Brush up on your knowledge of the three time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
Guitar legend Eric Clapton has announced he’s might be quitting touring after over 50 years on the road. The 69 year revealed in a recent interview with Uncut magazine that touring had become “unbearable” and “unapproachable.” So in celebration of Clapton’s lengthily live career (including his Glasgow gig earlier in the week) we’ve dug up some interesting facts about the guitarist. Here’s 10 things you might now know about Slowhands.
Clapton might be about to give up touring for good
1. Clapton could have been a stained glass artist
Clapton studied stained-glass design at the Kingston College of art in 1961, but ended up being dismissed after a year because his focus was too much on music. After his dismissal, he began busking in the Kingston area, where the 16 year old self taught guitarist’s playing had become so advanced that he was started to get major attention.
2. Slowhand Clapton
Clapton might be known for his fast guitar playing, but his nickname is actually ‘Slowhands’. The name was given to him by The Yardbirds' manager, Giorgio Gomelsky in 1964. The story goes that the name came about because whenever a string broke on one of his guitars, Clapton would stay on stage to replace it, causing the audience to break out into a slow clap.
3. Clapton is god?
In the mid 1960s when Clapton was playing with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, a fan sprayed graffiti in Islington which read ‘Clapton is god’. A photographer snapped the image and thus the Clapton legend began growing.
4. He wrote ‘Layla’ about George Harrison’s wife
The Clapton classic ‘Layla’ was inspired by Eric’s unrequited love for his friend George Harrison’s wife, model Pattie Boyd. Eventually Harrison and Boyd divorced and she subsequently married Clapton in 1979. Amazingly Clapton and Harrison remained friends and the former Beatle even attended the couple’s wedding party. However Clapton and Boyd’s marriage didn't last and they eventually divorced in 1988.
5. He once hit Shirley MacLaine with a pie
Clapton appeared in the bizarre 1970’s short film Circasia, where he played a clown alongside Sean Connery. In one scene, Clapton and actor Burgess Meredith surprised Shirley by drunkenly hitting her in the face with a cream pie. The actress was furious and reportedly refused to speak to Clapton for months. This is one that's worth checking out, here.
6. He’a a three time inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Clapton has had more Hall of Fame inductions than any other artist, with a total of three. He’s been honoured as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream as well as being inducted as a solo artist.
7. He once dated Sheryl Crow
Though they tried to keep their relationship quiet, Clapton and Crowe briefly dated back in 1996. Crow’s song ‘My Favourite Mistake’, off her 1998 album The Globe Sessions, is widely thought to be about her relationship with Clapton.
8. Clapton has a drug rehab center
After struggling with addiction for years and finally getting clean, Clapton opened his own rehab center, Crossroads in 1998. The exclusive live in center is located on the island of Antigua, with Clapton saying he believed island’s serenity and isolation made it perfect place for a treatment center.
9. There’s a planet Clapton!
Yes Harvard University named asteroid (or minor planet 4305) after Eric. If your looking for it, 4305 Clapton can be found somewhere in between Mars and Jupiter.
Clapton has quite the Ferrari collection, including a custom model
10. Clapton collects Ferraris
Clapton’s favourite car is a Ferrari, and he loves the expensive model so much he’s become a collector. It’s impossible to list the number of Ferraris Clapton’s had in total, but he does own a special one off model named the SP12 EC. The car was custom made for him in 2010 and was estimated to cost around $4.7million!