton's success continues to this day, his most recent work, 'Ridin With The King' a collaberative effort with his long-time friend and associate BB King, is out of this world. Proof that Eric Clapton will never fade away.

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