5 Things You Might Not Have Known About ERIC CLAPTON

Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Eric Clapton, presenter during 20th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - Show at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Eric Clapton. Just the name alone elicits adulation (and sometimes fear) in the hearts of guitarists and rock fans around the world. As such, his life and career have been exhaustively researched and reported on, from the gossip pages to the various means and methods he's gone about becoming one of the most respected guitar players in history. So you may or may not already know what we're going to talk about today, but please save any questions until the end. Enjoy the ride.

1. Three classic Eric Clapton tracks will get dissected on cable TV this weekend
Eric Clapton: Story of His Songs debuts this Sunday on the REELZ network. The special will take a deep dive into Clapton favorites "Cocaine," "Tears in Heaven" and "In My Father's Eyes" from the perspective of those who would know. Former bandmates including Marcella Detroit, Nathan East and producer Simon Climie are among the luminaries who talk about the often harsh realities inside the songs. The show premieres this Sunday, April 4 at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.

2. Clapton laid down some blistering guitars for Aretha Franklin in 1967
Franklin was already a huge solo star, and Clapton a member of Cream and just 22 years old when Ahmet Ertegun tapped him play on her 12th studio album, Lady Soul, released in January 1968. The session for track "Good to Me As I Am to You" is famous for being Clapton's first official recording session in America as the young hot-shot from overseas. While Franklin and Bobby Womack famously laughed at Clapton's "wild" look, they were immediately impressed with his skills on the guitar.

3. Eric Clapton has hit #1 on the Hot 100 one time to date
While Clapton has come close to scoring the top position a few times, with "Tears in Heaven" peaking at #2 in March 1992, and "Lay Down Sally" reaching #3 in March of 1978, the guitarist has only seen the promised land exactly one time. It was over the week of September 14, 1974, when Clapton had the #1 song in America with his version of Bob Marley and the Wailers' "I Shot the Sheriff." The tune was replaced the following week Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe."

4. Clapton plays on the controversial new Van Morrison song "Stand and Deliver"
Eric Clapton and Van Morrison have much history together, with the pair often sharing the stage in concert. Both artists were among the mob onstage for the Band's legendary "The Last Waltz" show in San Francisco. With Morrison generating headlines and social media outrage with his stance on the pandemic, late last year the singer shared a new song, "Stand and Deliver." The decidedly anti-lockdown anthem features Clapton on guitar. "There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music; he is an inspiration," Clapton said the collaboration, with all proceeds going to Morrison's Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which helps musicians facing difficulties as a result of the coronavirus and resulting lockdown measures. "We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover."

5. Eric Clapton is featured on the new Pedrito Martinez album
Clapton has been a longtime fan of the Cuban folk artist and percussionist, with the guitar hero showing up on three tracks across Martinez's new LP, Acertijos (Riddles). Among the tracks: "Los Ojos de Mi Padre," a Cuban interpretation of Clapton classic, "My Father's Eyes," with EC adding vocals as well as guitars. Listen to all three songs featuring Clapton here.