Best Beat

Setting the Rhythm for Your Music

Eric Clapton: As a Singer, Songwriter and Musician He Has Success Because He Uses The Golden Rule

Eric Clapton: As a Singer, Songwriter and Musician He Has Success Because He Uses The Golden Rule

As a guitarist Eric Clapton studied his craft relentlessly. He started playing an acoustic guitar in his early teens and practiced long hours learning to play chords of blues by playing along with the records.

He preserved his practice sessions on a reel to reel tape recorder listening to them over and over until he felt he got it right. By sixteen his guitar playing was quite advanced.

In the early sixties he started playing with a number of Blues groups and eventually hooked up with a notable group called the Yardbirds. His stint with them did not last long due to some of the players wanting to switch to a Pop genre whereas Eric preferred the music to remain a Blues genre.

In 1964 Eric and his group played at The Royal Albert Hall in London, England and over the years he ultimately played 200 more dates at the famed British landmark,

Clapton joined another Blues group called The Bluesbreakers. During his stint with them he gained world fame as the best blues guitarist on the club circuit. They were one of the first blues-rock bands to use lengthy jazz-style sessions.

Following that he joined the band Cream. They had large commercial success selling millions of records as a result of touring throughout the US and Europe. Their US hit singles included “Sunshine of Your Love” and “White Room.”

At one point along the way Eric’s comments about The Band and their music showed where his thoughts were considering how instruments should be used. He said that what he appreciated about The Band was that “they were more concerned with songs and singing. They would have three and four-part harmonies and the guitar was put back into perspective as being accompaniment. He said “that suited me well, because I had gotten so tired of the virtuosity thing of long, boring guitar solos just because they were expected. The Band brought things back into perspective. The priority was the song.”

As Eric’s career moved along he had many collaborations with George Harrison and the Beatles, Duane Allman, The Who’s Pete Townsend, Dr. John, Leon Russell, Stephen Stills, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, B.B. King and so many others.

In terms of vocals Eric has had many hits. Two of the more notables are a love song “Layla” which is the story of a young man who falls hopelessly in love with a beautiful, unavailable woman. The second is “You Were There.”

Eric was married to an Italian Model, Lory del Santo in 1985 and they decided to have a child together. Their son Connor was born a year later. As little Conor grew when Eric would visit they would play for hours kicking balls around the Terrace and going for walks in the garden. Sadly when Conor was four years old he was in a tragic accident in which he fell 49 stories to his death from an open window in a New York City apartment. Clapton’s grief was expressed in the song “Tears in Heaven” written for his son.

Eric Clapton has received numerous awards. Some of the more notable were ranking second on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, being the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a solo artist, and separately with the Yardbirds and Cream, and in 2006 was awarded The Grammy Lifetime Achieve Award as a member of Cream.

Quite often we hear that the people who succeed as singers, writers, actors and so on are the ones who never give up. No matter how many failures or obstacles they have, they just recover by trying something new or in a different way and succeed till they have success.

We are so lucky that Eric Clapton practices the golden rule for success which is Never Give Up. With all of Eric’s obstacles and hard times in his stellar career the one thing that describes him is he is Not a Quitter which is testimony to the many awards he has received and rightly deserved.