Tickets to an Eric Clapton concert are tickets to see and hear a musical icon. Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945, and was raised by his grandparents Rose and Jack Clapp when his mother couldn't face bringing up an illegitimate child at the age of 16. He received a guitar for his fourteenth birthday and proceeded to copy the greatest blues players note for note.
In 1963 the Yardbirds, an aspiring R&B band who needed a replacement for their guitarist Tony Topham, sought Clapton out. The reputation of the Yardbirds was largely centered on Clapton, who had been nicknamed "Slowhand" by the crowd at Richmond's Crawdaddy club. Clapton stayed for a year and a half until musical differences split the group.
Clapton spent some time with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, one of Britain's top blues bands and was then elevated to superstar status with the formation of Cream in 1966, creating one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Eric was also asked to play the beautiful lead solo on George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on The Beatles' White Album. Cream lasted just over two years, and Clapton soon found himself with Blind Faith. The line-up was completed by Steve Winwood and Ric Grech, creating a "super group" that was unable to stay together for more than one self-titled album.
Clapton eventually ended up with Jim Gordon, Bobby Whitlock and Carl Radle forming the band Derek And The Dominoes. This memorable unit, together with Duane Allman recorded one of his most famous songs, "Layla." After battling with a heroin addiction for some time, Clapton began to record again and released 461 Ocean Boulevard in August 1974. The record was an incredible success, a Number 1 hit in the U.S. and Number 3 in the U.K., featuring Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff." Clapton had further hits with There's One In Every Crowd and the live E.C. Was Here. During 1977 and 1978 he released two more major albums, Slowhand and Backless. Further single success came with the songs "Lay Down Sally," "Promises," "Wonderful Tonight," J.J. Cale's "Cocaine" and John Martyn's "May You Never." Clapton had become an assured vocalist and songwriter who, by the way, played guitar.
The '80s were good for Clapton, with each album selling well. Another Ticket, Money And Cigarettes, Behind The Sun and August, all saw the best of what Clapton had to offer. Journeyman, in 1989, took it all a step further; not only were his voice and songs amazing but "Slowhand" had rediscovered Clapton's first love, the guitar. Unplugged in 1992 became one of Clapton's most successful albums, selling ten million copies in the U.S. by 1996. The single "Tears In Heaven," about the untimely death of his son a year earlier, was a major hit worldwide.
From The Cradle was released in 1994 followed by Pilgrim, an extremely soul-influenced album. Having already earned the title as the greatest white blues guitarist of our time, this release showed focus on Clapton's voice and songwriting. Regardless of what direction Clapton has gone with a project, he always seems to return to his original love of the blues. His collaboration with B.B. King, Riding With The King, was an artistic and commercial success and, in 2001, Reptile also sold successfully. Over the years Eric Clapton has contributed to albums of many artists, including Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Freddie King, Stephen Stills, Ringo Starr and Phil Collins.
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