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Author Topic: Eric Clapton's autobiography  (Read 1585 times)

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harihead

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Eric Clapton's autobiography
« on: October 26, 2007, 07:04:40 PM »

First, does this thread even belong here? Eric talks mostly about his life, but also about the Beatles, particularly George-- which is why I'm reading this book. :) Anyway, my thoughts so far. I'm almost done...

I found Eric Clapton's autobiography, simply entitled Clapton, a very enjoyable read. Eric spends quite a bit of time discussing his philosophy of music and how much it has meant to him, and acknowledging the many friends that he has made and lost in his tumultuous career.

His sobriety, won with such difficulty, occupies a good deal of space in the book. It's funny; reading this book, I feel as if Pattie and Eric's individual therapists told them, "You really ought to write a book. That will help you process everything." Because both books, even though they include happy (and sad) reminisces, do tend to focus on the subject of healing.

However, we must acknowledge that the real reason a person like me is reading Eric Clapton's autobiography is to find out what he says about George and the Beatles. Eric discusses his early career with barely a mention of the Beatles, except to note his disgust at the time with pop as am impure music form. (He then takes shots at his own pomposity.) He does mention how he was getting close to the Rolling Stones, particularly Mick, when this famous incident took place:

"One night the Beatles came in to see the Stones. They'd just released "Please Please Me", which was a huge hit. As they walked up and stood right in front of the stage, all of them wearing a long black leather overcoats and identical haircuts. Even then they had tremendous presence and charisma, but to me the weirdest thing was that they appeared to be wearing their stage outfits, and for some reason that bothered me. But they seemed friendly enough, and there was obviously a mutual admiration thing going on between them and the Stones, so I suppose it was only natural that I would be jealous and think of them as a bunch of wankers."


About falling in love with Pattie:

"I think initially I was motivated by a mixture of lust and envy, but it all changed once I got to know her. I first set eyes on Pattie backstage at the Saville Theatre in London after a Cream concert, and had thought then that she was unusually beautiful. This impression was strengthened by spending time with her. I remember thinking that her beauty was also internal. It wasn't just the way she looked, although she was definitely the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. It was deeper. It came from within her, too. It was just the way she was, and that captivated me. I had never met a woman who was so complete, and I was overwhelmed. I realized that I would have to stop seeing her and George, or give into my emotions and tell her how I felt.
   I also coveted Pattie because she belonged to a powerful man who seemed to have everything I wanted -- amazing cars, an incredible career, and a beautiful wife. This emotion was not new to me. I remember that when my mum came home with her new family, I wanted my half brother's toys because they seemed more expensive and better than mine. It was a feeling that had never gone away, and was definitely part of the way I felt toward Pattie. But for the time being I kept these emotions strictly under lock and key, and buried myself in trying to sort out what I was going to do next musically."


Overall, Eric's book strikes me as very honest, although it does have those tactful omissions. For me this only makes it more readable. Anyway, I'm enjoying the read, and would be happy to provide any additional quotes in this community if asked. Cheers!
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Re: Eric Clapton's autobiography
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2007, 04:18:15 PM »

the death of his son Connor was the most compelling aspect to me(that, and his Yardbirds, Cream AND Blind Faith period) His relationship w/ George & his amorous feelings for Patti were pretty much common knowledge to me already.
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Sea of Time

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Re: Eric Clapton's autobiography
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2008, 10:35:30 PM »

I plan on reading this when one of the libraries around gets a copy in. I don't like much of the work Clapton's done since the mid 80's but I would be interested in reading what he has to say.
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adamzero

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Re: Eric Clapton's autobiography
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 01:22:26 AM »

Quote from: 1036
I plan on reading this when one of the libraries around gets a copy in. I don't like much of the work Clapton's done since the mid 80's but I would be interested in reading what he has to say.

