The Eric Clapton FAQ

Version 1.0.0, last modified 3/30/95 - BMD

Welcome to the Eric Clapton Trivia File. Yes, FAQ does stand for frequently asked questions, but as of this writing, there are only two of them that have appeared frequently on the Slowhand mailing list. (Bonus points for loyal readers who can name both of them -- the answer is at the end of this file.) In lieu of real questions, we have compiled a file of a great many interesting answers. We hope you enjoy them.

This file was written by Elysa Leventon and Brian Davies. The authors give their thanks to Mark Ryan, Dave Hillman and Rick Umali, and many other members of the Slowhand mailing list for their proofreading and contributions.

We adore comments and corrections. The file is still in development; the rough spots will all be polished up in time. Reader comments are extremely helpful in this regard.

- Brian


     I. MOVIES

EC Resources


Q: How do I join the Slowhand mailing list?
A: Send e-mail to with the word "subscribe" in the subject and body. The administrator of the mailing list (as well as the Slowhand FTP site) is John Vanderpool (

Q: Where is the FTP site?
A: The Slowhand archive is available through anonymous FTP at in the pub/slowhand directory. This site mirrors (which, in turn, mirrors and it also contains a number of other files that are not available anywhere else. The IP address is

Q: How can I get access to the archive if I don't have FTP?
A: There are several sites on the net with FTP Mail servers. Simply send a request in the proper format to the server, and it will execute the FTP session and e-mail the result to you. For instructions for one of these servers, send mail with "help" in the body to European readers may want to try Note that demand for this service is high, and maintaining these programs is always a low priority for the host site.

Q: What is available at the FTP site?
A: In addition to this file, the archive contains an extensive discography, large collections of lyrics, guitar music and graphics, a file of bootleg set lists and reviews, three .au sound files, and complete transcripts of the All Music Guide entries on EC's various bands.

Q: What is this "All Music Guide" and how do I get to it?
A: It is a collection of discographies, videographies and reviews on a great number of artists from various genres. If your machine has gopher software, type "gopher". Note that the information from this source comes from anyone who contributes, and should not be taken as fact.

Q: Is there a way to get any EC material over World Wide Web?
A: There are at least three Eric Clapton pages on the web. Dave Hillman ( has created the 461 Ocean Boulevard web site. The URL is: "". John McIlroy maintains a HTML version of the bootography at his web site, Harry's Bar, which is at "". The URL for the other page is "".


Q: What books on EC are available?
A: Here are all the books that the Slowhand list members have reported on. Four are by Marc Roberty, who was the editor of Slowhand, the EC fan club newsletter; his books are generally well-researched and well-written. Publishing data and prices are for the USA. Your mileage may vary.

"Slowhand - The Life and Music of Eric Clapton" by Marc Roberty
(Paperback edition published by Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1993. $19.00)
Here is the place to start. This is a beautiful, glossy paperback with around 200 photographs and reproductions of memorabilia, many of which are in color. It includes a timeline, occasional set lists, a discography, and listings of tours, session appearances and equipment. This edition has been expanded from the original 1991 hardcover from Harmony Books.

"Clapton! An Authorized Biography" by Ray Coleman
(Published by Warner Books, 1985. $12.99)
This book focuses on Eric's private life. The writing is mediocre. Coleman's research included exclusive interviews with Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood and Phil Collins. This book has a discography which includes session work, a rock family tree by Pete Frame, copies of some pages of Eric's diary, and "Over 50 Photos!", all black and white. Originally titled "Survivor".

"The Eric Clapton Scrapbook" by Marc Roberty
(Published by Carol Publishing Corp, 1994. $16.95)
Previous editions were titled "Eric Clapton - A Visual Documentary" which covers up through December 1985, and "A New Visual Documentary" which goes through June 1990. The current edition covers up through March 1993, though the new pictures are mostly black and white, and the color photos are of much poorer quality than the early Omnibus editions. This paperback contains a chronological listing of EC's activities, including a complete catalog of tour dates up through March 1993. Album covers and track listings appear in the margins. Many of the color photos are unavailable elsewhere. There is very little text; this book is meant for browsing, not reading.

"Eric Clapton - The Complete Recording Sessions, 1963-1992" by Marc Roberty
(Published by St. Martin's Press, 1993. $29.95)
This is a definitive reference work, not intended for the casual fan. It is a comprehensive listing of every live and studio session, including alternative takes, unreleased tracks, and information on the other musicians, equipment and production staff. There are a few black and white photos and EC interviews interspersed throughout.

"Eric Clapton - Lost in the Blues" by Harry Shapiro
(Published by De Capo Press, 1993. $14.95)
First published in 1984 as "Slowhand". This copy has been revised and brought up to 1993.

"Eric Clapton - In His Own Words" by Marc Roberty
(Published by Omnibus Press, 1993. $15.95)
A paperback with lots of black and white pictures. Interesting because it presents Eric's view of things.

"Eric Clapton" by Fred Weiler
(Published by Smithmark Books, 1993)
The original pressing was in 1992 by Brompton Books. This book includes lots of color pictures and a color fold-out poster.

"Eric Clapton: A Biography" by John Pidgeon
(Published by Vermilion Publishing, 1985)


Q: What magazines contain EC information?
A: A vast number of articles have been written about EC; this listing will focus on those that contain original interviews or analysis.

The July 1985 issue of Guitar Player was a special issue devoted entirely to EC. This features a great article and interview by Dan Forte, a Pete Frame family tree, many rare photographs, a critical discography, a transcription of EC's Crossroads solo by Steve Vai, and lessons on playing like EC by Arlen Roth. A real treasure.

In August 1988, Guitar Player featured Eric on the cover. The feature consisted of four articles: "Clapton At The Crossroads" by Dan Forte, "Crossroads Project: The Making of a Milestone" by Oliver Dziggel, "The Collectible Clapton" by Oliver Dziggel and "E.C. on CD" by Oliver Dziggel.

Rolling Stone has published EC interviews in the following issues:
Rolling Stone 10, May 11, 1968 - Jann Wenner
Rolling Stone 68, October 15, 1970 - Jan Hodenfield
Rolling Stone 165, July 18, 1974 - Steve Turner
Rolling Stone 200, November 20, 1975 - Cameron Crowe
Rolling Stone 450, June 20, 1985 - Robert Palmer (p.33)
Rolling Stone 533, August 25, 1988 - David Fricke (p.26)
Rolling Stone 615, October 17, 1991 - James Henke

Parts of all of these interviews were reprinted, along with two new articles, in Rolling Stone 655, April 29, 1993. The new material is "The Complete Clapton" by Robert Palmer, and "Plugged In" by Steve Futterman. These are a a retrospective on EC's career, and a list of "essential recordings", respectively.

In addition, issue 413 (January 19, 1984) contains "The Ronnie Lane Concerts" by Kurt Loder and Michael Goldberg on page 20. The cover is a picture of the ARMS band by Bonnie Schiffman.

Musician Magazine issue 43, dated May 1982, contains "Eric Clapton -- Farther Up The Road" by John Hutchinson on page 40. This is an excellent interview, with a great color mid-70's photo by Neil Zlowzower, and a photo from the July 13, 1974 concert at Madison Square Garden by John Bellissimo on the cover.

The cover story of the March 1994 issue of Q magazine is "The Importance of Being Eric" by Adrian Deevoy.

A Clapton interview with Alex Coletti, entitled "Amazing Grace", was printed in the ???? issue of Guitar Legends and reprinted in the June 1994 issue.

The December 1994 issue of Guitar World magazine is a blues special, and includes an interview with Eric, articles on the Layla & O.A.L.S. and From The Cradle sessions, and tablature for I'm Tore Down.

