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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eric Clapton: The Autobiography (Paperback)
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...
Published on 1 Aug 2008 by Spider Monkey

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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
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...
Published on 28 Dec 2007 by Clapton Nut


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26 of 27 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
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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
By 
M. Dench "Ruined Eye" (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very revealing., 9 Feb 2009
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring..., 9 Mar 2008
By 
Billy Preston (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed hero who ultimately redeems himself, 4 Nov 2012
Fascinating candid account by the man himself. Too many autobiographies tell how wonderful the writer is (Yes, I'm talking about you Keith Richards). Not this one. Eric is not afraid to talk about his heroin and alcohol addictions, and the, quite frankly, dreadful way he treated others, especially women. Parts of this book, such as the time spent in rehab and the death of his son Connor, are truly distressing but are necessary to explain the person. Ultimately however he overcomes his problems to become a much more generous and caring person.

If you're a guitarist (as I am) you won't learn a great deal about his music and technique (there are plenty of other books that cover that ground). What you get is about the man rather than the music and though that is a whole different journey, it is still a very worthwhile and rewarding read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A complex man made commonplace, 29 Mar 2008
By 
Mrs. W. E. Ransome "shmoopie" (yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book worth reading, 2 Feb 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.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God writes..., 10 Nov 2007
By 
Dr. George L. Sik (Epsom, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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'Clapton is God' may have read the grafitti, but the tone of Eric Clapton's first autobiography is shy, matter-of-fact, flat. This may disappoint some but to me it made it all the more real...this is, after all, just how we expect Eric to communicate: his music is sublime, but his personality understated, introverted, filled for much of his life with the fear yet the encouragement of rejection that contributed to his alcoholism and heroin addiction.

Nothing is left out. He is unsparing about himself, his honesty, even understated, shining through on every page. His life, after all, has been very full and included plenty of demons. His account of his feelings following the accidental death of his son is almost too painful to read. His passion for helping other addicts, however, is warm and heartfelt.

Also evident is his generosity to other musicians he admires. Comparing him to Hedrix is now a standard pub conversation and he has nothing but praise for him. He compliments musician after musician. For him it really does seem to be 'all about the music'. The other stuff is there too: the affair with George Harrison's wife; the fact that his parents hid his illigitimacy from him; the entertaining anecdotes such as the difficulty of having a slash on the White House lawn. But, despite the fact that he rarely does much more than name song titles and musicians, it is the music that shines through: you want to run to those CDs and listen to them all over again.

Clapton is a remarkable guitarist and this is a remarkable account of a life filled with real sadness and happiness. Thank God there are still a few older people writing autobiographies these days!
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