I'm really interested in what he has to say about working with Babyface and his extensive work with Phil Collins.  
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Paul Doherty

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Re: Eric Clapton's autobiography
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 10:18:19 AM »

Theres a bit in it also about doing the show in Toronto with the Plastic Ono band which is interesting.
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WaMoZ

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Re: Eric Clapton's autobiography
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2008, 02:37:14 AM »

Quote from: 551
About falling in love with Pattie:

"I think initially I was motivated by a mixture of lust and envy, but it all changed once I got to know her. I first set eyes on Pattie backstage at the Saville Theatre in London after a Cream concert, and had thought then that she was unusually beautiful. This impression was strengthened by spending time with her. I remember thinking that her beauty was also internal. It wasn't just the way she looked, although she was definitely the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. It was deeper. It came from within her, too. It was just the way she was, and that captivated me. I had never met a woman who was so complete, and I was overwhelmed. I realized that I would have to stop seeing her and George, or give into my emotions and tell her how I felt."
Yes, whenever I see a picture of George and Pattie, I think how on earth did George manage to let that stunning woman go? But I also admire George tremendously for his lack of bitterness and strength of character in retaining his friendship with Eric. I don't know if I could have done the same in his place.

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harihead

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Re: Eric Clapton's autobiography
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2008, 04:42:50 PM »

Many men react as you do, WaMoZ (Tony Barrow for one). But I think you need more than a stunning model to be happy in a mate. Pattie has her charm, but she also comes across as vain, self-absorbed, and completely unable to understand her husband. She has no insights to offer about her relationship with George -- none. She probes into this question in the book, and answers with a resounding, "I dunno."

What I see as the breaking point is that George grew up, abandoning the party circuit and all that worldly stuff, and Pattie still loved it. Repeatedly she talks about how Ronnie and then Eric was so much fun, how she at last "had someone to party with". That was her focus: can I go to the club and get seen and get snockered? She admits in her book she didn't realize there was any other way to be until she hit 50.

Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Many people are party people all their lives. But when you meet so young, as George and Pattie did, and one of you changes--as George did-- well, you drift apart. You can blame it all on George for being the one to change; in the beginning, he was just as much a party boy as an ambitious model could want. But I think Beatlemania was shattering for him. He turned into this serious, self-reflecting person who wanted to find out the meaning of life, because he discovered that what he thought he wanted at 19 was meaningless.

So, this is a long way of getting to your observation, but I think George honestly had good grounds to be unhappy with his wife, so despite the inevitable hurt he could wish her well on a path he was no longer interested in following. They stayed friends, to both of their credit. But I don't think he would be saying to himself, "Dang, I wish I had her back." He'd probably say, "I hope she can be happy doing what she likes, and me, too." And of course with Olivia he found someone who was more aligned with the path he grew into, so I'm confident he never suffered regrets-- other than fixing things we all would fix, if we were granted "do overs".
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All you've got to do is choose love.  That's how I live it now.  I learned a long time ago, I can feed the birds in my garden.  I can't feed them all. -- Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone magazine, May 2007<br />

HeatherBoo

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Re: Eric Clapton's autobiography
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2008, 12:25:06 AM »

Quote from: 551
Many men react as you do, WaMoZ (Tony Barrow for one). But I think you need more than a stunning model to be happy in a mate. Pattie has her charm, but she also comes across as vain, self-absorbed, and completely unable to understand her husband. She has no insights to offer about her relationship with George -- none. She probes into this question in the book, and answers with a resounding, "I dunno."

What I see as the breaking point is that George grew up, abandoning the party circuit and all that worldly stuff, and Pattie still loved it. Repeatedly she talks about how Ronnie and then Eric was so much fun, how she at last "had someone to party with". That was her focus: can I go to the club and get seen and get snockered? She admits in her book she didn't realize there was any other way to be until she hit 50.

Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Many people are party people all their lives. But when you meet so young, as George and Pattie did, and one of you changes--as George did-- well, you drift apart. You can blame it all on George for being the one to change; in the beginning, he was just as much a party boy as an ambitious model could want. But I think Beatlemania was shattering for him. He turned into this serious, self-reflecting person who wanted to find out the meaning of life, because he discovered that what he thought he wanted at 19 was meaningless.

So, this is a long way of getting to your observation, but I think George honestly had good grounds to be unhappy with his wife, so despite the inevitable hurt he could wish her well on a path he was no longer interested in following. They stayed friends, to both of their credit. But I don't think he would be saying to himself, "Dang, I wish I had her back." He'd probably say, "I hope she can be happy doing what she likes, and me, too." And of course with Olivia he found someone who was more aligned with the path he grew into, so I'm confident he never suffered regrets-- other than fixing things we all would fix, if we were granted "do overs".

Very well put.

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Beatlemania31

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Re: Eric Clapton's autobiography
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2008, 01:44:43 AM »

Agreed, HeatherBoo. I love that book, it was amazing. It just came out on paperback too.
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