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Eric Clapton: The Autobiography [Paperback]

Eric Clapton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 July 2008

Eric Clapton is far more than a rock star. Like Dylan and McCartney he is an icon and a living legend. He has sold tens of millions of records, played sell-out concerts all over the world and been central to the significant musical developments of his era. His guitar playing has seen him hailed as 'God'. Now for the first time, Eric tells the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty and painfully honest autobiography.

These are the memoirs of a survivor, someone who has reached the pinnacle of success, who has had it all, but whose demons have never left him. Eric tells his story as it is, hiding nothing, with a directness and searing honesty that will make this book one of the most compelling memoirs of our time.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (3 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099505495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099505495
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 12.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Eric Clapton has produced a gem of a rock memoir, in which he lays bare the painful roots of his music. Clapton speaks honestly and touchingly not only about the external course of his life but of what music has meant to him. That makes it much the best of this season's rock memoirs. Clapton delivers himself profoundly. It's extremely moving." (Evening Standard)

"Clapton relates what happened with painful honesty. In other rock stars, such plump contentment might seem hypocritical, even vulgar. But with Eric Clapton, you feel that a little comfort is the least he deserves." (Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday (4 star review))

"This is an essential read" (Observer)

"It's a raw and remarkable piece of self-exposure" (Daily Telegraph)

"It is a pity more autobiograophers don't have Clapton's grounding in the blues." (Sunday Times)

Book Description

The bestselling rock autobiography of all time.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing 28 Dec 2007
I have been listening to Cream - the live and long improvisations nearly every day for the better part of 40 years, saw them in 2005 at RAH and think Clapton is the best guitarist I have ever enjoyed listening to by a distance. I couldnt wait to read this. Alas, it was disappointing - both the book and, I am afraid, the man.
The characterisation of people in his life was very thin - he rarely describes in any detail the personalities of the people who have been or are important to him, says very little about his guitar playing genius - a huge omission in my view - how can someone be so brilliant at something and not discuss how he developed that talent to all us musically talentless people who have worshipped his playing for years?
On the man, all the drug and alcohol stuff - which granted is very frank - is reasonably interesting although hardly what distinguishes him from everyone else but reveals a seemingly rather weak and generally bemused personality who is incapable of confronting anything. Sadly, also, he never acknowledges his huge army of fans whose lives he has musically enriched so much and who have been so supportive for so many years. Niether does he ever discuss the huge wealth that his success has generated. This lot tends to leave the impression of a man who really has never lived in or experienced the real world. Perhaps he really is the reluctant flawed genius but you cannot have it all ways.
I will continue to enjoy his brilliance every day and despite the disappointment of this book, he would still be my top dinner companion - there is so much more he could have given us in this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 too many pages... 8 Dec 2010
I didn't know any details about Eric Clapton's private life, other than the most famous ones, but, as always happens, to hear everything by the man's very voice, tastes totally different.
Actually, reading this book, I haven't changed my opinion about Clapton from good to better and, to be totally honest, I have found it really boring at certain times, probably because the author's final aim isn't the readers' amusement (and this can be understood), it rather is to tell his sensations through a long career with really good and really bad times. So, while I found Clapton's experience of getting sober a honest and probably helpful story to people with the same problems, I also suffered reading about his personal family situation nowadays... really, no need to tell us everything about his latest happy family: it was fair enough to tell he was happy and save us a heavy final part of this book that doesn't add a thing to the musician's autobiography.
Sometimes also, is very easy to feel Clapton's detachment from our mortal beings' world: how he's happy with his Ferraris collection, his new mega-yacht and the countless houses owned here, there and everywhere really is not relevant to other people, fans included.
This is a personal opinion, but I'm much more pleased to read other rockstars' biographies, as this one really contains lots of useless pages.
That said, now I'm sure I don't envy Mr. Clapton at all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eric Clapton: The Autobiography (Paperback) 1 Aug 2008
Eric Clapton finally writes his side of the story and an engrossing read it is too. In this book he writes pretty candidly about his life and career and you get a real feel for his struggles with addiction and his various relationships. Some parts of his life are glossed over, as is his prerogative in an autobiography, or not mentioned at all and for this reason I'd say this is a good complimentary biography to other, more in-depth books out there. The latter part of the book leaves you feeling more positive where he talks about his wife and children and his approach to life and music. It may have more impact when it is considered next to the first part of his life and the turmoil and struggles he seemed to go through. There are some excellent colour plates in this book, as well as additional black and white images to begin each chapter. You get a sense of loss when he talks about the various friends and musicians he has lost over the years, and his past is a veritable who's who list of top musicians and artists since the sixties. Overall this is a candid and interesting read and worth a look if you're a fan of his work.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A flawed God 4 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not going to write a long and in depth review - too much has already been written here for me to be able to add much to it. I will say, however, that Eric clearly has his own agenda. Although he self-flagellates effectively, we only get half the story. What about Eric and Jimi? The afro-perm, the clothes, the guitar, the solo on 'Hey Now Princess' and the rejection of Gibson in favour of Fender (don't forget that early on Eric tells he buys guitars because of who plays them).

