Mar. 30th, 1945
Ripley, Surrey, England, UK
5' 11 1/2"
Eric Clapton's Main TV Roles[no roles found]
Main Movie Roles2006 - Before the Music Dies
1998 - Blues Brothers 2000
1987 - Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll
1978 - The Last Waltz
1975 - Tommy
1973 - Jimi Hendrix
Guest TV Roles
Eric Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, on March 30, 1945. His real father was a Canadian pilot but he didn't find that out until he was 53. He was brought up by his grandmother because his mother couldn't look after him - in fact, he thought that his grandmother was actually his real mother. When he was 14 he took up the guitar, having been influenced by blues artists such as B.B King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker (I). In 1963, after he was chucked out of art college, he joined The Yardbirds, as he was in art school with Keith Relf. He stayed for about 18 months before beginning a stint with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Eric became known as "god", as he impressed the whole English music scene with his amazing guitar playing. After about a year Eric had had enough of impersonating his blues idols and decided to form a group of his own, so in 1966 he formed a band with bassist Jack Bruce (I) and drummer Ginger Baker (who had the idea) that became known as Cream (I). This band was not a purist blues group but a hard-driving rock and blues trio. They first performed together at a jazz and blues festival in Surrey before signing a record contract. In November 1966 their debut single, "Wrapping Paper", hit UK #34, but their next single, "I Feel Free", made more of an impression, hitting UK #11 the following January. At the same time they released their debut album "Fresh Cream", which was a top-ten hit, going to UK #6 and went on to make US #39 later in the year. Cream spent most of 1967 either touring or writing, recording and producing "Disreali Gears", which was to be one of their finest efforts. The first single that confirmed the group as a mainstream success was "Strange Brew", which went to #17 in the UK. After a hectic worldwide tour, their second album "Disreali Gears" was released and became an enormous worldwide hit, rising to UK #5 and US #4. The album's success r4esulted in one of its tracks, "Sunshine Of Your Love", a hit in the US, going to #36. In February 1968 Cream set out on a six-month US tour, the longest time that a British band ad ever been in America. The tour took in hundreds of theaters, arenas and stadiums, but in April 1968 the band was exhausted and decided to take a short break from touring. However, during their break disaster struck. While Cream was in America Eric had given an interview to the magazine "Rolling Stone" which had Eric the editor make critical points about his guitar playing. This led to an eruption within the band that was the beginning of the end. Despite this setback, the band's US tour carried on until June, during which they had been recording their most popular project, "Wheels Of Fire", a double live album that was released in August 1968, shooting to UK #3 and the studio effort of UK #7, but both going directly to US #1 for four weeks. Despite the fact that the band had sold so many records, had sold out nearly every concert, had made millions and even managed to boost "Sunshine Of Your Love" to hit US #5 and UK #25, they decided that after a farewell tour of America the band would split up. The band toured North America in October, played two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November and the Cream was no more. Claptonexplained, "The Cream has lost direction." In the winter of 1969 Eric began jamming with former Traffic (I) front man Stevie Winwood, with Ginger Baker also joining in Eric's mansion in Surrey. With bassist Ric Grech added to the lineup, the band became Blind Faith and started rehearsing and recording material. In June after the band finished a recording session for their first and only album, they made their live debut in Hyde Park to a crowd of over 200,000 fans. The concert itself didn't go too well, however, and Clapton and Winwood were more or less convinced that Blind Faith had blown it. However, despite their feelings, Blind Faith set out on a summer sellout tour of the US, playing in arenas and stadiums all over the country. The tour itself earned the band a fortune, but they were all convinced that the music itself was unsatisfying. After the tour was over, and their only album, "Blind Faith", was released, though, it wound up topping the charts worldwide. The band still decided to split up, though, and Clapton went on tour with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, who were Blind Faith's support act on the tour, and also performed at times with The Plastic Ono Band.
- Upon returning to England after recording the Derek & The Dominos album "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs," he was supporting a £1,000-per-week heroin addiction.
- Axes of choice include a Fender Stratocaster and a Gibson Les Paul Standard.
- Was very good friends with 'Duane Allman' (qv), and they held a great deal of respect for each other. Allman played guitar on the Derek and the Dominos song "Layla."
- Was a member of 'The Yardbirds' (qv), 'John Mayall' (qv)'s Bluesbreakers, 'Cream (IV)' (qv), 'Blind Faith' (qv), 'Delaney & Bonnie & Friends' (qv), Derek and the Dominoes.
- May 2005: Reunited with 'Ginger Baker' (qv) and 'Jack Bruce (II)' (qv) for a 'Cream (IV)' (qv) reunion concert.
- Was cured of his heroin addiction through electro-acupuncture; singer 'Boy George' (qv) received the same therapy ten years later.
- Mentioned in the song "Life Is a Rock But the Radio Rolled Me" by Reunion.
- According to the August 1998 issue of the British rock magazine "Q", Clapton ranks number 10 on the list of the 100 richest rock stars with an estimated fortune of over £75m.