Presentation on theme: "Eric Clapton A rock and roll legend. CHILDHOOD Eric Patrick Clapton was born in Ripley, England, a village located in the county of Surrey. His mother,"— Presentation transcript:
CHILDHOOD Eric Patrick Clapton was born in Ripley, England, a village located in the county of Surrey. His mother, Patricia Clapton, gave birth to Eric at the age of 16. His father was Edward Fryer, a 24-year-old Canadian soldier stationed in England during WWII. Clapton grandparents decided to raise him as surrogate parents. He actually believed his mother was his sister until he was nine years old. This strange revelation transformed Eric into a moody, distant boy. His youth was so consumed with playing and listening to the blues that his school work suffered as a result.
Adolescence At the age of 16, Eric purchased his first electric guitar (a double cutaway kay). A year later he joined his first band, The Roosters. After less than a year the band split up and Eric joined the pop oriented Casey Jones and the Engineers. After only a month, Eric moved on from that band as well. In October of 1963, at the age of 17, Eric was recruited into the band The Yardbirds. During his time with the Yardbirds Clapton earned his nickname “slowhand”.
Clapton AKA “God” In 1965 Eric was recruited into John Mayall’s band, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. It was while in this band that Clapton earned the nickname “God.” After about a year, Clapton left the band and formed Cream with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. The band experienced massive success and world-wide popularity in their brief two year life as a band. After Cream’s break up in 1968, Clapton formed Blind Faith, rock’s first “super group.” Unlike Eric’s past success with the Yardbirds and Cream, Blind Faith achieved much less acclaim and disbanded after only one unsuccessful tour and album.
Derek and the Dominos After the demise of Blind Faith, Clapton formed Derek and the Dominos with Jim Gordon, Carl Radle and Bobby Whitlock. Here Clapton created one of his most famous and heartfelt songs, “Layla”. This song was inspired by and written for Patti Boyd, George Harrison’s wife. George and Eric were good friends and Eric had fallen in love with Patti sometime in the late 1960’s. Layla was a sort of plea towards Patti. Subsequently, Eric and Patti ended up getting married in 1979 and later divorced in 1988.
“Tears in Heaven” After Derek and the Dominos broke up, Eric slipped into a depression and three year heroin addiction. All the while he remained secluded in his Surrey estate, writing music. In 1973 and after three years, Eric was able to overcome his heroin addiction and returned to music. Beginning with his 1974 album 461 Ocean Boulevard, Eric began to reinvent himself musically. His subsequent albums up through 1992 were all successes including his Grammy award winning single “Tears in Heaven,” a song inspired by and written for his son Connor. His son Connor tragically died in 1991 after falling from a window in his mother’s New York City apartment building.
One of the Greats Clapton has continued to make music, mostly with blues and soul roots, up until the late 2000’s. Throughout his 40 year career, Eric Clapton has won or shared in 18 Grammy Awards. He is the only person to ever be introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times (as a member of Cream, as a Yardbird, and lastly as a solo artist). Eric ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.
GIVING BACK Eric has donated millions of dollars to numerous causes throughout the years. In 1998 he opened The Crossroads Centre, a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol abuse on the islands of Antigua. This organization provides care and treatment for some of the poorest people in the Caribbean islands. Eric continues to donate time and money to causes throughout the world today. He also continues to write and play music. He will be touring Europe this coming year. Eric is happily married and has four daughters.
“Layla” Layla is perhaps Clapton’s most well-known and successful songs. It was written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon while they were part of Derek and the Dominos. The song was inspired by and written for Patti Boyd, model and at the time, wife of George Harrison. Although the song did not receive much attention when it was first release, it has since become extremely popular. The original version written in 1972 and the 1992 acoustic version received chart topping reviews. The song was originally a love ballad until Duane Allman, of the Allman Brothers Band, teamed up with Clapton to create the signature rock sound and unmistakable riff. The last part or coda of Layla, which is a piano piece written by drummer Jim Gordon, was added to the song at Clapton’s request. The acoustic version won a Grammy in 1993. In 2004 Layla was placed at #27 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
“My Father’s Eyes” This song was written and produced by Eric Clapton. It was first released in 1998 on his album “Pilgrim”. Clapton was inspired to write “My Father’s Eyes” due to the fact that he never met his biological father. The song also makes reference to Clapton’s son Conor, who tragically died at the age of four. In his 2007 autobiography Clapton mentioned the song saying, "in it I tried to describe the parallel between looking in the eyes of my son, and the eyes of the father that I never met, through the chain of our blood" Clapton stopped playing this song in live performances along with “Tears in Heaven”, a song inspired by his son Connor. He felt he had moved on from the emotions that he originally had when the songs were written and therefore, they shouldn’t be played without those emotions. Clapton performed acoustic and electric versions of this song in 1992 and 1996 which were completely different from the track released in 1998. The song reached number 16 on the top 40 list and lasted five weeks at number two on the Hot Adult Contemporary Chart. Clapton also won one of his 18 Grammy awards with this song winning best male pop vocal performance.
