born March 30, 1945, Ripley, Surrey
Eric Patrick Clapton is a British rock musician who was a highly influential guitarist in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and later became a major singer-songwriter.
He began playing the guitar in his teens and briefly studied at the Kingston College of Art. After playing lead guitar with two minor bands, he joined the Yardbirds (1963 – 1965), John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (1965 – 1966), formed a new band with two other virtuoso rock musicians, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker, Cream (1966 – 1968), formed the group Blind Faith (1969 – 1970)… Clapton emerged as a capable vocalist on his first solo album, which was released in 1970.
Over the next 20 years Clapton produced a string of albums, including Slowhand (1977), Backless (1978), Money and Cigarettes (1983), August (1986), Unplugged (1992) – which featured the chart hit Tears in Heaven, written after the death of his son – and From the Cradle (1994), Riding with the King (2000) with blues legend B.B. King and The Road to Escondido (2006) with roots guitarist J.J. Cale.
Clapton, an autobiography, was published in 2007.
He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream, ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and fourth in Gibson’s Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.