March 30: Happy 70th Birthday Eric Clapton

eric clapton

 I am, and always will be, a blues guitarist.
~Eric Clapton

“I found my God in music and the arts, with writers like Hermann Hesse, and musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Walter. In some way, in some form, my God was always there, but now I have learned to talk to him.”
~Eric Clapton

….Paul Simon writes great songs. George Harrison great songs, a lot of people, Eric Clapton produces wonderful music.
~Bob Dylan (Press Conference, July 1981)

Robbie Robertson inducts Eric Clapton Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000:

Check out:

Birth name Eric Patrick Clapton
Also known as Slowhand
Born March 30, 1945 (age 70)
Ripley, Surrey, England, UK
Genres Rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, artist
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, mandolin
Years active 1962–present

Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, (born 30 March 1945) is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth in Gibson’s Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.

eric clapton2

In the mid-1960s, Clapton departed from the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. In his one-year stay with Mayall, Clapton gained the nickname “Slowhand” Check the comments for an update on the subject. Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton joined Cream, a power trio with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop.” For most of the 1970s, Clapton’s output bore the influence of the mellow style of J.J. Cale and the reggae of Bob Marley. His version of Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” helped reggae reach a mass market. Two of his most popular recordings were “Layla”, recorded by Derek and the Dominos, another band he formed, and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”, recorded by Cream. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Clapton’s grief was expressed in the song “Tears in Heaven”, which featured in his Unplugged album.

Tears in heaven (live 1999, NYC)

A recipient of seventeen Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, in 2004 Clapton was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. In 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers.

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Eric Clapton – Nothing But The Blues – Full Concert (1994) [HQ]

“PBS In the Spotlight” – Nothing But the Blues
Recorded at The Fillmore
San Francisco, CA
November 8-9, 1994

Directed By Martin Scorsese

Standin’ Round Crying 6:49
Fory Four 12:23
It Hurts Me Too 16:44
Early In The Morning 20:25
Five Long Years 26:39
Crossroads 31:47
Malted Milk 38:56
Motherless Child 45:08
Reconsider Baby 50:05
Everyday I have The Blues 55:18
Someday After A While 1:00:12
Have You Ever Loved A Woman 1:05:37
Groaning The Blues 1:14:22
Ain’t Nobody’s Business 1:21:37

The Band:

  • Eric Clapton – Guitar, Vocals
  • Andy Fairweather Low – Rhythm Guitar
  • Jerry Portnoy – Harmonica
  • Chris Stainton – Keyboards
  • Dave Bronze – Bass
  • Andy Newmark – Drums
  • Roddy Lorimer – Trumpet
  • Tim Sanders – Tenor Sax
  • Simon Clarke – Baritone Sax

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – All Your Love:

Album of the day

Slowhand (1977)



..Slowhand opens with the relaxed, bluesy shuffle of J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” and sustains it throughout the course of the album. Alternating between straight blues (“Mean Old Frisco”), country (“Lay Down Sally”), mainstream rock (“Cocaine,” “The Core”), and pop (“Wonderful Tonight”), Slowhand doesn’t sound schizophrenic because of the band’s grasp of the material. This is laid-back virtuosity — although Clapton and his band are never flashy, their playing is masterful and assured. That assurance and the album’s eclectic material make Slowhand rank with 461 Ocean Boulevard as Eric Clapton’s best albums.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (

Other March 30:

  • Norah Jones (born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar; March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress. She is the daughter of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. She is also Anoushka Shankar’s half-sister.norahJones
  • John Lee Curtis “Sonny Boy” Williamson (March 30, 1914 – June 1, 1948) was an American blues harmonica player and singer, and the first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson.sonny boy willamson1
  • Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, known for her singles “Fast Car”, “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution”, “Baby Can I Hold You”, “Crossroads”, “Give Me One Reason” and “Telling Stories”. She is a multi-platinum and four-timeGrammy Award-winning artist.Tracy_Chapman_3

-Egil & Hallgeir

2 thoughts on “March 30: Happy 70th Birthday Eric Clapton”

  1. Another good post. Eric got the name Slowhand during his Yardbirds days, or maybe even before that. He’s introduced as ‘Eric Slowhand Clapton’ on the Five Live Yardbirds album from 1964.

    1. Thank you I will update the post, I needed to check this out. Here’s what I found (


      The Yardbirds’ manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, gave Eric Clapton the nickname “Slowhand” in early 1964.

      The Yardbirds rhythm guitarist, Chris Dreja, recalled that whenever Eric Clapton broke a guitar string during a concert, Eric would stay on stage and replace it. The English audiences would wait out the delay by doing a “slow handclap”. [The British colloquialism is “to be given the slowhand”.]

      Clapton told his official biographer, Ray Coleman, in the mid-80s that “My nickname of ‘Slowhand’ came from Giorgio Gomelsky. He coined it as a good pun. He kept saying I was a fast player, so he put together the slow handclap phrase into ‘Slowhand’ as a play on words.”

      In a June 1999 online chat, Clapton gave a slightly different version of how his nickname came about: “I think it might have been a play on words from the “Clap” part of my name. In England, in sport, if the crowd is getting anxious, we have a slow handclap, which indicates boredom or frustration. But it wasn’t my idea it was someone else’s comment.”

      In Clapton – The Autobiography (2007), Eric had this to say, “On my guitar I used light-gauge guitar strings, with a very thin first string, which made it easier to bend the notes, and it was not uncommon during the most frenetic bits of playing for me to break at least one string. During the pause while I was changing my string, the frenzied audience would often break into a slow handclap, inspiring Giorgio to dream up the nickname of ‘Slowhand’ Clapton.”

      – Hallgeir

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