Rock History - Clapton

Rock History - Clapton - Papaila Eric Clapton was one among...

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Papaila 1 Eric Clapton was one among the generation of influential British artists that impacted Rock and Roll. Born in England in 1945 as the illegitimate son of Patricia Clapton and Edward Fryer, he was raised by Patricia’s parents under the impression that they were his real parents. Clapton began to teach himself to play the guitar when he was 13, driven by his intense love of black blues music. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine he was ranked 4 th in The 100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time . Over the years, his legend continues to grow as he produces hit songs that define soulful, rock music. Clapton’s Influences Clapton’s early interest in music is accredited to such blues legends as Robert Johnson, J.J. Cale, and Jerry Lee Lewis. British TV often featured Lewis in fiery blues performances, instilling a great love for blues within the young Clapton. The positive media attention of aspiring rock artists in Britain coupled with Clapton’s love of blues and American R&B inspired him to learn to play guitar. Clapton thrived on the techniques and skill of blues and rock musicians, copying many of their techniques and covering countless songs. One of Clapton’s most successful covers was in 1969, when Cream released the famous song “Crossroads,” a version of Johnson’s song “Cross Road Blues.” According to a 1994 Guitar Legends magazine interview, Clapton claimed, “Robert Johnson is the most important influence I’ve had in my life and always will be, I think.” (8) In 2004, Clapton released an entire album, Me and Mr. Johnson , which consisted solely of covers from Johnson’s music. In the liner notes of this tribute album, Clapton wrote, “It is a remarkable thing to have been driven and influenced all of my life by the work of one man…I accept that it has always been the keystone of my musical foundation…I am talking of course about Robert Johnson.” His solo work (particularly his first album Eric Clapton ) revealed the strong influences of J.J. Cale. Clapton’s cover of “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” made J.J. Cale very well known. He has recorded more than six of Cale’s originals and has put out an album with the artists. Another famous cover Eric did was Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.” This cover was actually Clapton’s first and only No. 1 hit (5). Worried that he
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Papaila 2 had disgraced the song by covering it so poorly, Clapton was relieved Marley was one of the first to thank him for the cover (8). Clapton has also mentioned being very influenced by the blues legends Willie Dixon, Elmore James, and Freddie King (9) along with Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix was especially influential in his life; they became friends during Jimi’s tour of Europe, and soon Clapton began imitating Jimi’s style through psychedelic clothing on-stage and even a similar hair style (7). Basically, Clapton’s influences are endless-he taught himself by stealing music and technique from all the great artists of his era,
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MUSL 100 taught by Professor Gunderman during the Spring '08 term at Vanderbilt.

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Rock History - Clapton - Papaila Eric Clapton was one among...

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