The March 1994 issue of Mojo, a British magazine, contains "The Making Of Eric Clapton", a series of articles that includes a description of London in the late 1960's by Marc Roberty, notes on Eric's trip to Greece as part of The Glands, a review of his relationship with Patti, a look at Eric's taste in fashion, and short statements from a wide variety of artists who have worked with Eric over the years.


Q: Are there any EC fanzines currently being published?
A: There are two. Both are quarterly magaines, with a $20 a year subscription charge. Note that "Where's Eric!" is a British publication, and they do not accept checks in American dollars.

WHERE'S ERIC! by A. E. Edser
74 Lowbrook Dr.
Woodlands Park
Berks SL6 3XR
SLOWHAND by E.C. Publications
PO Box 488
Pelham, NY, 10803

A Brief History Of Eric

Q: Who is Eric Clapton?
A: Let me tell you a story...
Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945, in his grandparent's house at 1, The Green, Ripley, Surrey, England. He was the illegitimate son of Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Fryer, a Canadian soldier stationed in England. When Fryer returned to his wife in Canada, Pat left Eric in the custody of his grandparents, Rose and Jack Clapp. (The surname Clapton is from Rose's first husband, Reginald Cecil Clapton.) Pat moved to Germany where she eventually married another Canadian soldier, Frank McDonald.

Young Ricky was a quiet and polite child; an above average student with an aptitude for art. He was raised believing that his grandparents were his parents, to shield him the stigma that illegitimacy carried with it. The truth was eventually revealed to him by his grandmother. Later, when Eric would visit his mother, they would pretend to be brother and sister.

After hearing Buddy Holly and Elvis on the radio, he asked for a guitar. His grandmother bought Eric his first guitar, a 14# Spanish Hoya accoustic from Bell's Music Shop in Kingston, as a present on his 13th birthday. He quickly traced American pop back to its roots, and began to listen to Big Bill Broonzy, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, and other blues artists.

Despite his unspectacular performance on the GCSEs, Eric he was admitted at age 16 to the Kingston College of Art, based on the strength of his art portfolio. He chose to study stained glass design, but ended up spending much of the next year playing guitar. After completing an extremely small number of pieces during his year there, Eric failed out of Kingston. He found a job working on a building site, and started to explore the West End jazz clubs. That year, Eric bought his second guitar, a 100# electric double-cutaway Kay, and started playing in folk pubs and clubs at night.

And the rest is history...

Sidemen and Sidewomen

Q: What bands did he play in and what were the line ups?
A: For the purposes of this list, one night stands and short studio sessions are only considered "bands" if they recorded released output. Session players are not usually considered band members.


In early 1963, Eric was introduced to Tom McGuinness, who was looking for a guitarist for his band, THE ROOSTERS. The band split up after six months. Eric followed Tom to CASEY JONES AND THE ENGINEERS, which disbanded in under a month after a mere seven performances. The pop orientation of the band ran counter to EC's blues leanings, but the concerts helped to pay the bills. Eric's first taste of international recognition came when he was asked to replace Top Topham as the guitarist for the YARDBIRDS, a group of upper-middle class kids from the suburbs. (Eric's chair was later to be filled by fellow guitar luminaries, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.) After the release of the pop single For Your Love, EC bailed to the blues purism of John Mayall's band, the BLUESBREAKERS. During his stint with Mayall, Eric took a brief sabbatical to Greece with some friends as THE GLANDS, and recorded a one-shot session as THE POWERHOUSE for a blues compilation album.

Tom McGuinness (bass), EC (guitar), Terry Brennan (vox), Ben Palmer (piano) and Robin Mason (drums).

EC (guitar), Brian Casser (vox), Ray Stock (drums), Dave McCumisky (guitar), and Tom McGuinness (bass).

THE YARDBIRDS (Oct 63 - Mar 65)
Keith Relf (vox/harmonica), EC (guitar), Chris Dreja (guitar), Paul Samwell-Smith (bass) and Jim McCarty (drums).

JOHN MAYALL'S BLUESBREAKERS (Apr 65 - Aug 65, Nov 65 - Jul 66)
John Mayall (piano/vox/organ), EC (guitar) and Hughie Flint (drums). Jack Bruce (bass) was a member from Nov to Dec 65, before being replaced by John McVie (bass).

THE GLANDS a.k.a THE GREEK LOON BAND (Aug 65 - Oct 65)
EC (guitar), Ben Palmer (piano), Jake Milton (drums), Bernie Greenwood (sax), Bob Ray (bass) and John Bailey (vox).

EC (guitar), Pete York (drums), Jack Bruce (bass), Steve Winwood (vox/organ), Paul Jones (harp) and Ben Palmer (piano).


After leaving the Bluesbreakers, EC joined with Jack Bruce, the bassist with Manfred Mann, and ex-Graham Bond Organization drummer Ginger Baker and formed CREAM. When that ensemble sank under the weight of the members' personality conflicts, Clapton escaped to form BLIND FAITH with Steve Winwood. Given the presence of Ginger Baker and the lack of new material, however, that band started to look a lot like the band Eric had just quit. As a result, he began sitting in with the PLASTIC ONO BAND and Blind Faith's opening act, DELANEY AND BONNIE. This group served as the backup on EC's first solo album. When the large menagerie started to splinter, Eric hired the core trio to form DEREK AND THE DOMINOS. After his stint as Derek has run its course, Clapton joined George Harrison's charity band for THE CONCERT FOR BANGLA DESH.

CREAM (Jul 66 - Nov 68)
EC (guitar/vox), Jack Bruce (vox/bass/piano), Ginger Baker (drums/vox). Producer Felix Pappalardi (viola/mellotron/piano) would occasionally join the band.

BLIND FAITH (Feb 69 - Jan 70)
EC (guitar/vox), Steve Winwood (vox/keyboards), Ginger Baker (drums) and Rick Grech (bass).

PLASTIC ONO BAND (Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Festival: September 13, 1969)
John Lennon (guitar/vox), Klaus Voorman (bass), Alan White (drums), Yoko Ono (vox) and EC (guitar).

DELANEY AND BONNIE (Dec 69 to Mar 70)
Delaney Bramlett (vox/guitar), Bonnie Bramlett (vox), EC (lead guitar), Dave Mason (guitar), Bobby Whitlock (keyboards), Carl Radle (bass), Jim Gordon (drums), Jim Price (trumpet), Bobby Keys (sax), Tex Johnson (percussion) and Rita Coolidge (vox). Tex Johnson missed the second session for EC's first solo album; Dave Mason missed both of them. The second session also featured Leon Russel (piano), Sonny Curtis (vox) and Jerry Allison (vox).

EC (vox/guitar), Bobby Whitlock (piano/vox), Carl Radle (bass) and Jim Gordon (drums). Dave Mason joined the band for the Lyceum 6/14/70 show.

George Harrison (guitar/vox), EC (guitar), Ringo Starr (drums), Klaus Voorman (bass), Leon Russell (piano), Jim Keltner (drums), Billy Preston (organ), Jesse Ed Davis (guitar), Carl Radle (bass) and the Memphis Horns (Jim Price, Jim Horn, Chuck Findley).


Pete Townshend dragged EC back into the limelight as THE PALPITATIONS. For his next solo album, Eric put together ERIC CLAPTON AND HIS BAND I, a lineup which stayed stable through most of the decade. After the 1979 American tour, he decided it was time for a change. "I fired eveyone, not only that, I didn't even tell them -- I fired them by telegram." For ERIC CLAPTON AND HIS BAND II, Eric decided to hire only British musicians. After recording Just One Night and the middling Another Ticket, this band went to Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas with ace producer Tom Dowd to record the next album. The sessions were going nowhere, so EC fired the whole band. Lee was kept, and Stainton wrote a postcard saying "I think you've done the right thing, and it was a bloody long audition." and was rehired. Dowd used his connections to get Dunn, Hawkins and Cooder on short notice for the MONEY AND CIGARETTES BAND.

