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4.2 out of 5 stars133
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 August 2008
Eric Clapton provides an interesting and honest account of his career and the influences that have shaed his life and his music. It is a life which has had its share of challenges iclduing the circumstances of his birth, the death of his young son and his battles with alcohol and drugs. Clapton explores the challenges with an engaging candour and we can appreciate the courage behind the writing of the book. He deals frankly with the effects of aging and his responses to the deaths of friends and associates yet he also conveys his passion for the musical influences that have shaped his music.
Unlike other autobiographies/biographies which have tended to concentrate on particular phases in a performer's life, Clapton chooses to tell the story of his whole life bringing us right up to date. He refrains from critical analysis of his work or of his performances and does not comment on the work of his contemporaries unless they have directly affected him. Punk is mentioned in passing as is the rise of Britpop on the 1990s. This is very much an account of Clapton the man and not Clapton the artist. Some early discussion of his guitar technique is not developed and we learn little about recording methods or songwriting techniques.
This book has changed my perception of Clapton. He has engaged my sympathy and admiration. His writing is straightforward and direct. At times, I feel he can distance himself from his audience. We are freqeuntly reminded of the material advantages his talent has brought him and he does not always discuss all relationships fully.
To conclude, this is a fine and brave account but perhaps one that does not cover all the questions asked by the fans of Clapton's music.
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on 8 January 2008
My girlfriend bought me this book for xmas, and I could hardly put it down. I have always liked eric's guitar playing, and I'd previously (many years ago) read a biography about him. As a rock'n'roll guitarist and a published author myself I was amazed at how good this book was.

Reading about his childhood and struggle to learn to play on poor quality cheap instruments brought back memories of my own struggle, during which my teacher wrote to my parents telling them that 'this student will never master this instrument'; yet a few years later I was a professional player and singer.

His bad behaviour and school truancy also reminded me of my childhood, and we both got expelled. I cried as I read about his ambitious battle with high guitar actions (string heights), and I couldn't believe that his first proper electric had been the same make (though a different model) to my own - a Kay.

As his story progressed, most of his experiences departed from mine, especially as he had become a star, and I had fallen into the anonymity of amateur musicianship. This departure, far from putting me off, deepened my interest and enjoyment of the book, yet as I had remained loyal to my bands until each collapsed after the best musician left in search of better things, I found reading a very similar story from the other side of the fence, to be both compelling and harrowing. The old memories and dashed dreams came flooding back, as did the tears.

Such was my reduction to tears as I turned the pages, that my girlfriend started to regret buying me this book as a xmas present (a time for spreading joy and happiness), but in some ways they were tears of joy. As it progressed I found the book to be very therapeutic. Not in the sense that eric might have meant it to be (as although I experimented in the seventies - and got caught - I never got addicted to alcohol or drugs), but it healed many old wounds from the old rock-band days. I finally understood the motivations around the seemingly cruel departures of leading musicians from my bands that had happened just as we had seemed to be on the edge of success. It was the frustration of these painful let-downs that had finally persuaded me to give up, but reading this book, unexpectedly fired me with new enthusiasm.

I went out and bought a new guitar (a white Dean Del Sol semi-solid), and made a home-recorded Cd of some of my songs (3 of mine and a cover of eric's 'Motherless Children'). I am very proud of it, in spite of my lack of talent, and gave it to a few friends at New Year.

I'm about ten years younger than eric, but the later parts of his book helped me to understand that my distress at aging is not unique to me, and his love of his new lifestyle cheered me up, leaving me feeling hopeful about my future, and a lot wiser.

So thanks eric for a great book! I now listen to your music and watch your DVDs with deeper understanding and even greater enjoyment. But readers beware! This is not a happy-clappy reading experience. Its frank and open approach to story-telling might well leave you reduced to tears too.

Neil Southwell
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on 28 August 2014
A Fantastic Read
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on 17 July 2008
I really enjoyed reading this book. I am a fan of Clapton's music, and I found I couldn't put the book down. Not wanting to add a spoiler, I am glad that the autobiography ended on a positive note, after all the heartache described in the earlier chapters.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading about one of the real legends within the music industry.
Clapton has influenced so many, that his autobiography is a must read for any true music fan.
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on 6 August 2010
Excellent book. Who ever said - Truth was stranger than Fiction - hit the nail right on the head. Apart from the fact the Eric Clapton is one of the all time great guitar players, he is a man first and foremost. People tend to forget that "Stars", 'Musicians" and any other people who are constantly in the spotlight, are basically the same as you and I. We laugh, we cry, we love, and most of all - we ALL put our pants on, one leg at a time!!
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on 22 September 2014
great listening
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on 30 March 2008
yes this man is a Legend in his own right, the book was a brilliant read at times he repeated him self, but he gave a good insight in to his life and his music he must rate as the best guitarist in the world it was sad that he was addicted to substance and grief stricken over the loss of his son. This book is a must read for his fans or any one who likes Eric i would now like to read what Pattie Boyd says in her book.
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on 17 November 2014
brilliant read
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on 16 October 2007
Interesting but very little on the early years. I would have liked to have seen more depth to the music making/ songwriting side. Although he touches on all the albums it just wasn't enough! The insight into his character is dealt with frankly but I was expecting more from him!
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on 29 November 2007
If this book had been a biography I would not have bothered but as it was coming from the horses mouth I asked for it for my birthday. Clapton has never been one for writing complicated lyrics and the same can be said for this book. Its straightforward and to the point. He more or less details his whole career and writes candidly about his addictions. In my opinion he is a legend and worked with some of the best people in the business. What I also admire about him is his love and respect for his backing musicians over the years. Alot of stars of his statue probably don't give a toss whose behind them. Clapton not only appreciates their playing but respects their opinions too. The thing I did find abit odd was the fact that he does not mention John Lennon's(someone he played guitar for) murder or the death of Keith Relf, The Yardbirds lead singer. Overall though an enjoyable read.
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