And there are inconsistencies. Eric tells us that on the night Jimi died he took his present for him (a left-handed Strat) to a gig he thought he would be at, but Jimi never showed. In the 'Cream Story' DVD he clearly says that he and Jimi were in separate boxes at that gig, but that he never got to meet up with him.

And, for me, the most glaring issue of all is his reference to The Fool and their paint job on his guitar. What is it Eric writes? Oh yes, I gave them a 'Gibson Les Paul'.... While I am well aware that the SG was originally designed as a 'new' Les Paul, the one that Eric owned and that he had painted the The Fool was a Gibson SG. And nobody refers to any SG as a Les Paul, especially not a man who made some of his defining recordings using one. So what is Eric trying to tell us? Take it all with a pinch of salt? Only he knows, but it's a shocker.

This book promises much, and the opening chapter is genuinely engaging, but it soon becomes an exercise in self-castigation and a plea for universal forgiveness in the face of his new life with his new family. Interesting and ultimately disappointing at the same time. It doesn't seem to have occurred to Eric that he wasn't the only guilty party in most cases. Alice had a choice, all those girls who waited for him to tour the provinces, even Pattie. He's not the worst villain the world's ever seen. And for six years or so he was the world's greatest guitarist.

Good thing I didn't go for the long review!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars For Clapton addicts
If you like Eric Clapton it's interesting, of course, but as with a lot of autobiographies it's overly self-indulgent. I find after a while I just get fed up - get over yourself. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Suze
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant insight to the greats man's life.
Published 17 days ago by stevejcwhite
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book for any Eric Clapton music fan.
Published 18 days ago by Leonia Nunes
4.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Published 25 days ago by PG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Great biog, really enjoyed reading about one of my musical idols. The book was a used one in very good condition as described.
Published 1 month ago by Ladyboss
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a second reading
I have gone through a phase of reading autobiographies of 60s rock stars and they are all interlinked. I loved this and Keith Richard's too. Read more
Published 2 months ago by iloveshoes
5.0 out of 5 stars My dad's opinion...
Great item. Fantastic book!!! Awesome story - well constructed and written book - definitly worth a read. EC's childhood is a lead back in time.
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Burrows
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and frank
As related here we have lost some great guitarists over the years and one often wonders what they might have achieved had they been luckier. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Roy Szweda
1.0 out of 5 stars Where's Eric?
Nowhere to be found in this "autobiography".

It's a fraud. I've been cheated. Although written in the first person, it's clear that the author is Christopher... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Read
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
For any Clapton fan it's a must read and gives a lot into what drove the man

My only slight disappointment is that all the great music days cream, Derrick nod the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Adam Krug
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