THE PALPITATIONS (The Rainbow Concert: January 13, 1973)
EC (guitar/vox), Rebop Kwaku Baah (percussion), Jim Capaldi (drums), Rick Grech (bass), Jim Karstein (drums), Pete Townshend (guitar/vox), Steve Winwood (keyboards/vox), Ron Wood (guitar).

EC (vox/guitar), George Terry (guitar), Dick Sims (organ), Carl Radle (bass), Jamie Oldaker (drums) and Yvonne Elliman (vox). Marcy Levy (vox) was added to the lineup in September 1974. Yvonne Elliman quit sometime between May 1977 and March 1978. Both Marcy Levy and George Terry quit the band in August 1978. Eric picked up Albert Lee (guitar/vox) from Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band in January 1979.

EC (vox/guitar), Albert Lee (guitar/vox), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Gary Brooker (keyboards), Henry Spinetti (drums) and Dave Markee (bass).

EC (vox/guitar), Ry Cooder (guitar), Albert Lee (guitar/keyboards), Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums) and Chris Stainton (keyboards).


Since Money And Cigarettes, EC has not had a stable band. He joined Ronnie Lane's ARMS SUPERGROUP, an acronym for Action Research Into Multiple Sclerosis, then played with ROGER WATER'S BAND for much of the Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking tour. For his next album, he hired the BEHIND THE SUN BAND. When Warner Brothers claimed the album did not have enough singles, EC was forced back into the studio to record Forever Man, See What Love Can Do, Something's Happening, and Loving Your Lovin' (unreleased until the Wayne's World sountrack) with a group of L.A. SESSION MEN. After Behind The Sun, Eric began devoting more time to soundtrack work. His first soundtrack release, Edge Of Darkness, featured only Eric at the session. For the next studio release, EC hired the AUGUST BAND, featuring players from his L.A. singles session and, for the first time since his first solo album, a horn section.

ARMS SUPERGROUP (Sep 83 - Dec 83)
Ronnie Lane (vox), EC (guitar/vox), Steve Winwood (keyboards/vox), Jimmy Page (guitar), Jeff Beck (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar/vox), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Ray Cooper (percussion), Kenney Jones (drums), Jamer Hooker (keyboards), Fernando Saunders (bass) and Simon Phillips (drums).

ROGER WATER'S BAND (May 84 - Jul 84)
Roger Waters (vox/guitar/bass), EC (guitar), Tim Renwick (guitar), Chris Stainton (bass/keyboards), Andy Newmark (drums), Michael Kamen (keyboards), Mel Collins (sax), Dorren Chanter (vox) and Katie Kissoon (vox).

BEHIND THE SUN BAND (Mar 84 - Dec 84)
EC (guitar/vox), Phil Collins (drums/percussion), Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass), Jamie Oldaker (drums), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Peter Robinson (synth), Ray Cooper (percussion), Marcy Levy (vox) and Shaun Murphy (vox).

EC (guitar/vox), Nathan East (bass), Jeff Porcaro (drums), Steve Lukather (guitar), Michael Omartian (synth), Lenny Castro (congas), Ted Templeman (percussion), Marcy Levy (vox) and Jerry Williams (vox). Joining the band for "Something's Happening" were Lindsey Buckingham (guitar), Greg Phillinganes (keyboards), James Newton Howard (synth) and John Robinson (drums).

AUGUST BAND (Apr 86 - May 86)
EC (guitar/vox), Greg Phillinganes (keyboard/vox), Nathan East (bass), Phil Collins (drums/percussion/vox), Katie Kissoon (vox), Tessa Niles (vox), Michael Brecker (sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Jon Faddis (trumpet) and Dave Bargerone (trombone).


Since the August album, Eric has released five soundtracks, a studio album featuring no fewer than 21 musicians, and two live albums recorded with five different bands. As a result, the attempt to catalog his bands during this period is deliberately sketchy. The basic core is the four-piece ERIC CLAPTON AND HIS BAND III; the additional personnel that fill out the band are listed below. David Sanborn (sax) and Michael Kamen (keyboards) feature large in EC's soundtrack work. The one nod to specificity here is THE UNPLUGGED BAND. This lineup plus Greg Phillinganes (keyboard/vox) was also featured on George Harrison's Live In Japan album.

EC (guitar/vox), Greg Phillinganes (keyboard/vox), Nathan East (bass) and Steve Ferrone (drums). For most concerts, this nucleus is augmented by Ray Cooper (percussion), Katie Kissoon (vox), Tessa Niles (vox), Phil Palmer (guitar) and Chuck Leavell (keyboards). In addition, Mark Knopfler (guitar) and Alan Clark (keyboards) from Dire Straits, and Phil Collins (drums) have joined the band for short stints.

THE UNPLUGGED BAND (January 16, 1992)
EC (guitar/vox), Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar), Nathan East (bass), Steve Ferrone ("drums and peculiar outfit"), Ray Cooper (percussion), Chuck Leavell (keyboards), Katie Kissoon (vox) and Tessa Niles (vox).

Honored Guests


Q: Where has he guested?
A: For the complete answer, go buy Marc Roberty's "The Complete Recording Sessions" -- publication information is near the beginning of this file. The following list includes only the most well-known of Eric's session work...


Q: What other artists have performed on EC's recordings?
A: Other than the band members,
George Harrison played guitar on Badge, by Cream.

Dave Mason (guitar/vox) and George Harrison (guitar/vox) played on Roll It Over, and George may have also played on the a-side, Tell The Truth.

Duane Allman played guitar on all of the Layla album except I Looked Away and Bell Bottom Blues.

Steven Stills played guitar on Let It Rain from EC's first solo album.

461 Ocean Boulevard featured several additional musicians. Ahlby Galuten played piano on Motherless Children, Get Ready, I Shot The Sheriff, Let It Grow, Steady Rollin' Man and Mainline Florida. Drums were handled by Jim Fox on Steady Rollin' Man, and by Al Jackson on Give Me Strength. Dave Mason played guitar on Ain't That Lovin' You. In addition, Tom Bernfield might have contributed some vocals to the album.

The liner notes for There's One In Every Crowd credit Ahlby Galuten on piano, but The Complete Studio Recordings contradicts this.

Peter Tosh (guitar/vox) played on two outtakes from There's One In Every Crowd -- Burial and Whatcha Gonna Do.

Joining the band for the No Reason To Cry sessions were The Band (Robbie Robertson (guitar), Rick Danko (vox/bass), Garth Hudson (organ), Richard Manuel (vox/piano) and Levon Helm (vox/drums)), Ronnie Wood (guitar) and Billy Preston (keyboards/vox). Other guests include Bob Dylan (guitar/vox) on Sign Language and George Fame (keyboards) on Country Jail Blues.

The outtakes from No Reason To Cry include Stormy Monday with vocals by Van Morrison and The Path, featuring Pete Townshend on guitar).

Sergio Pastora Rodriguez (percussion) played on NRTC, and briefly toured

Mel Collins contributed the sax solo to The Core on Slowhand.

Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle sang background vocals on Golden Ring.

Tina Turner sings on Tearing Us Apart and Hold On from August.

Where Are They Now?

Q: Jack Bruce?
A: After leaving Cream, Jack has had his hands in a variety of projects. He recorded three albums with Robin Trower, ex-lead guitarist for Procol Harum, and more recently has been working with Ginger Baker and guitarist Gary Moore as BBM. He has recently performed with Eric Clapton on at least two occasions, including Cream's induction in 1993 into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame, and a recording session that produced two songs, "Willpower" and "Ships In The Night." These tracks appear on Bruce's 1992 album "Something Else" as well as on the retrospective collection entitled "Willpower."

