In Clapton had a relationship with singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow. The duo performed a Cream hit single, " White Room ". Guitarist Doyle Bramhall II worked on the album with Clapton after opening Clapton's tour with his band Smokestack and would join him on his tour. In , Rolling Stone ranked Clapton No. Clapton's first album of new original material in nearly five years, Back Home , was released on Reprise Records on 30 August.
A collaboration with guitarist J. He invited Trucks to join his band for his — world tour. Bramhall remained, giving Clapton three elite guitarists in his band, allowing him to revisit many Derek and the Dominos songs that he hadn't played in decades. Trucks remained on set afterward and performed with Clapton's band throughout his performances. In Clapton learned more about his father, a Canadian soldier who left the UK after the war. Although Clapton's grandparents eventually told him the truth about his parentage, he only knew that his father's name was Edward Fryer.
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This was a source of disquiet for Clapton, as witnessed by his song " My Father's Eyes ". A Montreal journalist named Michael Woloschuk researched Canadian Armed Forces service records and tracked down members of Fryer's family, and finally pieced together the story.
Fryer was a musician piano and saxophone and a lifelong drifter who was married several times, had several children, and apparently never knew that he was the father of Eric Clapton. On 26 February , it was reported that North Korean officials had invited Clapton to play a concert in the communist state.
The two former Blind Faith bandmates met again for a series of 14 concerts throughout the United States in June In March , the Allman Brothers Band amongst many notable guests celebrated their 40th year, dedicating their string of concerts to the late Duane Allman on their annual run at the Beacon Theatre. Eric Clapton was one of the performers, with drummer Butch Trucks remarking that the performance was not the typical Allman Brothers experience, given the number and musical styles of the guests who were invited to perform.
Clapton was scheduled to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 's 25th anniversary concert in Madison Square Garden on 30 October , but cancelled due to gallstone surgery. On 24 June , Clapton was in concert with Pino Daniele in Cava de' Tirreni stadium before performing a series of concerts in South America from 6 to 16 October He spent November and December touring Japan with Steve Winwood , playing 13 shows in various cities throughout the country.
On 29 November , Clapton joined The Rolling Stones at London's O2 Arena during the band's second of five arena dates celebrating their 50th anniversary. The album includes the original 14 tracks, remastered, as well as 6 additional tracks, including 2 versions of " My Father's Eyes ". The DVD includes a restored version of the concert, as well as over 60 minutes of unseen footage from the rehearsal. On 13 and 14 November , Clapton headlined the final two evenings of the " Baloise Session ", an annual indoor music festival in Basel , Switzerland.
Cale who died on 26 July Although he did return to perform one final song, thousands of fans were upset by the lack of explanation from Clapton or the venue and booed after the concert ended around 40 minutes before advertised to finish.
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Both Clapton and the venue apologised the next day, blaming 'technical difficulties' for making sound conditions 'unbearable' for Clapton on stage. Clapton has performed more times at Madison Square Garden than any other US venue, a total of 45 times. On 30 September the live-album Live in San Diego was released. Clapton has said that blues musician Robert Johnson is his single most important influence. Clapton co-authored with others the book Discovering Robert Johnson , in which Clapton said Johnson was:.
He was true, absolutely, to his own vision, and as deep as I have gotten into the music over the last 30 years, I have never found anything more deeply soulful than Robert Johnson. His music remains the most powerful cry that I think you can find in the human voice, really.
Clapton also singled out Buddy Holly as an influence. It was thick and fat and very melodic.
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In , The Guardian attributed the creation of the cult of the guitar hero to Clapton, ranking it number seven on their list of the 50 key events in rock music history;. Nothing is more central to rock mythology than the cult of the lead guitarist. And no one did more to create that cult than Eric Clapton.
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He had already been a member of the Yardbirds before joining John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, the clearing house for guitarists, in April His two stints with Mayall saw his reputation grow to the extent that a famous graffito captured the popular appraisal of him among rock fans: "Clapton is God".
It seemed to me that if you wanted to get the atmosphere we were getting in the clubs, you needed it to sound like you were in the audience 10 feet away, not three inches.
Before Eric, guitar playing in England had been Hank Marvin of the Shadows, very simple, not much technique. Suddenly we heard something completely different.
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The records sounded unlike anything we had heard before. In , Clapton was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork — the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover — to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life that he most admires to mark his 80th birthday. Clapton's choice of electric guitars has been as notable as the man himself; like Hank Marvin , the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, Clapton exerted a crucial and widespread influence in popularising particular models of electric guitar.
