Born in England, this musician is ranked among
the greatest rock and roll guitarists of all time.
Eric Clapton grew up in a very musical
household. Already one of the most respected
guitarists on the West End pub circuit, in
1963 Clapton received an invitation to join a
band called TheYardbirds.
Later in 1965, Clapton joined the blues band
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.
Clapton soon left the Bluesbreakers as well; a
few months later, he teamed up with bassist
Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker to form
the rock trio Cream.
Cream achieved international superstar status.
After the breakup of Cream, Clapton formed yet
another band, Blind Faith, but the group broke
up after only one album and a disastrous
American tour. Then, in 1970, he formed Derek
and the Dominos, and went on to compose and
record one of the seminal albums of rock
history, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
A concept album about unrequited love, Clapton
wrote Layla to express his desperate affection
for Pattie Boyd, the wife of the Beatles' George
Despite his great musical productivity during
these years, Clapton's personal life remained in
woeful disarray. In 1979, five years after her
divorce from his friend George Harrison, Pattie
Boyd (of "Layla" fame) finally did marry Eric
Clapton. However, by this time Clapton had
simply replaced his heroin addiction with
alcoholism, and his drinking placed a constant
strain on their relationship. He was an unfaithful
husband and conceived two children with other
women during their marriage.
In 1991, Eric Clapton's son Conor died when he
fell out of the window of his mother's apartment.
The tragedy took a heavy toll on Eric Clapton
and also inspired one of his most beautiful and
heartfelt songs, "Tears in Heaven."