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Publisher's Summary

Eric Clapton is far more than a rock star. Like Dylan and McCartney, he is an icon and a living legend. He has sold tens of millions of records, played sell-out concerts all over the world, and been central to the significant musical developments of his era. His guitar playing has seen him hailed as "God". Tracks such as "Layla", "Sunshine of Your Love", "Wonderful Tonight", and "Tears in Heaven" have become anthems for generations of music fans. Now, for the first time, Eric tells the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty, and painfully honest autobiography.

Eric was born illegitimate in 1945 and raised by his grandparents. He never knew his father, and until the age of nine believed his absentee mother to be his sister. In his teens his solace was the guitar, and he soon became a cult hero in the club circuits of Britain. With the foundation of the world's first super-group, Cream, in 1966, he became a world superstar.

But the rock-star lifestyle has had a darker side. In more than 40 years at the forefront of his profession, he has twice survived near fatal addictions to drugs and alcohol, the death of his four-year-old son, the deaths of friends such as Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, the break-up of marriage, and the disintegration of relationships with a succession of beautiful women.

These are the memoirs of a survivor, someone who has reached the pinnacle of success, who has had it all, but whose demons have never left him. At the age of 62, Eric is now ready to tell his story as it is, hiding nothing, with a directness and searing honesty that will make this book one of the most compelling memoirs of our time.

©2007 Eric Clapton (P)2007 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Engrossing....some overwhelmingly poignant and wrenching personal meditations make the book a success." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Both the youthful excesses and the current calm state are narrated with an engaging tone that nudges Clapton's story ahead of other rock 'n' roll memoirs." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Just go on Wikipedia

This is incredibly brief and barely goes into any detail around his life or his work.

It's almost as if it's a readying of his Wikipedia page

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Learned a lot about Clapton.

Really enjoyed the book. Certainly lived a rock n roll life style! I am a bit of a cream fan but didn't realise how much other stuff Clapton had done. Enjoyed discovering music like Delaney and Bonnie. Also interesting to hear about things like George Harrison writing Here comes the Sun on Eric's Lawn. Bill Nighy was great to listen too.

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Quick listen... But what a listen!!

I didn't know anything about Eric Clapton before listening to his audible biography but I am over the moon I did! It is only 5 and a half hours long but the things he has achieved and his humble beginnings make for a great listen!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-12-2017

compelling

I loved Bill s narration
very interesting life storey told in a very honest And understated way

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  • Looshbaby
  • 18-07-2013

Fascinating, Turbulent

Would you listen to Eric Clapton again? Why?

Yes, I love historical factual accounts of famous people no matter what the career, especially if it seems to be a balanced and real account, as this seems to be.

What did you like best about this story?

The journey, good and bad, it is a very interesting life, and as i listened, i was taken through a journey myself, of emotional responses to the good, bad, ugly, honest, etc.

Have you listened to any of Bill Nighy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, he is fantastic, but needs to say Steve Lukather correctly.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Behind The Face

Any additional comments?

Loved it despite being shocked at some of the content. I shouldn't be amazed at the life of a Rock Star, with all the trappings, but i was.

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  • Phil
  • 24-01-2013

Absolutely Brilliant!!!!

This is the greatest hands down rock bio I have ever listened too. I knew very little about the man and was blown away. Fans of his work, the man or just a great story will enjoy this. To be able to still go on after so much tragedy in his life is inspiring. PLUS Nighy's performance is wicked!

Do yourself a favour!

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  • Regan
  • 04-12-2012

Amazing!

Would you listen to Eric Clapton again? Why?

Yes of course, being a huge Clapton fan myself. Found this book to be a wonderful insight into the mind of the master. I have listened to it 3 times now and am still loving it.

Have you listened to any of Bill Nighy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I wish i had, one of the best readings i have ever heard.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes but unfortunately i hardly have 5 hours completely spare haha.

Any additional comments?

Definately recommended

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  • Merle
  • 25-06-2012

so honest!

that a man can be so talented and his own worst enemy at the same time, the world could have been so deprived. Eric Clapton balances the telling of his personal struggles with his exciting musical life very well, but I suspect his miraculous rehabilitation was the real story he wished to share.

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  • Scott
  • 24-04-2012

Eric was brutally honest.

Would you listen to Eric Clapton again? Why?