He became exclusively a Gibson player for a period beginning in mid, when he purchased a used sunburst Gibson Les Paul guitar from a guitar store in London. Clapton commented on the slim profile of the neck, which would indicate it was a model. He continued to play Les Pauls exclusively with Cream one bought from Andy Summers was almost identical to the stolen guitar  until , when he acquired his most famous guitar in this period, a Gibson SG , dubbed " the Fool ". Clapton used it at the last Cream show in November as well as with Blind Faith, played it sparingly for slide pieces in the s, used it on "Hard Times" from Journeyman , the Hyde Park live concert of , and the From the Cradle sessions and tour of — The was only the second electric guitar Clapton bought.
Lucy was stolen from Harrison, though later tracked down and returned to him - he lent it to Clapton for his comeback concert at the Rainbow. Rundgren restored the guitar and nicknamed it "Sunny", after "Sunshine of Your Love". In late Clapton made the switch to the Fender Stratocaster. First there was Buddy Holly , and Buddy Guy. Hank Marvin was the first well known person over here in England who was using one, but that wasn't really my kind of music. Steve Winwood had so much credibility, and when he started playing one, I thought, oh, if he can do it, I can do it".
Clapton assembled the best components of the remaining three to create "Blackie", which was his favourite stage guitar until its retirement in It was first played live 13 January at the Rainbow Concert. One was presented to Clapton upon the model's release and was used for three numbers during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 17 May Pete Townshend also donated his own Gibson Les Paul guitar, with a note attached: "Mine's as good as his!
Love, Pete". Signature guitars in Clapton's honour are made by Fender and C. In Fender introduction his signature Eric Clapton Stratocaster. The first, of these, introduced in , was a limited edition EC Eric Clapton signature model with a production run of Clapton appeared in the movie version of Tommy , the first full length rock opera , written by the Who. In addition to being in the band, he had a small speaking role. Clapton has appeared in an advertisement for the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.
He was called upon to test the Cee'd's auxiliary input, which he tested by plugging in one of his guitars and playing several bars of his most famous hits.
He was introduced by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson as a "local guitarist". He's an incredibly private man and despite his immense success, he's never cared if he got any publicity at all, he just loves his music I think it might be something to do with his age, as he turned 70 a couple of years ago. He said to me, "I didn't want it to be done after I was dead and for it to be wrong. Clapton briefly dated funk singer Betty Davis. In an interview with The Sunday Times , Clapton admitted he was abusive to Boyd when he was a "full-blown" alcoholic.
Although both were married to other partners at the time, they had a daughter in January She was named Ruth Kelly Clapton, but her existence was kept from the public until the media realized she was his child in Clapton and Boyd tried unsuccessfully to have children, even trying in vitro fertilisation in , but were faced instead with miscarriages. In Clapton, then 53, met year-old administrative assistant Melia McEnery in Columbus, Ohio , at a party given for him after a performance. He quietly dated her for a year, and went public with the relationship in Clapton is a supporter of the Countryside Alliance , which promotes issues relating to the British countryside.
He has played in concerts to raise funds for the organisation and publicly opposed the Labour Party 's ban on fox hunting with the Hunting Act. A spokesperson for Clapton said, "Eric supports the Countryside Alliance. He doesn't hunt himself, but does enjoy rural pursuits such as fishing and shooting. He supports the Alliance's pursuit to scrap the ban on the basis that he doesn't agree with the state's interference with people's private pursuits". On 5 August , Clapton provoked an uproar and lingering controversy when he spoke out against increasing immigration during a concert in Birmingham.
Visibly intoxicated, Clapton voiced his support of controversial political candidate Enoch Powell , and announced on stage that Britain was in danger of becoming a "black colony". Among other things, Clapton said, "Keep Britain white! In an interview from October with Sounds magazine, Clapton said that he was not a political person and that his rambling remarks that night were not appropriate. It would make no sense. Since the s, Clapton considered himself a "car enthusiast" and often stated his passion for the Ferrari brand. In , Clapton was appointed a director of Clouds House , a UK treatment centre for drug and alcohol dependence, and served on their board until In , he established the Crossroads Centre in Antigua to help others overcome their addictions to drugs and alcohol and is active in its management oversight and fundraising to the present day.
Items included his guitar from the Cream reunion tour in , speaker cabinets used in the early s from his days with Derek and the Dominos, and some guitars from Jeff Beck, J. Cale, and Joe Bonamassa.