The Autobiography

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.

“I found a pattern in my behavior that had been repeating itself for years, decades even. Bad choices were my specialty, and if something honest and decent came along, I would shun it or run the other way.”

With striking intimacy and candor, Eric Clapton tells the story of his eventful and inspiring life in this poignant and honest autobiography. More than a rock star, he is an icon, a living embodiment of the history of rock music. Well known for his reserve in a profession marked by self-promotion, flamboyance, and spin, he now chronicles, for the first time, his remarkable personal and professional journeys.

Born illegitimate in 1945 and raised by his grandparents, Eric never knew his father and, until the age of nine, believed his actual mother to be his sister. In his early teens his solace was the guitar, and his incredible talent would make him a cult hero in the clubs of Britain and inspire devoted fans to scrawl “Clapton is God” on the walls of London’s Underground. With the formation of Cream, the world's first supergroup, he became a worldwide superstar, but conflicting personalities tore the band apart within two years. His stints in Blind Faith, in Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, and in Derek and the Dominos were also short-lived but yielded some of the most enduring songs in history, including the classic “Layla.”

During the late sixties he played as a guest with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, as well as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and longtime friend George Harrison. It was while working with the latter that he fell for George’s wife, Pattie Boyd, a seemingly unrequited love that led him to the depths of despair, self-imposed seclusion, and drug addiction. By the early seventies he had overcome his addiction and released the bestselling album 461 Ocean Boulevard, with its massive hit “I Shot the Sheriff.” He followed that with the platinum album Slowhand, which included “Wonderful Tonight,” the touching love song to Pattie, whom he finally married at the end of 1979. A short time later, however, Eric had replaced heroin with alcohol as his preferred vice, following a pattern of behavior that not only was detrimental to his music but contributed to the eventual breakup of his marriage.
In the eighties he would battle and begin his recovery from alcoholism and become a father. But just as his life was coming together, he was struck by a terrible blow: His beloved four-year-old son, Conor, died in a freak accident. At an earlier time Eric might have coped with this tragedy by fleeing into a world of addiction. But now a much stronger man, he took refuge in music, responding with the achingly beautiful “Tears in Heaven.”

Clapton is the powerfully written story of a survivor, a man who has achieved the pinnacle of success despite extraordinary demons. It is one of the most compelling memoirs of our time.

Baker & Taylor
The legendary guitarist recounts the story of his life and his career, recalling his work with the Yardbirds, Cream, and as a solo artist; years of drug and alcohol abuse; failed marriage to Patti Boyd; and the accidental death of his young son.

& Taylor

The legendary rock musician and influential guitarist candidly recounts the story of his life and his career in his own words, recalling his rise to success in the music world; work with the Yardbirds, Cream, and as a solo artist; years of drug and alcohol abuse; failed marriage to George Harrison's ex-wife Patti Boyd; the accidental death of his young son; and beyond. 350,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c2007
ISBN: 9780385518512
Branch Call Number: 782.42166092 Clapt
Characteristics: viii, 343 p. : ill


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 19, 2018

A forthright and apparently honest account of the Artist life of music and battle with addictions. I am biased as I am a huge fan but the book spells out quite clearly why you should never meet your hero. A straight forward narrative that moves along at a steady pace. Worth reading if you are interested in the artist or the beginnings of the British Rock and Roll era.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

“Clapton is God” was the legend that began in the London Underground in the 60s. Yet guitar “gods” are often very imperfect people and Clapton spent the better part of 20 years either stoned or drunk while producing some of the finest music in existence. Now clean and sober for over 20 years, and a devoted family man, he recounts his harrowing yet inspirational tale of one man’s fight with his many demons.

Jul 04, 2012

i've gotten less information on rocks than on mr clapton. still a good book by a brilliant (if troubled ) musician.

Dec 30, 2011

Somewhat boring. I was expecting to learn more about his music and the relationships he formed along the way with many noteworthy rock icons --- like George Harrison. Too much of this book was spent describing his addictions and his recovery centre, Crossroads, located in Antigua.

Jul 04, 2008

Readable, self-absorbed, not always a nice guy, forthright. He was at an important time in rock and roll.

Jan 13, 2008

I have to give credit to Clapton for his honesty. However, his level of social immaturity is appalling, and it's almost unbelievable how much of his life he spent drunk or stoned or both. It's eye-opening what happens when someone like Clapton gets everything he wants, whenever he wants it and how childish he is. Despite all of this, the book is worth reading. A review of this book could be summed up: drugs, sex, and rock and roll.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at IPL

To Top