Clapton: The Autobiography, by Eric Clapton

Book 9
I’ve had Clapton: The Autobiography on my shelf for about a year. I may have mentioned that after reading Pattie Boyd’s memoir, I had no interest in hearing a thing Clapton had to say. My fascination and disdain also stem from my old man, who is in the Clapton is God camp. While the music was always in my house, I most remember Clapton from the famous MTV Unplugged where he played “Tears in Heaven”. I can’t even listen to that song anymore, but that was probably why I picked up the book in the first place.

The early part of the book didn’t quite hold my attention. Too much about guitar technique and the players in the London music scene. But I found my refrain pretty quickly. It was, “Geez, man. Can you commit to anything?”

Seriously, people. Even after the Yardbirds. And Cream. And Derek and the Dominoes. Wait – Blind Faith was before that. I think. Even after he went solo, Clapton was firing his band all the damn time. He made a point of talking about the time that he fired his band himself, as opposed to staffing it out. And how proud he was of that (as a rite of passage in his sobriety).

And I was still thinking, “Can you commit to anything?”

He totally owns the fact that he was horrible to Pattie. And to Alice, with whom he went down the rabbit hole before Pattie left George. Mm. I didn’t mean to make an Alice joke.

The story about Conor is appropriately heartbreaking, and the fact that Clapton didn’t go straight back to the bottle is probably what won me over. But as I think about the book as a whole, it seems to me that his writing is actually cleaner as the book goes on..you can sort of feel the clarity at the end.

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