Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images
Today Eric Clapton turns 77-years-old. Clapton is a man that needs no introduction as he has been gracing the world with his awe-inspiring rock ‘n’ roll for about six decades. Not surprisingly, Rolling Stone listed him second on their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list with only Jimi Hendrix ahead of him.
Eric Clapton was born on March 30th, 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England. He started playing guitar as a teenager with a heavy emphasis in blues, and by 16 he was becoming noticed for his advanced talent. After getting expelled from Kingston College of Art in the early ’60s for focusing too much on music, Clapton realized the path he was meant to take. With more spare time, he began playing in local bands around the city until he got his biggest break when he joined The Yardbirds in 1963. Following The Yardbirds, Clapton would lead an impressive career with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie, Derek & The Dominos, and with his successful solo career that is still continuing in the present day.
To celebrate the birthday of the guitar legend, here are some fun facts you might not have known about Eric Clapton:
- Eric Clapton is an EXTREME football fan.
- Clapton’s nickname “Slowhand” came about during his time in The Yardbirds. He was known to break his strings often from playing so aggressively so his audience would “slow clap” while patiently waiting for him to change his strings.
- It is rumored that Sheryl Crow’s song My Favorite Mistake is based on Clapton. Although Crow has denied these claims, the myth is still believed by many fans.
- Before actively perusing music, Clapton studied to become a stained-glass designer.
- Clapton is a Ferrari collector.
- Harvard University named minor planet 4305 “4305 Clapton” after the guitarist when it was discovered in 1976.
- When he first started playing guitar at 13, he quit for a couple years because he thought it was too difficult.
- Clapton has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame three times (for The Yardbirds, Cream, and his solo career).
- Clapton, a close friend of George Harrison, played the guitar solo on The Beatles’ While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
- Throughout his childhood, Clapton believed his grandparents who raised him were his actual parents. He would find out later that his “older sister” Patricia was his true mother who had an affair with a married man and became pregnant with Eric at the age of 16.
Watch Eric Clapton perform Layla live in 1975 here: