Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton CBE (born 30 March 1945), nicknamed "Slowhand", is a Grammy Award winning English guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. He is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th and 21st century, garnering an unprecedented three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (The Yardbirds, Cream, and solo). Often viewed by critics and fans alike as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Eric Clapton was ranked 4th in Rolling Stone’s list of The Greatest Guitarists of All Time and #53 on their list of the The Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Although Clapton's musical style has varied throughout his career, it has always remained rooted in the blues. Clapton is credited as an innovator in several phases of his career, which have included blues-rock (with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds) and psychedelic rock (with Cream). Clapton has also achieved great chart success in genres ranging from Delta blues (Me and Mr. Johnson) to pop ("Change the World") and reggae (cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff"). Clapton also achieved fame with Derek and the Dominos with the song "Layla".

Clapton has performed songs by myriad artists, most notably Robert Johnson and J. J. Cale. Other artists Clapton has covered include Bob Marley and Bob Dylan. He cites Freddie King, B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin and primarily Robert Johnson as major influences on his guitar playing, stating in the liner notes of his Robert Johnson tribute album Me and Mr. Johnson "It is a remarkable thing to have been driven and influenced all of my life by the work of one man... I accept that it has always been the keystone of my musical foundation... I am talking of course about Robert Johnson."

"Robert Johnson to me is the most important blues musician who ever lived. He was true, absolutely, to his own vision, and as deep as I have gotten into the music over the last 30 years, I have never found anything more deeply soulful than Robert Johnson. His music remains the most powerful cry than I think you can find in the human voice, really... it seemed to echo something I had always felt." from Discovering Robert Johnson by Eric Clapton.

In 1974, Clapton persuaded Freddie King to sign for RSO, Clapton's own record label at the time. He has recorded more than six of J.J. Cale's originals and has put out an album with the artist. Other artists Clapton has made collaborations with include Frank Zappa, B.B King, George Harrison (whom he worked on the song Badge with), Santana, Ringo Starr, Roger Waters, Bob Marley and The Plastic Ono Band.

Clapton also collaborated with singer/songwriter John Mayer on his 2006 album release, Continuum. Mayer cites Clapton in his liner notes "Eric Clapton knows I steal from him and is still cool with it." Clapton and Mayer wrote several songs together which have yet to be released. Clapton's influence inspired Mayer to write "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)" which loosely holds characteristics of Clapton's style.

Other Media Appearances
Clapton frequently appears as a guest on the albums of other musicians. For example, he is credited on Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms album, as he lent Mark Knopfler one of his guitars for the album. He also played lead guitar on The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Roger Waters' debut solo album after leaving Pink Floyd. Another media appearance is on Toots and the Maytals album True Love where he played guitar on the track Pressure Drop. He can also be heard at the beginning of Frank Zappa's album, "Absolutely Free," repeating the phrase, "Are you hung up?" over and over again.

In March 2007, Clapton appeared in an advertisement for RealNetwork's Rhapsody (online music service).

In 1985, Clapton appeared on the charity concert Live Aid with Phil Collins (drums) and Donald 'Duck' Dunn (bass).

In an article in the spoof newspaper The Onion, Clapton is mentioned in passing, in which "Weird Al" Yankovic plans to parody "Tears in Heaven" to honor his late parents.

Clapton was featured in the rock opera film, Tommy as the Preacher.

He also appeared in Blues Brothers 2000 as one of the Louisiana Gator Boys. In addition to being in the band, he had a small speaking role.

Clapton has also appeared in an advertisement for the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.

Eric Clapton was present at the PRIDE FC openweight tournament 2000 and during the hour and thirty match between Kazushi Sakuraba and Royce Gracie is pointed out by fellow musician and PRIDE announcer Stephen Quadros.

Clapton's music in film and TV
  • Back to the Future (1985) - Heaven Is One Step Away
  • The soundtrack of The Color of Money (1986 film) contains "It's In The Way That You Use It". This song was written by Clapton along with Robbie Robertson. It appeared on the movie's soundtrack before Clapton's album was released.
  • The soundtrack of Lethal Weapon 2 (1988) features Clapton's version of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door".
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) - "Pilgrim" and "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
  • The soundtrack of Goodfellas (1990 film) contains two of his songs: "Layla" (by Derek and the Dominos) and "Sunshine of Your Love" (by Cream). Curiously, the portion of "Layla" used is not his guitar riff, but Jim Gordon's piano coda. Cream would also play on the soundtrack of another Martin Scorsese/Robert De Niro/Joe Pesci Mob film, Casino (1995).
  • Clapton wrote the score to the film Rush (1991). That film featured Gregg Allman, whose brother, Duane, was a guest musician who helped Clapton record Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
  • Clapton contributed to the score of Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) and co-wrote and co-performed the song "It's Probably Me" with Sting and "Runaway Train" with Elton John.
  • The soundtrack of Phenomenon (1996 film) contains "Change the World"
  • Lord of War - "Cocaine"
  • Starsky & Hutch - "Cocaine"
  • Blow - "Strange Brew"
  • True Lies - "Sunshine of Your Love"
  • School Of Rock - Several songs written and/or performed by Clapton are featured in this movie, among them "Sunshine Of Your Love" and "Cocaine".
  • The Story of Us (1999) - In many parts of this movie, the song "(I) Get Lost is played".
  • Friends (2000) - The One with the Proposal, Part 2, "Wonderful Tonight"
  • Friends (2002) - The One Where Rachel Has a Baby, Part Two, "River of Tears"
  • Bad News Bears - (2005) - "Cocaine"