on 9 March 2008
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 I adore this guy, his music and his gentleman's stance. He has a gift that have made happy several hundred million people 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.
on 8 December 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.
on 10 July 2015
I wasn't expecting all that much from this story - Having read quite a few star biographies lately, I thought it would be more of the same - Self-indulgence and childishness. Yes, it all began predictably like that, but in the end, it was a journey through personal pain into at least an attempt at self-discovery that actually helped me in my own addictions and troubles. I actually knew Eric a little back in the old days, we shared the same Manager (Robert Stigwood) and I shared a few dressing rooms and Nems reception chairs with Eric, and though I can't pretend we got to know each other well, he seemed a really nice guy at that time (unlike my impressions of Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce!). I'll read this book a few times. Despite all the fame and fortune, it's a journey about the struggles of life that many of us face, and the book helps share that pain and understanding. Good on you Eric.
on 2 February 2009
I would say that the one thing that makes this biography stand out more than any other autobiography I have ever read is that he is so honest, to the point where I was quite shocked, he really doesn't hold anything back. In fact you get the impression that he may have learnt much about who he used to be and how that affected the man he is today in the writing of this.
Not only does Clapton talk frankly about his addictions, but also about the women he has fallen for and the effect he had on their lives be it posetive or as is often the case negative.
Really worth getting a copy, you don't need to be his biggest fan to read this.
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.
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on 15 November 2008
This is a great bio, and for a non-writer Mr Clapton has done a great job. But sadly the themes sometimes get a bit lost, with stories stopping and starting. I think this would work more as a voice over, after I had got a bit confused and thought about it - it has the feel of how a story might be told - but it makes difficult reading.
I think it does have a wide appeal - it doesn't dwell too much on the guitar or guitar playing itself (don't worry for fellow music fans there is enough to keep you interested), but it does combine the relationships and struggles faced throughout his life while still including the real passion for music.
I would say to anyone, have a read, and to any Clapton fan, its a must read!
on 1 April 2012
I'd hoped to learn a little more about this very talented man, not necessarily gossipy stuff, just more about the people he worked with, and his opinions. Don't buy this book if you want that, only buy it if the guitar is your main interest.
Stopped reading halfway through.
on 2 February 2008
An impoverished youth, addiction and stardom. Eric's book gives us an insight into just how intimate the circle was/is in the UK; friends with the Beatles, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend etc etc. Impressive stuff! However I was left with the impression that Eric has become a bit of a pompous arse.
"I liked the area so I bought the whole peninsular"
"I loved the yacht, so I bought it"
I know you'll hate my review, but if Clapton was God, there is little evidence now.
on 29 December 2007
Unfortunately, I was left feeling that Clapton doesn't deserve my sympathy or understanding. Of course the chapters about learning the music trade and life with the mid-sixties bands are fascinating - the opposite of the later chapters through the 80s and 90s, where one tour follows another and women, houses, etc come and go. But even the chapters about battling alcohol and drugs are steeped in self-absorption and hardly any regard for some of the other people in his life - his remarks about them are like that of a selfish teenager, which is why so many of us used to identify with him, I suppose.
The book is NOT well written - cliched, flat, lacking wit.
As far as his music goes, I like so many others lost interest at the end of the 1970s, when the true nature of his talent - magpie - was revealed, his own songs thin and maudlin, with no real substance. I wouldn't put down Layla like another reviewer here, as he obviously galvanised that group of musicians into a great album/single. But the true story of EC's musical life is that he's only shone when kicked into life by others - as with Cream in 2005. Everything else is pretty dull.
on 7 January 2010
I borrowed this from a friend before xmas. i put off reading it for a while, as i've never really been a fan, although i acknowlege his talent as a player.
it's interesting enough in parts, although sometimes it sounds like you're listening to your grandad!
what struck me most, though, was how badly he comes over as a person. i've seen people come across better in 'hatchet jobs'! and this is clapton telling his own story!
he comes over as selfish, ignorant, arrogant, pompous and so out of touch with reality and real life as to be from another planet!
i finished up disliking him intensely!