Q: Ginger Baker?
A: Ginger Baker released two albums with Ginger Baker's Air Force, one solo album, "Eleven Sides Of Baker," and then joined Adrian Gurvitz as part of the Baker-Gurvitz Army, before taking a hiatus from rock to grow olives in Italy. After some time, he moved to California and overcame his addiction to heroin. His return to music took the form of an uncredited appearance on the Public Image Limited album entitled "Album". He then released a few jazz-influenced solo albums, and then took a stint around 1991 as the drummer on the "Sunrise On The Sufferbus" album by Masters Of Reality. Recently, he has rejoined with former Cream bandmate Jack Bruce as part of BBM, and his 1994 jazz album with The Ginger Baker Trio

Q: Ric Grech?
A: (I vividly remember hearing that he died while I was in an orthodontist's chair back in high school. Can anyone confirm this?)

Q: Marcy Levy?
A: After her stint with EC in the 1970s, Marcy spent some time writing songs, some of which were covered by Chaka Khan and Al Jarreau. In 1984, she briefly reunited with Eric for the Behind The Sun sessions before striking off on her own once again. After her friend Richard Feldman introduced her to Dave Stewart and his wife Siobhan Fahy, an ex-member of Bananarama, Marcy and Siobhan formed Shakespear's Sister, which had some notable success on the UK singles chart. During her tenure with this band, Marcy changed her name to Marcella Detroit. After the bitter breakup of that band in 1993, she recorded her first solo album, entitled Jewel.

Q: The Dominos?
A: Eric is probably off fly fishing. As for the rest of them...

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle crash on October 29, 1971 at age 24.
Carl Radle played with Eric at the Concert For Bangla Desh, and resumed his post when Eric reentered the music world after the Rainbow Concert. Carl played on all of EC's albums from 461 Ocean Boulevard through Backless. After the 1979 US tour ended on June 24, Eric fired the whole band. Carl died in Tulsa, Oklahoma, soon after. EC comments: "I never saw Carl again... I turned my back on him. And Carl died. It was, I think drugs, but I hold myself responsible for a lot of that. And I live with it." Various sources are in dispute about the cause of death (Rolling Stone reports a kidney failure), and whether or not drugs were involved.

Bobby Whitlock recorded a solo album, backed by the rest of the Dominoes, George Harrison and Bobby Keys, just before the sessions for the Dominoes' second album. He has since fallen into complete obscurity.

Jim Gordon killed his mother on June 3, 1983, by pounding her head with a hammer, then plunging a butcher knife three times into her ribs. He is currently prisoner C89262 in the California Men's Colony at San Luis Obispo. Gordon's diagnosis of acute schizophrenia ran against a California law severely limiting the use of insanity as a defense. In May, 1984, he was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 16 years to life; he has since been denied parole on two occasions. His lawyer called him "the most tragic case of my career." At this point, Jim is taking Navane for acute paranoid schizophrenia, and is living on royalties from his music career. For more information, check the gordon-washpost file at the Slowhand archive; the file contains highlights from an article in the July 3, 1994 edition of the Washington Post. Thanks go to John Vanderpool for typing this in.

Personal Questions


Q: Where did the nickname "Slowhand" come from?
A: During the Yardbirds days, according to rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, whenever EC broke a guitar string during a concert, he would stay on stage and replace it. The audience would cover for him by doing what they called a "slow-hand clap." Their manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, turned that into a nickname for the album sleeve notes of the Five Live Yardbirds album in December 1964. EC recalls "He coined it as a good pun -- he kept saying I was a fast player, so he put together the slow-hand clap phrase into slowhand as a play on words."

Q: What is this "Clapton is God" stuff all about?
A: Cool graffiti. The phrase was common on the walls of the London Underground in the late '60s.

Q: What are EC's hobbies?
A: Cricket, dry fly fishing, Italian clothes and collecting Ferraris. He has commented that his idea of an ideal day in England is going to Lord's and watching cricket or being by the river Test with a fly rod. In 1987 EC formed the Eric Clapton XI cricket team from various music and film celebrities for charity games, going so far as to have badges, blazers and jumpers made up with the team logo showing a guitar crossed with a cricket bat on a purple background.

Q: Why does he play the Royal Albert Hall every year?
A: According to EC: "Cream's farwell concert was there and I always liked it. You come off stage at the end of your last gig at Wembly and you don't ever want to go back on there. Whereas the Albert Hall had this promise of some kind. It seemed you could do different things in there."

Q: What is Eric's favorite song?
A: EC has been on the radio program Desert Island Discs at least once. Here are his eight record choices and an excerpt from the Journeyman tour program.

1. 'Senza Mama' by Ranata Scotto
2. 'Au Fond Du Temple Saint' by Ernest Blanc and Nicolai Gedda
3. 'Crossroads Blues' by Robert Johnson
4. 'Feel Like Going Home' by Muddy Waters
5. 'I Was Made To Love Her' by Stevie Wonder
6. 'Hard Times' by Ray Charles
7. 'I Love The Woman' by Freddie King
8. 'Purple Rain' by Prince
"He was also delighted to appear on BBC's Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs. Listeners may have been startled to hear him choose operatic excerpts among his most coveted records, as well as Muddy Waters and -- his all-time favourite -- Prince's Purple Rain. His one luxury was no surprise, though: a guitar. Asked to take a book of his choice, "Apart from the Bible or Shakespeare" and denied the chance to take a full set of Charles Dickens for his book choice, Eric settled for the master's Barnaby Rudge."


Q: What awards has EC won?
A: Here is an approximately chronological listing.

Eric won the Melody Maker Pop Poll for Best International Musician in the Spring of 1969.

His participation in the "Concert for Bangladesh" earned EC a share of the 1972 Album of the Year Grammy award.

Princess Michael of Kent presented EC with the Silver Clef Award for outstanding achievement in the world of British Music on June 24, 1983.

For the soundtrack for The Edge Of Darkness, he was given an award by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Eric was given a Lifetime Achievement Award (England's equivalent of the Grammy) at the Royal Albert Hall on February 9, 1987 from the British Phonographic Institute.

Prince Charles presented EC with a model of a silver Fender Stratocaster on June 6, 1988 to commerate Clapton's 25th year in the music industry.

At the 1st Elvis Awards in May 1989, Keith Richards presented Eric the award for best guitarist.

Buddy Guy presented Eric with a Living Legend Award at the May 6, 1990 Elvis Awards.

Eric was named the "Top Album Rock Artist" in the 1990 Billboard Music Awards.

Clapton received his first Grammy -- Best Rock Vocal, Male, for Bad Love -- at Radio City Music Hall on February 2, 1991.

Tears In Heaven won MTV's Best Video Award on September 9, 1992.

The 1993 Grammys brought Eric awards in a surprising six categories: Best Male Vocal, Best Pop Vocal, both Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for Tears In Heaven, Album of the Year for Unplugged, and Best Rock Song for Layla, a song which had been written over two decades earlier.

Cream was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993.


Q: Was Eric ever arrested for drugs?
A: During March 1968, Clapton and Buffalo Springfield members Jim Messina, Richie Fuay, and Neil Young were busted on a marijuana charge. Clapton's charge was dropped but he did spend the night in jail.

Q: Who is Alice Ormsby-Gore?
A: Alice is the daughter of of the late Lord Harlech (the former British ambassador to Washington), and the person Eric relied on for heroin during his period as an addict. The two met in 1968 through David Mlinarec, an interior designer who was working on Hurtwood Edge, Eric's new house. Alice moved in with Eric the next year. She was 7 years younger than him. Alice was also an addict, and did the heroin dealing for both of them. They eventually separated to participate in drug rehabilitation, and as a result of Eric's open infatuation with Patti Boyd Harrison.

Q: Did Eric use needles?
A: No. Clapton's fright of needles was extreme enough that he got a stand-in to take the blood test for his to get his marriage liscence.


