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Eric Clapton: The Autobiography [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Eric Clapton , Bill Nighy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 Oct 2007

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'. Tracks such as Layla, Sunshine Of Your Love, Wonderful Tonight and Tears In Heaven have become anthems for generations of music fans. Now for the first time, Eric tells the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty and painfully honest autobiography.

Eric was born illegitimate in 1945 and raised by his grandparents. He never knew his father and until the age of nine believed his absentee mother to be his sister. In his teens his solace was the guitar and he soon became a cult hero in the club circuits of Britain. With the foundation of the world's first super group Cream in 1966 he became a world superstar.

But the rock star lifestyle has had a darker side. In more than forty years at the forefront of his profession he has twice survived near fatal addictions to drugs and alcohol, the death of his four-year-old son, the deaths of friends such as Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, , the break-up of marriage and the disintegration of relationships with a succession of beautiful women.

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. At the age of 62 Eric is now ready to tell 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

  • Audio CD: 5 pages
  • Publisher: Audiobooks (9 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846570786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846570780
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 13.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 752,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Eric Clapton's life story as read by laconic Bill Nighy makes for some fascinating listening" (The Observer)

"It would be difficult to imagine a better voice to read the life of Eric Clapton. Both seem to have been woven from the smae battered sixties thread, lived the lives they really know they shouldn't have-and somehow come out at the end wiser and cooler." (The Times)

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

"Great for its 1960s atmosphere and music knowhow and contrite on the casualties of his alcohol and drug abuse, it ends with Clapton dry as a bone, adoring his four daughters and enjoying huntin', fishin' and shootin'. Bill Nighy's terse, low-key reading suits Clapton's authorial voice well." (The Times)

Book Description

The legendary musician who defined rock in the 1960s and continues to astonish and delight a wide spectrum of music lovers tells, for the first time, the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty, and painfully honest autobiography.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing 28 Dec 2007
Format:Hardcover
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 too many pages... 8 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A complex man made commonplace 29 Mar 2008
Format:Hardcover
I read Pattie Boyds book first and was keen to see things from Eric's perspective but was not really any wiser about his experience of their relationship after reading this. Eric comes across as a real music bore I am afraid. The technical details of the guitars and the music he made dominate the book and I could hear this nerdy voice in my head from time to time ! I found the South Bank Show that was on a few months ago more revealing, I guess you can hold alot more back when you are putting stuff in print. Even the accounts of his early years do not seem to get to the core of the man. Altogether disappointing, but I have to admire him for his restraint
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very revealing. 9 Feb 2009
Format:Hardcover
Large parts of this book are already well known to anyone who is a fan, or even just reads the newspapers regularly. I was hoping for more of the kind of things that the papers don't talk about, like the music perhaps & how it was written & made etc. Whilst technical info may have been boring to a non musician it would have been a great read for those that are interested. And, it would have certainly been no more boring than the parts that were included such as Eric's love of fashion clothes,cars,bird shooting,designer watches,& houses etc. The wealthy entertaining types often have their indulgences but that is not (usually) how/why they became wealthy.
Don't get me wrong, I did find the read enjoyable but I expected more.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring... 9 Mar 2008
Format:Hardcover
It is an honest book, no doubt about it. But I can't help to think that Clapton's brain must look like a gruyere cheese, which explains all the holes in the story, and why page after page we are remainded about how much he used to drink or snort..

I felt dissapointed about the stories, as he seems to have completely forgotten the details of remarkable events in his career, e.g. the Rainbow Concert; the 1974 tour; the encores with Santana, Joe Cocker and Keith Moon in the 75 Tour; his role in the Stones' TOTA 75; the Last Waltz concert with The Band (76); playing with Freddie King; the success of Slowhand; the 1979-1980 tours in Japan; touring with Roger Waters; etc, etc.

My sad reading of this lack of info is that he vaguely remembers events and faces as he spent most of the 70s, 80s and early 90s completely drunk or stoned. So it seems to me that the comments he makes from that time are merely "stolen" from other books or simply by commenting on snapshots that appear on the cover of his albums.

Other readers have mentioned the lack of comments about his technique and his music and I adhere to those.

But I don't want to be harsh as he has a gift and have made happy millions around the world, something that not too many can put on their cv. In any case, the two stars are for his book, not for his contribution to music, which clearly exceeds any limited scope a rating can provide.
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