Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Review of "Clapton, The Autobiography"

It's summer and like most of you, I am catching up on my reading list. Over the past years, several of my music friends highly recommended Eric Clapton's autobiography that was first published in 2007.  I finally got a chance to read it. Although this book became a New York Times bestseller, I personally  found it somewhat disappointing and not at all uplifting. I will give Clapton a good deal of credit for doing the writing himself and not going with the guest-writer route that most rock stars have used.  However, Clapton's lack of writing skills resulted in a book that was somewhat boring in parts for the reader.  That said, Clapton's honesty about his own shortcomings and his love for the blues and the major players that influenced his career makes the book "a must" for all Clapton fans.

 Eric painted a life story of a troubled young boy with an identity problem who evolved into a chauvinistic unhappy narcissist. It seemed to me that Clapton's life was consumed by the need to capture things and people he wanted and once he got them he lost interest which is what occurred with his relationship with Pattie Boyd. However, on a positive note, his description of his burning love for Pattie Boyd while she was still married to George Harrison produced his outstanding song "Layla".

Like most of the rock stars of the 70's, Clapton goes into great detail about his addictions that somehow did not kill him until he finally turned the corner and cleaned up.  I found his comments about his thoughts and relationship with other extraordinary musicians like the Stones, the Beatles, B.B. King, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan very interesting. I was disappointed that Clapton did not spend more time writing about his wonderful guitar playing.  I think it would have greatly added to the enjoyment of the book.

Music Man Awards This Book "2 Quarter Notes"

4 Quarter Notes= Excellent Book, Must Read
3 Quarter Notes= Good Book
2 Quarter Notes= Somewhat Interesting
1 Quarter Notes= Save Your Time and Money


  1. Pattie Boyd's book, "Wonderful Tonight," came out at just about the same time, and they make pretty good companion reads...neither of them glosses over the truth, it seems, because their recollections of things match right up.

  2. Dear Victor: Thanks for the heads up on the Pattie Boyd book. It is already on my "TO DO" list. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Famous people have always been fascinating because to most of us they are living the life that we only dream about. It's always surprising to read an autobiography and find out that it's not always as dreamy as it seems. I just finished reading a couple of interesting autobiographies i found on all you can books of which I can definitely recommend "MyLife" by Richard Wagner.

  4. Hi Connor: Just checked out "all you can books" but had trouble getting anything on it except the list of the "25 greatest books ever written" Is this a new site? I did find some information about the Wagner Bio "My Life" on the net and will put it on my "must read" list. Thanks for your comment and the information on the Wagner book.


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