Q: What's his personal relationship with George Harrison?
A: The two man have a long-standing friendship, based on mutual affection and admiration for each other's work, and hampered by the most famous love triangle in rock music.

Q: How did the two become friends?
A: The friendship began during the Yardbird's Christmas season with the Beatles at Hammersmith in 1963.

Q: What musical work have they done together?
A: Their musical collaborations are extensive. EC was asked by GH to play lead guitar on While My Guitar Gently Weeps during the sessions for The Beatles in 1968. That same year, EC appearred on Harrison's album Wonderwall Music under the pseudonym Eddie Clayton. The two wrote Badge together in 1969, and GH joined Cream in the studio to perform it. EC and the rest of The Dominoes were the backing band for a substantial portion of GH's 1971 triple album All Things Must Pass. To repay the favor, GH contributed his own guitar work and his current producer, Phil Spector, to the Dominoes first single. EC joined GH's charity band for the Concert For Bangla Desh in 1971.

More recently, EC played on the 1979 album George Harrison, and on four tracks on Cloud 9 from 1987. (The tracks are Cloud 9, That's What It Takes, Devil's Radio and Wreck Of The Hesparus.) The two performed GH's Run So Far together for EC's 1989 album Journeyman, as well as the unreleased That Kind Of Woman. In 1991, EC and his band backed GH on Live In Japan.

Q: Didn't Eric play on Harrison's 1974 album Dark Horse?
A: Marc Roberty swears that EC did not play on that album, despite the fact that he is credited in the album liner notes for the song Bye Bye Love.

Q: How does Patti fit into all of this?
A: Patti Boyd and George Harrison were married on January 21, 1966 in Surrey. When their relationship began to fall apart, Patti started flirting with Eric in an attempt to get George's attention. Eric returned the affection, perhaps to get revenge for a date George had swiped from Eric. Eric ended up completely in love with his friend's wife, contributing to his severe depression and subsequent heroin addiction. George and Patti were divorced on June 9, 1977, after a long separation. She and Eric were married shortly after.

Q: How does George view his relationship with Eric?
A: From an interview in Crawdaddy from 1977: "We both love Eric, still do, but there were a few funny things. I pulled his chick once. That's happened, and now you'd think he was trying to get his own back on me... Patti and he got together after we'd really split, and actually we'd been splitting up for years. That was a funny thing, you know. I thought that was the best thing to do, for us to split, and we should've done it much sooner. I didn't have any problems about it; Eric had the problem. Every time I'd go and see him he'd really be hung up about it, and I'd be saying, 'Fuck it, man, don't be apologizing,' and he didn't believe me. I was saying, 'I don't care.'"

Q: How does Eric view his relationship with George?
A: From an interview in Q magazine: "Well, we've approached it and I think the wounds were and are pretty deep ... And sadly, the damage done, I don't know if it can ever be repaired."

Q: What are the details of Eric's marriage to Patti Boyd Harrison?
A: The two were married on March 27, 1979 at the Apostolic Assembly of Faith in Christ Jesus in Tuscon, Arizona. The ceremony was conducted in Spanish. To ensure privacy, they booked five different churches for the occasion. When they returned to the UK, they had a reception at Hurtwood Edge in Ewehurst on May 19, 1979. The invitation read:

    | Hello                                                             |
    | Me and the Mrs. got married the other day but that was in America |
    | so we've decided to have a bash in my garden on Saturday, May     |
    | 19th about 3:00 pm. for all our mates here at home, if  you are   |
    | free, try and make it, it's bound to be a laugh.                  |
    |                                                                   |
    |                              ...see you then..                    |
    |                                Eric and Patti Clapton             |
    |                                                                   |
    | PS. you don't have to bring any presents if you don't want to.    |

On stage that night were all of Cream (EC, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker), Mick Jagger, Lonnie Donegan, and 3/4 of the Beatles. In fact, John Lennon revealed that he would have come, even though he was living with Yoko in New York, if he had known about it. This is the closest the Beatles ever came to reuniting.

Q: How did the marriage go after that?
A: The next night, EC brought Patti on stage so that he could sing "Wonderful Tonight" to her; by the end of April he sent her packing off to England. Eric returned from his 1984 tour of Australia and Hong Kong to find that Patti had moved out. The two agreed to a separation, which helped EC to understand how strong of a bond they had, but the birth of his child with Lori Del Santo in 1985 made it impossible to hold the relationship together. Their divorce was finalized sometime in 1989.

Q: Who is Lori Del Santo?
A: Lori Del Santo is a model from Milan, Italy. She and Eric began seeing each other in 1985. They had one child, Conor Clapton, born in August, 1986. Conor died on March 20, 1991, at age 4 1/2, after falling out the window of his mother's 53rd floor apartment in New York City.


Q: Did Eric ever meet Jimi Hendrix?
A: The two were introduced by ex-Animals bassist Chas Chandler, the man who put together the Jimi Hendrix Experience. They met at an early Cream concert at the Polytechnic of Central London, on October 1, 1966. Jimi had been wary of going to England, but Chandler's promise to introduce him to EC pushed him over the edge. When the two first met, Hendrix played Killing Floor for EC.

Q: Was Clapton influenced by Hendrix?
A: Marc Roberty holds that Hendrix was a "major influence" on Clapton, and that his "driven, fuzz-tone blues opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the electric guitar." In particular, EC's use of a wah-wah pedal was probably influenced by Hendrix. The most visible influence Jimi had on Eric was actually fashion. During his stint with Cream, Clapton started wearing psychedelic clothing, and even went so far as to perm his hair like Hendrix. In addition, Jack Bruce wrote the main riff to Sunshine Of Your Love after seeing Jimi for the first time at the first proper Experience gig at the Saville Theatre in London.

Q: Has Clapton ever covered any Hendrix compositions?
A: Eric has performed Little Wing a great many times, including recording it for the Dominos' album, and playing it live through much of the 1970's, including the Rainbow Concerts which celebrated his return to the spotlight.

Q: Has Hendrix ever covered any Clapton compositions?
A: The day Cream broke up in 1968, the Experience were performing on Happening For Lulu, a TV program. In the middle of Hey Joe, they segued into Sunshine Of Your Love as a tribute, only to be cut off by the show's producer.

Q: Did Eric attend Jimi's funeral?
A: No, because he was worried that it would be a showbiz event. The day of Hendrix's death, Clapton found a white, left-handed strat (a rare find at the time) and bought it for his friend. They had been planning on meeting at a Sly And The Family Stone concert that night.

The Recordings Of Eric


Q: What albums has EC released?
A: The discography available at the FTP site is daunting, and it includes a lot of stuff that is not easily available. Here are the recordings which are currently in print, and available on CD.

Dec 1964 - Five Live Yardbirds
Dec 1965 - Sonny Boy Williamson And The Yardbirds (by same)
Jul 1966 - Blues Breakers (John Mayall with Eric Clapton)
Dec 1966 - Fresh Cream
Nov 1967 - Disraeli Gears
Aug 1968 - Wheels Of Fire (2CD)
Mar 1969 - Goodbye
Aug 1969 - Blind Faith
Jun 1970 - On Tour With Eric Clapton And Friends (Delaney And Bonnie)
Jun 1970 - Live Cream
Aug 1970 - Eric Clapton
Dec 1970 - Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Jun 1972 - Live Cream Volume II
Mar 1973 - In Concert (remixed and released as Live At The Fillmore) (2CD)
Sep 1973 - Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert
Aug 1974 - 461 Ocean Boulevard
Apr 1975 - There's One In Every Crowd
Sep 1975 - E.C. Was Here (live)
Aug 1976 - No Reason To Cry
Nov 1977 - Slowhand
Nov 1978 - Backless
May 1980 - Just One Night (live) (2CD)
Feb 1981 - Another Ticket
Mar 1982 - Time Pieces - Best Of Eric Clapton
Feb 1983 - Money And Cigarettes
May 1983 - Time Pieces Volume 2 - Live In The Seventies
Mar 1985 - Behind The Sun
Nov 1985 - Edge Of Darkness
Nov 1986 - August
xxx 1987 - Lethal Weapon Soundtrack
Sep 1987 - The Cream Of Eric Clapton
Apr 1988 - Crossroads (4CD)
Nov 1988 - Homeboy Soundtrack
Sep 1988 - Lethal Weapon 2 Soundtrack
Nov 1989 - Journeyman
Dec 1991 - 24 Nights (live) (2CD)
Jan 1992 - Rush
Jun 1992 - Lethal Weapon 3
Aug 1992 - Unplugged
Sep 1994 - From The Cradle

Q: Are any of these available on Ultradisc II 24-karat gold CD's?
A: There are eight albums that have been released in that format.

