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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 (1:37)
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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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After the breakup of Cream, Clapton formed yet another band, Blind Faith, but the group broke up after only one album and a disastrous American tour. Then, in 1970, he formed Derek and the Dominos, and went on to compose and record one of the seminal albums of rock history, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. A concept album about unrequited love, Clapton wrote Layla to express his desperate affection for Pattie Boyd,
the wife of the Beatles' George Harrison. The album was critically acclaimed but a commercial failure, and in its aftermath a depressed and lonely Clapton deteriorated into three years of heroin addiction.
Clapton finally kicked his drug habit and reemerged onto the music scene in 1974 with two concerts at London's Rainbow Theater organized by his friend Pete Townshend of The Who. Later that year he released 461 Ocean Boulevard, featuring one his most popular singles, a cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff." The album marked the beginning of a remarkably prolific solo career during which Clapton has produced notable album after notable album. Highlights include No Reason to Cry (1976), featuring "Hello Old Friend"; Slowhand (1977), featuring "Cocaine" and "Wonderful Tonight"; and Behind the Sun (1985), featuring "She's Waiting" and "Forever Man."
Despite his great musical productivity during these years, Clapton's personal life remained in woeful disarray. In 1979, five years after her divorce from his friend George Harrison, Pattie Boyd (of "Layla" fame) finally did marry Eric Clapton. However, by this time Clapton had simply replaced his heroin addiction with alcoholism, and his drinking placed a constant strain on their relationship. He was an unfaithful husband and conceived two children with other women during their marriage.
A yearlong affair with Yvonne Kelly produced a daughter, Ruth, in 1985, and an affair with Italian model Lory Del Santo led to a son, Conor, in 1986. Clapton and Boyd divorced in 1989. In 1991, Eric Clapton's son Conor died when he fell out of the window of his mother's apartment. The tragedy took a heavy toll on Eric Clapton and also inspired one of his most beautiful and heartfelt songs, "Tears in Heaven."
In 1987, with the help of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Clapton finally quit drinking and has remained sober ever since. Being sober for the first time in his adult life allowed Clapton to achieve the kind of personal happiness he had never known before. In 2002, he married Melia McEnery, and together they have three daughters, Julie Rose, Ella Mae and Sophie.
Ranked the fourth greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, Clapton is an 18-time Grammy Award winner and the only triple inductee of the Rock and Roll of Fame (as a member of The Yardbirds, as a member of Cream and as a solo artist). He continues to record music and tour relentlessly while also performing extensive charity work.
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