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Guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Clapton's 1992 single "Tears in Heaven" became a top five hit. It was written about the death of his son.
B.B. King - Lucille (1:36)
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Eric Clapton recalls having his world turned upside down upon hearing the album, "Music from Big Pink," by The Band.
A sudden blazing bar fire in Twist, Arkansas leads to the naming of one of the world's most famous guitars, B.B. King's "Lucille."
A short biography of John Lennon, from his superstardom with the Beatles to his fame as a solo artist and social activist, to his marriage to Yoko Ono. In 1980, Lennon was gunned down by Mark David Chapman.
George Harrison on the day in Albert Hall when Bob Dylan went electric, ending the folk music scene.
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Born on March 30, 1945, in Surrey, England, this musician is ranked among the greatest rock and roll guitarists of all time, with songs such as "Layla," "Crossroads" and "Wonderful Tonight."
"People who tend to go after money as a solution for whatever they feel they lack had better be careful what they pray for, because they just may get it."
One of the great rock and roll guitarists of all time, Eric Patrick Clapton was born March 30, 1945, in Ripley, Surrey, England. Clapton's mother, Patricia Molly Clapton, was only 16 years old at the time of his birth; his father, Edward Walter Fryer, was a 24-year-old Canadian soldier stationed in the United Kingdom during World War II. Fryer returned to Canada, where he was already married to another woman, before Clapton's birth.
A single teenage mother, Patricia Clapton was unprepared to raise a child on her own, so her mother and stepfather, Rose and Jack Clapp, raised Clapton as their own. Although they never legally adopted him, Clapton grew up under the impression that his grandparents were his parents and that his mother was his older sister. Clapton's last name comes from his grandfather, Patricia's father, Reginald Cecil Clapton.
Eric Clapton grew up in a very musical household. His grandmother was a skilled pianist, and his mother and uncle both enjoyed listening to big-band music. As it turns out, Clapton's absent father was also a talented pianist who had played in several dance bands while stationed in Surrey. Around the age of 8, Clapton discovered the earth-shattering truth that the people he believed were his parents were actually his grandparents and that the woman he considered his older sister was in fact his mother. Clapton later recalled, "The truth dawned on me, that when Uncle Adrian jokingly called me a little bastard, he was telling the truth."
The young Clapton, until then a good student and well-liked boy, grew sullen and reserved and lost all motivation to do his schoolwork. He describes a moment shortly after learning the news of his parentage: "I was playing around with my grandma's compact, with a little mirror you know, and I saw myself in two mirrors for the first time and I don't know about you but it was like hearing your voice on a tape machine for the first... and I didn't, I, I was so upset. I saw a receding chin and a broken nose and I thought my life is over." Clapton failed the important 11-plus exams that determine admission to secondary school. However, he showed a high aptitude for art, so at the age of 13 he enrolled in the art branch of the Holyfield Road School.
By that time, 1958, rock and roll had exploded onto the British music scene; for his 13th birthday, Clapton asked for a guitar. He received a cheap German-made Hoyer, and finding the steel-stringed guitar difficult and painful to play, he soon set it aside. At the age of 16, he gained acceptance into the Kingston College of Art on a one-year probation; it was there, surrounded by teenagers with musical tastes similar to his own, that Clapton really took to the instrument. Clapton was especially taken with the blues guitar played by musicians such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Alexis Korner.
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They've set their instruments on fire, broken them over their heads, played them behind their backs, learned how to make them screech, and—above all—shown the world what it means to truly rock a guitar. Here is a group of some of the most legendary guitarists of the modern era.
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The 1960s were a time of significant cultural and social change in London. The post-World War II era, coined "Swinging London," saw a youth-driven shift in culture, from old to new. Symbolized by famous faces like English supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy to "British Invasion" rock bands like the Beatles and Cream, the era created a fresh and modern approach to everything from fashion to music to cultural attitudes. Biography.com looks at the inspirational forces behind the "Swinging London" revolution.
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