Dec 1966 - Fresh Cream - UDCD 1022
Nov 1967 - Disraeli Gears - UDCD 562
Aug 1968 - Wheels of Fire - UDCD 1020
Aug 1969 - Blind Faith - UDCD 507
Dec 1970 - Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs - UDCD 585
Aug 1974 - 461 Ocean Boulevard - UDCD 594
Nov 1977 - Slowhand - UDCD 553
Sep 1987 - The Cream Of Eric Clapton - UDCD ???


Q: Where did the cover for come from?

The cover for the Blind Faith album was designed by EC's friend Bob Ciderman.

The Layla liner notes contain "Cover painting by Frandsen De Schonberg with thanks to his son Emile for the abuse of his house."

Q: How were tickets to the Unplugged concert distributed?
A: The BBC had a contest, where listeners had to call in answers to EC trivia questions. MTV was not mentioned; the event was billed as "a live recording in a small, intimate venue." People who answered correctly were screened by age and gender, to get a good demographic mix. The final winners met in London and were taken by coach to the secret venue.

Q: Where did the name come from?

The album was originally to be simply titled Cream. The title came from an incident when the band was playing word games, making up phrases like Elefant Gerald (Ella Fitzgerald). One of the roadies was talking about racing bikes and changed "derailleur gears" to Disraeli Gears.

The address of the house where the band lived during the recording of the album.

This is a contraction of the working title, The Best Guitarist In The World -- There's One In Every Crowd.

A misquote from Innocent Times by Marcy Levy. The song goes "No reason to laugh, more reason to cry."

An obscure reference to Bob Dylan. EC commented that Bob is very aware of everything that happens while he's on stage, as if he had eyes on the back of his head. In addition, Bob would turn and face the band if he thought things were not going well. So, even though the band was behind him, it felt as if he was always facing them.

A tongue in cheek jibe at a friend who was always asking for another ticket to one of his concerts.

From Louisiana Blues by Muddy Waters. The line is "I'm going to New Orleans, baby, behind the sun."

Originally to be titled One More Car, One More Driver, the album was retitled to celebrate the birth of EC's son Conor in August. (The album was actually released in November.)

A line from a poem Eric had written, which went "All along this path I tread / My heart betrays my weary head / With nothing but my love to save / From the cradle to the grave."


Q: How does Eric feel about bootlegs?
Neutral. Eric is quoted in Roberty's latest book as saying "I don't have an issue on this particular one." He acknowledges that if bootleggers ran the world, musicians would go broke, but he does not personally report bootleggers.

Q: Now that that's settled, where can I get them?
A: In general, privately owned stores are a better bet than large chains. College towns are excellent hunting grounds. Many stores will ship bootlegs, but it is hard to verify the track list and sound quality when ordering by mail. For a good selection of companies that sell bootlegs through the mail, peruse the classified ads in Goldmine. It is a bimonthly record/CD collectors' magazine; subscriptions are $35 a year and they do take credit cards. You may be able to talk them into giving you a free sample copy. They can be reached at:

      Goldmine              Ph: (715) 445-2214
      700 E. State St.      Fax: (715) 445-4087
      Iola, WI 54990

Two list members made a trek to NYC and found several stores in the area. Three of the best are:
"Revolver", 45 W. 8th St. (2nd floor), ph: (212) 982-6760
"Generation", 210 Thompson, ph: (212) 254-1100
"Second Coming Records", 235 Sullivan St., ph: (212) 228-1313
Q: Which bootlegs have good sound quality and good songs?
A: The bootography at the FTP site is a large file designed to answer just this question. In addition, several of the works listed as resources at the start of this file contain set lists for individual shows or, if the set list remained fairly consistant, for entire tours.

EC on Film


Q: What movies has EC recorded songs for?
A: Clapton's first movie work was scoring the theme for "The Hit", a 1984 release starring John Hurt. He has done soundtrack work for all three of the "Lethal Weapon" movies. Heaven Is One Step Away was released on the "Back To The Future" soundtrack. Eric recorded two songs for "The Color of Money"; The Gift (It's In The Way That You Use It) and It's My Life Baby. Only the first was released on the soundtrack. He did sountrack work on the 1989 film "License to Kill", and the August 1988 film "Homeboy" starring Mickey Rourke and Christopher Walken. Clapton also did uncredited work for "Buster", Dylan's film "Hearts of Fire", and the WWII film, "Peace In Our Time".

Q: Has EC been in any films?
A: In 1975, he appeared in Circasia, a film which featured famous people, including Richard Harris, Shirley MacClaine and Burgess Meredith, in clown costumes. It was made as a benefit for the Central Remedial Clinic and Variety Club of Ireland. The film was shot in County Kildare, Ireland.

EC appeared in Tommy.

He appeared in the unreleased "Rolling Stones Rock 'n' Roll Circus", which was to be a BBC TV Special but it never aired. It also featured the Who and Jethro Tull.

"Water" Clapton had a cameo role performing in an onscreen band with the film's produces, George harrison and wrote the song "Freedom".

1970, November -Derek and the Dominos appeared on the Johnny Cash TV Show from Nashville performing a version of "It's Too Late" before being joined by both host and Carl Perkins for a version of the latter's "Matchbox". The Cash show tape is the only known video or film footage of the Dominos in action.


Yardbirds (Warner)

MTV Closet Classics
    The Cream play "I Feel Free".

British Rock - The First Wave
    The Cream play "Tales of Brave Ulysess".

Strange Brew - Cream (A Vision Entertainment - 50257-3)
    The Cream play: Sunshine of Your Love, White Room, Spoonful
    Toad, I'm So Glad, I Feel Free, Strange Brew, Crossroads,
    Sitting On Top of the World

Farewell Cream (Channel 5)
    Royal Albert Hall - 1968

Sweet Toronto (Parkfield)
    Plastic Ono Band live in Toronto - 1969

Supershow (Virgin)
    Staines - 1969

Superstars in Concert (Telstar Video)
    Live Blind Faith from Hyde Park - 1969

Concert for Bangladesh (Warner)
    George Harrison's charity concert - 1969

Jimi Hendrix (Warner Home Video 11267)
    Eric discusses his admiration for Jimi.

The Last Waltz (Warner)
    Eric joins The Band for "Further On Up the Road" at
    their farewell concert - 1976

Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC Video)
    live - 1977

Alexis Korner's Eat a Little Rhythm and Blues (BBC Video)
    Pinewood Studio - 1978

ARMS - The Complete Concert (Channel 5)
    Royal Albert Hall - 1983

Live 1985 (Channel 5)
    Hartford, Connecticut - 1985

A Rockabilly Session, Carl Perkins and Friends (Virgin)
    Limehouse Studios - 1985

Water (Handmade Films)
    Eric appears along side George Harrison and Ringo Starr in
    Billy Connelly's backing group. However, they do not actually
    play on the soundtrack.

