Today is Eric Clapton’s birthday. What should I write about? His perceived racism? As he told a concert audience in 1976, “Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white.” In Clapton’s 2007 autobiography, cleverly entitled Clapton: The Autobiography, Clapton says of that outburst “Since then I have learned to keep my opinions to myself.” Okay, that’s one lesson. Any other lessons, blues guitarist whose first top ten hit under his name was a reggae cover?
Nah, I’m not going to write about Eric Clapton’s perceived racism. I’ll write about how much I hate the song “Wonderful Tonight.” “You look wonderful tonight.” Last night you looked like shit. And you’ll probably look like shit again tomorrow. I know I said I feel wonderful tonight, but truth is I have a headache, so drive me home, woman! He’s a catch.
You know what? I’m not going to talk about that, either. Instead I’ll tell you about the time I went to one of Eric Clapton’s homes in England. I met with his manager there in the early part of this century. In the room where we chatted were Eric’s Grammy Awards. Some were on a bookshelf, some were on the floor next to the couch. They weren’t arranged in any way. They lay there haphazardly, as if nobody had time to put them back in their proper place since the earthquake hit in 1990. I wish I had a photo taken of me holding his Grammys, but I didn’t. I acted in a professional manner. I hate that about myself. Beats being perceived as racist, though.
Here are thirty career highlights of Eric Clapton:
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