Yes, I will get more out of the each time I listen to it. He had too much going on to get it all in one read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Eric, but the whole story is amazing.

What does Bill Nighy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think as I remember it Bill was one the people that snappen Eric out of his death spiral. He was one the good influence at a time , when there were so bad around him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The chapter where Eric lost his son when he fell to his death.

Any additional comments?

I loved the Eric Clapton story & I will listen to again in the next 6 months to see what else I can find out about the man. It has been a fasinating life, I am glad they put into a audio book.

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  • shuggs
  • 27-02-2014

GOOD BOOK

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Enjoyed this.My only slight criticism is the sudden jump from getting his first guitar to almost skipping straight to joining the yardbirds.As a guitarist myself i would have loved to hear much more of his private practice and teaching himself to play and the hundreds and then thousands of hours sat alone learning to play the very basics up to honing your craft and finding an individual style.It does not really hit upon how much time you have to put aside just to become an ordinary guitarist never mind a great world famous one.I have recommended this to a couple of people who want to learn guitar,and was hoping it would tell them just how long it takes to learn this complex instrument as they are under the impression that you can play stunning guitar riffs like your heroes after a month or two when we all know that even the best out there have spent years learning.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-10-2018

A great read

First autobiography I read and I'm glad it was Clapton, he's very humble and factual which I liked. Goes into detail about guitars and music but not so much that you are swamped with facts and things you don't understand. Didn't speak about Cream that much which was a bit of a disappointment.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-10-2018

Not enough 'Sunshine' here...

This isn't so much a book as a synopsis! It's an overview of a life rather than a detailed account.

I read/listen to a lot of Music Biographies, not necessarily by people that I'm a huge fan of, but generally always enjoy the experience, and find new or renewed respect for the subject and their work. That wasn't the case here I'm sorry to say.

This Autobiography clocks in at under 6 hours, which considering that it covers a 50 year career, demonstrates how little Eric Clapton has to say.

Whoever bought Bill Nighy in to narrate this short story made a great choice. They were obviously influenced in the decision by Bill's portrayals of Ray Simms in 'Still Crazy', and Billy Mack in 'Love Actually', both self centred, fading rock stars with too high an opinion of themselves. Even Bill starts to sound bored though, when he has to say "and I had the time of my life" for a few times too many.

Some of the early recollections here are interesting, EC's time with John Mayall and the formation of Cream, although I didn't learn much that I hadn't read elsewhere.

Prior to this, I listened to Bruce Dickinson's Book 'What Does This Button Do?' and although I'm not an Iron Maiden fan, I found it very enjoyable, and had fun referencing tracks on Spotify to accompany sections about particular periods. As a lifelong Cream fan, I was hoping to find this just as riveting... sadly not.

If you want to learn about Cream, go for Harry Shapiro's excellent biography of Jack Bruce, or Ginger Baker's 'Hellraiser'. Both, I suspect, more interesting people and far better writers in each case.

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  • Mr. P. J. Davis
  • 03-10-2018

A true Master of his craft!

An insightful account of his turbulent life and wide musical career. Humble story full of struggle but concluding with peace.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robbie Kelly
  • 28-08-2018

A fantastic audio book.

I loved this audio book. Beautifully read with brutally honest content. Thoroughly interesting from start to finish.

I wouldn't describe myself as a massive fan of the author, yet it held my attention so much that I finished it in two sittings.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-07-2018

great to learn about a legend. very insightful

great story insightful view of a legend. great listen I wish he has more stories

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  • CG
  • 01-03-2018

Deeply honest

A deeply revealing and honest story of Eric Clapton’s life - an incredibly touching and moving account of the real life of life in the the limelight and on the road. Beautifully read.

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  • CAE
  • 04-11-2017

Life Changing.

An incredible insight into one of the greatest musicians of our time. A warming, yet raw account of his life. The good, the bad and the challenges, which in my opinion makes him an incredible role model and accessible human. Spiritual.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-02-2017

Long live slow hand

I can whole heartedly say that I Loved every second of this audio book, a great insight to one of the best musicians this little blue planet of ours has or ever will see

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  • John
  • 18-07-2016

A very honest memiore from a talented musician

An very enthralling look at his life which, If like me, you remember some of the events when they happened will bring back memories of your own life.