Eric Clapton & Friends
    Eric plays with Phil Collins, Greg Phillinganes, and
    Nathan East.
    Crossroads, White Room, Run, Miss You, Tearing Us Apart,
    Holy Mother, In the Air Tonight, Sunshine of Your Love,

The Eric Clapton Concert (Radio Vision)
    Birmingham - 1986

Prince's Trust Birthday (Video Gems)
    Wembly Arena - 1986

Hail! Hail! Rock 'N" Roll (CIC)
    Chuck Berry's 60th birthday concert - 1986

B.B.King and Friends - A Night of Red Hot Blues (Video Collection)
    B.B. plays with his band and Eric Clapton, Phil Collins,
    Dr. John, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Etta James,
    Chaka Khan, and others. 1987

Prince's Trust Rock Gala (PMV)
    Wembly Arena - 1987

Alright Now - Island Records 25th Anniversary (Island Video)
    Pinewood - 1987

Prince's Trust Rock Gala (Video Collection)
    Royal Albert Hall - 1988

The Prince's Trust All Star Rock Concert
    Clapton, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Mark Knofler and many others

Knebworth (Castle Music)
    Various artists.  (Elton John, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Dire
    Straits, Pink Floyd, Status Quo, Jimmy Page, many more)
    June 1990

Eric Clapton (Castle Music)
    Knebworth, unreleased version of Sunshine of Your Love - June 1990

24 Nights (Warner)
    Royal Albert hall - 1990,1991

Unplugged (Warner)
    Bray Studios - 1991

Tommy (RSO)
    Ken Russel's film of the Who epic

BBC documentary from 92(?)...
    fantastic, must see for any fan. Tons of unseen, unheard stuff,
    e.g. Eric and Jack Bruce jamming at Eric's house...a meeting
    specially arranged for this special.  First time they'd played
    together since Cream

The Cream of Eric Clapton (Polygram)

Eric Clapton - The Man and His Music (Video Collection)


Q: What albums would you recommend that I buy?
A: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs lands at the top of the heap almost every time anyone does an EC album poll. Ours was no exception.

                             #1    #2    #3
Layla & OALS                 13     5     3
24 Nights (2CD)               4     2     3
Crossroads (4CD)              4     2     3
Unplugged                     3     3     3
Slowhand                            4     4
Journeyman                    2     2     2.5
Blues Breakers                2     3     1
E.C. Was Here                 2           3.5
Live At The Fillmore (2CD)    2     1     2
461 Ocean Boulevard                 3     0.5
The Layla Sessions (3CD)      1     2
August                        1           2
Disraeli Gears                      2     1
Just One Night (2CD)                2     1
Wheels Of Fire (2CD)                      3
Fresh Cream                   1     1
Blind Faith                         2
Behind The Sun                1           0.5
BackTrackin' (2CD)            1
There's One In Every Crowd          1
Another Ticket                      1
Time Pieces                         1
Rush Soundtrack                           1
Money And Cigarettes                      1
The Cream of Eric Clapton                 1
Strange Brew                              1

Personally, I can't believe Backless didn't get a single vote, but I guess I'm 1/37th responsible for that. The omission of the 1970 album Eric Clapton was another surprise. Not as surprising were the poll performances of No Reason To Cry and On Tour With Delaney and Bonnie And Friends. This poll was taken before the release of From The Cradle, an album which is certainly worth the money.

Q: So what do the critics think I should buy?
A: In issue 655, the "experts" at Rolling Stone provided the following list of the "essential recordings" of Eric Clapton: Five Live Yardbirds, Blues Breakers, Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, Wheels Of Fire, Blind Faith, Eric Clapton, Layla & OALS, 461 Ocean Boulevard, Slowhand, Just One Night, Money And Cigarettes, Journeyman, Rush Soundtrack and Unplugged. The critical discography in the July 1985 issue of Guitar Player gives rave reviews to Blues Breakers, Just One Night and Another Ticket, and vicious pans to Rainbow Concert, There's One In Every Crowd and Backless.

Q: So what does Eric think I should buy?
A: In a Rolling Stone interview, Eric stated that he thought the Bluesbreakers album was very powerful, Slowhand was noteworthy, and that the rambling nature of No Reason To Cry gave it the feeling of a party. "But I'm proud of them all, I'm glad to say."

Q: Okay, what albums would you recommend that I not buy?
A: The classic answer to this is Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert. It was his first concert in about two and a half years, the band had never played together before and was not very well rehearsed, and the sound quality is unspectacular. The album is not without redeeming features, but there are a lot of EC albums which deserve to be higher on anyone's wish list. In addition, there have been rumors circulating that this album will be remixed and released with additional material. Last time these rumors started, loyal fans were rewarded with the spectacular Derek And The Dominoes -- Live At The Fillmore.

The Songs of EC


Q: Does Eric write his own songs?
A: Some of them. Eric has said that he does not particularly enjoy writing songs. During his early years, he contributed almost no songs to the various bands he played with; more recently his output has been a function of inspiration from outside events and people, and the availability of cowriters to help the process along. And, given Eric's oft-proclaimed love for the blues, a large number of the songs he plays are covers of old blues artists.

Q: What was EC's first song?
A: According to Mark Roberty, it was Got To Hurry, the instrumental b-side of For Your Love. The song was credited to a Gomelsky nom de plume, Rasputin.

Q: What other songs did he write before going solo?
A: Aside from various arranging credits, Eric cowrote Double Crossing with John Mayall, Strange Brew with Gail Collins and Felix Pappalardi, Anyone For Tennis and Tales Of Brave Ulysses with Martin Sharp, Sunshine Of Your Love with Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, and, of course, Badge with George Harrison. His first composition with lyrics and without outside assistance was Presence Of The Lord.

Q: Which songs were written by Marcy Levy?
A: In the mid-1970s, Marcy was Eric's most frequent collaborator. During this period, the two cowrote Innocent Times, Lay Down Sally, The Core and Roll It. They also recorded Hungry, a song she cowrote with Dick Simms. After she left the band, Eric recorded Tangled In Love and Walk Away, two Levy/Feldman songs.

Q: Who is Jerry Lynn Williams, and which songs did he write?
Jerry is a Texan songwriter whose larger-than-life personality has gotten in the way of his own recording career. Williams wrote See What Love Can Do, Something's Happening and Forever Man, the three tracks Clapton recorded after the primary sessions for Behind The Sun. He also wrote a good number of tracks from the Journeyman album, including Pretending, Anything For Your Love, Running On Faith, No Alibis and Breaking Point.

Q: Which of Eric's compositions were inspired by Patti?
A: The songs which are explicitly and verifiably written about Patti are Layla, Wonderful Tonight, Pretty Girl, The Shape You're In, A Man In Love and Old Love.

Q: And which were inspired by Conor?
A: Tears In Heaven, Signe, Lonely Stranger, The Circus Left Town and My Father's Eyes.

Q: Which blues artist wrote ?
A: Every track on Sonny Boy Williamson And The Yardbirds was written by Sonny Boy Williamson. Here are a few of Eric's blues covers that weren't written by Sonny Boy Williamson:

Before You Accuse Me - Eugene McDaniel
Born Under A Bad Sign - Booker T. Jones and William Bell
County Jail Blues - Alfred Fields
Crossroads - Robert Johnson (originally titled Cross Road Blues)
Drifting Blues - Charles Brown, Johnny Moore and Eddie Williams
Further On Up The Road - Joe Medwich Veasey and Don D. Robey
Have You Ever Loved A Woman - Billy Myles
Hey Hey - Big Bill Broonzy
Hoodoo Man - Amos "Junior" Wells
Little Queenie - Chuck Berry
Malted Milk - Robert Johnson
Ramblin' On My Mind - Robert Johnson
Rollin' And Tumblin' - Muddy Waters (a.k.a McKinley Morganfield)
Sitting On Top Of The World - Howlin' Wolf (a.k.a. Chester Burnett)
Spoonful - Willie Dixon
Steady Rollin' Man - Robert Johnson
Walkin' Blues - Robert Johnson
Worried Life Blues - Maceo Merriweather

Q: How about on From The Cradle?
Driftin' is the same song as Drifting Blues from E.C. Was Here, and the author of Motherless Child is unknown. Here is a listing of the artists credited in the liner notes for the remaining tracks. It is obvious from the tour program that, for many of the remaining tracks, EC was paying homage to a recording by someone other than the original artist. Clear examples are Muddy Waters' version of Hoochie Coochie Man, Otis Rush's Groaning The Blues, Elmore James on Blues Before Sunrise, and Ray Charles for Sinner's Prayer.

