Featured Classic Rocker
Can you guess our mystery rock & roll pioneer?
By 1958, Rock and Roll had exploded onto the world. For his 13th birthday, our mystery musician asked for a guitar. Finding the inexpensive German-made Hoyer difficult to play - it had steel strings - he put it aside. In 1961, when he was 16, he began studying at the Kingston College of Art on a one-year probation. He was expelled at the end of that time for lack of progress as he had not submitted enough work. The reason? Guitar playing and listening to the blues dominated his waking hours. Typical of his introspective nature, he looked beneath the surface and explored the roots of rock in American Blues. The blues also meshed perfectly with his self-perception as an outsider and of being “different” from other people. Sometime in 1962, he asked for his grandparents’ help in purchasing a Â£100 electric double cutaway Kay (a Gibson ES-335 clone) after hearing the electric blues of Freddie King, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and others.
In April 1965, John Mayall invited him to join his band, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. With this group, he established his reputation as a guitarist and earned his second nickname: “God”. It came from an admirer’s graffiti on the wall of London’s Islington Tube Station that boldly proclaimed “***** is God.” His time with the band was turbulent and he left for a while to tour Greece with friends. Upon his return from Greece, he rejoined the Bluesbreakers. It was during this time that the now classic Blues Breakers With *** **** was recorded. While with the Bluesbreakers, he also recorded a one-off four-track session with a band dubbed “The Powerhouse”. This studio band included John Paul Jones, Steve Winwood and Jack Bruce.
In his more than 40 year career, he has received many awards. He is the only triple inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (as a member of both the Yardbirds and Cream and as a solo artist). He has also won or shared in eighteen Grammy Awards.
His name.....Eric Clapton!
Check out these great Eric Clapton albums available at the library.