Blues Before Sunrise - Leroy Carr
Third Degree - Eddie Boyd and Willie Dixon
Reconsider Baby - Lowell Fulson
Hoochie Coochie Man - Willie Dixon
Five Long Years - Eddie Boyd
I'm Tore Down - Sonny Thompson
How Long Blues - Leroy Carr
Goin' Away Baby - James Lane
Blues Leave Me Alone - James Lane
Sinner's Prayer - Lowell Glenn and Lowell Fulson
It Hurts Me Too - Elmore James (some sources cite Mel London)
Someday After A While - Freddy King
Standin' Round Crying - Muddy Waters (a.k.a McKinley Morganfield)
Groaning The Blues - Willie Dixon

Q: Which songs by Bob Dylan has Eric recorded?
A: On his own records, Eric has released versions of Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Sign Language, Walk Out In The Rain and If I Don't Be There By Morning. Eric also performed at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert. His featured songs were Love Minus Zero and Don't Think Twice, It's All Right. In addition, he played on My Back Pages and Knockin' On Heaven's Door during the group finale. All except for Love Minus Zero made it onto the final album.

Q: What other famous artists has EC covered?
A: The most famous is I Shot The Sheriff by Bob Marley. After Midnight and Cocaine were both written by J. J. Cale, who is a minor star in his own right.


One day in late '66, Clapton and Bruce were playing out riffs and trying to come up with some new material at Bruce's place. The jam went on till the wee hours of the morning and they still had not come up with anything striking when all of a sudden Bruce ripped out the now famous bass riff. But all Clapton could come up with was a tired look out of the window and said 'C'mon Jack, it is getting near dawn". Jack remembered that the next when they got together with Pete Brown and wrote up the song with those words in the very first line of the song!

Barrelhouse is a real word (ie: in many current dictionaries, probably legitimate for use in Scrabble, etc.), meaning either a particular form of jazz marked by a heavy, regular beat and long improvisational solos by several musicians at once, or a cheap drinking establishment where such music was performed on a regular basis.

She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow. Whatever that means.

Jack Bruce claimed in an interview that Ginger Baker wrote this, and that it was named after a sexually transmitted ailment that EC had at the time. The liner notes, however, give songwriting credit to Jack Bruce.

This track was written by EC and George Harrison. Harrison was transcribing, and Eric, reading it upside down, misread bridge as "badge" and the name stuck. (according to the MTV Rockumentary) Ringo Starr was also present (?), and "The swans they live in the park" and the line about "our son now he is married to Mabel" were Ringo like lines.

This song was written by EC for Patti Boyd Harrison. The ending was a separate piece by Jim Gordon that was spliced on. The name comes from a poem written in the 11th or 12th century by the Persian poet Nizami. The poem is entitled "Layla and Majnun" and bears little relation to EC's actual situation.

EC from Rolling Stone 533 (8/25/88): "Wonderful Tonight" has a little bit of irony in it. I didn't write it in a particular good mood. I wrote it because my wife was late getting ready to go out. I was in a foul temper about it." In the Roberty book it states that it was written on 9/7/76 after attending a Buddy Holly Luncheon organized by Paul McCartney.

Written in memoriam of his son, Conor.

Named after the boat Clapton was on when he wrote the song.

Another song about Conor; the last night EC spent with his son was at the circus.

Clapton wrote this song while he was doing the score for Rush. He was lonely there, and wrote the song to try to cheer himself up.

EC: "I had a kind of revelation about my son. It's a very personal matter but I never met my father and I realised that the closest I ever came to looking into my father's eyes was when I looked into my son's eyes. So I wrote this song about that. It's a strange kind of cycle thing that occurred to me and another thing I felt I would like to share." A "toerag" is a British slang term, meaning a foot covering for those too poor to afford socks, or alternatively a tramp, vagrant or a worthless person.

Are These All Your Guitars?


Q: What was Eric's first guitar?
A: His first guitar was an acoustic Spanish Hoya. His first electric guitar was a double cutaway Kay.

Q: Where did Blackie come from?
A: Blackie is made up of three different guitars. In Nashville 1970, EC bought a handful of Stratocasters, Telecasters and various Fenders for $100.00 each at the Sho-Bud shop. He took them back to England. He gave one to George Harrison, one to Steve Winwood and one to Pete Townshend. He kept three and out of them made one which is Blackie.

Q: Where is Blackie now?
A: Blackie was permanently retired in 1985 after 15 years of faithful service. According to EC "It's at home. It's off the road completely. I play it at home occasionally, but it is too precious for me to take out for fear of loss or breakage or something like that."

Q: What is the Eric Clapton signature Strat?
A: Dan Smith, the head of Fender guitars, approached Clapton to discuss a plan to create a guitar to Eric's specifications and market it under his name. Eric told them to mimic Blackie, especially the shape of the neck, to the best of their ability, but add a tone knob to fatten up the sound. The fact that EC's favorite guitar was a Fender apparently had nothing to do with the fact that his signature guitar is marketed by that company. The guitar is available in three colors, charcoal grey, Ferrari red and 7-Up green, as per Eric's request.

Q: Where is EC's guitar from his days with Cream?
A: The psychadelic painted guitar is in the collection of Todd Rundgren.


Yardbirds:                              Amp:    VOX AC 30 amp
Gibson ES 335
Fender Telecaster
Fender Jazzmaster

Bluesbreakers:                                  Marshall amp

Gibson Les Paul
Fender Telecaster

Fender Telecaster

Blind Faith:                                    Marshall 100 watt stack
Gibson ES 335                                   Fender Dual Showman
Gibson Firebird
Epiphone 12 string acoustic
Guild 12 string acoustic

Plastic Ono Band:                               Fender Dual Showman
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Stratocaster

Delaney & Bonnie:                               Fender Dual Showman
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Firebird

Derek and the Dominos:
Fender Stratocaster

Bangla Desh:                                    Fender Dual Showman
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Byrdland

Rainbow Comeback:                               Fender Dual Showman
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul

Solo Years:
1974/75:                                        Music Man Amp
Fender Stratocaster
Martin acoustic
Fender Telecaster
Gibson Explorer

1976:                                           Music Man Amp
Fender Stratocaster
Martin acoustic
Fender Telecaster

1977:                                           Music Man Amp
Fender Stratocaster
Martin acoustic

1978-82:                                        Music Man Amp
Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster
Martin acoustic
Gibson Explorer

1984:                                           Marshall Amp
Fender Stratocaster
Martin acoustic
Gibson Les Paul

1985:                                           Marshall Amp
Fender Stratocaster
Roland Guitar
Gibson Les Paul

1986/87:                                        Marshall Amp
Fender E.C. Signature
Gibson Les Paul

1988:                                           Soldano Amp, Marshall cabinets
Fender E.C. Signature
Gibson Les Paul
Chet Atkins Acoustic

1989-91:                                        Soldano Amp, Marshall cabinets
Fender E.C. Signature
Chet Atkins Acoustic

(The two questions which are actually frequently asked are "What album should I buy next?" and "Where are the Dominos now?")