“Layla” Listening Guide “Layla” 0:00 introdcution The introduction to Layla begins with the song’s signature electric guitar riff. Two identical, short 16 beat measures take up to first 10 seconds of the song. After that, a second electric guitar playing the same riff as the first but at a higher pitch, comes in and replaces the first guitar. Another guitar also comes in and plays rhythm in the background. Drums also introduce the beat after the 10 second mark. This introduction sets the listener up for the rest of the song and is also played almost identically in each chorus. The signature riff presented here is what most of the song is centered around. The intro is in minor mode, as is a good part of the song. The guitar riff intro is unmistakable and allows listeners to identify the song immediately upon hearing it. The intro also sets up the tempo which seems to be somewhere in the moderate to fast range. To end the intro and lead seamlessly into the first verse, the last note of the riff is now slightly lower and begins the melody of the first verse. 0:27 1st verse The first verse ends the guitar riff and introduces the lyrics. Accompanying the voice is one electric guitar playing a smooth, conjunct melody, with another playing rhythm in the background. The pleading, persuasive nature of the lyrics creates a sense of tension that leads well into the explosive chorus. This verse along with the other two verses are in major mode. 0:43 Chorus Contrast is seen here between Clapton’s reasoning for why “Layla” should be with him into outright pleading: “Layla, you’ve got me on my knees, Layla, beggin’ darlin’ please, Layla, darlin’ won’t you ease my worried mind”. We also here the same guitar riff as we did in the introduction, this time with even more emotion and intensity because the powerful, begging lyrics are added. The fact that the choruses are in minor mode adds a great suspense and relief affect throughout the song. 1:00 2nd verse Once again the dynamic calms down and the tense, pleading lyrics start up again, just with new reasons for “Layla” to leave her “old man” and be with Clapton. As witnessed in the first verse, the second verse leads into the same powerful chorus. 1:15 chorus The same chorus is played again without variation from the first. 1:32 3rd verse Similar to the first and second verses, the third verse opens up with Clapton begging: “let’s make the best of the situation, before I finally go insane”. The word insane fits perfectly with the wild melody that seems to get more and more disjunct and erratic as the song progresses. 1:48 chorus with add-on This final chorus is changed up with background vocals and an add which gradually creates more and more tension. After the chorus is played twice, Clapton starts a sort of crazy, erratic freestyle with the electric guitar playing high, haunting notes. All the while that signature guitar riff is playing in the background. Vocally some sporadic “woo, woo, woo’s” are added in with the haunting guitar, creating increasing tension. All of these elements create a rich texture leading into the final section of the song. 3:14 Coda The final section of “Layla” introduces a calming piano coda into the song and gradually releases all of the pressure and tension built up throughout the song. This coda is in major mode and therefore changes the overall theme from a foreboding, tense feel, into a sunny, hopeful ending. A twangy slide guitar is also added along with all of the original played electric guitar. These two improvise together while the piano continues the same melody up until the end. The very last notes are played on the slide guitar with Duane Allman playing his signature “bird call”.
“My Father’s Eyes” Listening Guide 0:00 introduction Early on we’re able to detect the simple nature of the beat in this song. The use of triple/simple meter makes the beat familiar to many people and easy to listen to. The intro also introduces the melody and theme of the song which have a modern, contemporary feel. 0:46 1st verse The lyrics of the first verse are broken up into two parts: the first part implies a sort of journey; the second half has questions. Throughout the three verses in this song, Clapton tells a story using this method. He also slowly comes to a realization about the questions he’s asking in each subsequent verse. In the first verse Clapton asks “how will I know him” and the chorus responds “when I look in my father’s eyes”. The next two verses have a similar pattern. Slide guitar and a synthesizer created beat continue to give the song a modern sounding melody. 1:27 chorus Each chorus includes female backup vocals and focuses on the main theme of the song which is “looking into his father’s eyes”. 1:51 2nd verse This verse is similar to the first except here Clapton reveals more enlightenment when he says “then the light begins to shine”. Whereas in the first verse he talked more about his father, here in the second he refers more to his son. The second verse also varies in his answer to his posed questions. He asks “how do I teach him, what do we play”. His answer is now “that’s when I need my father’s eyes”. 2:31 chorus This chorus is identical to the first. 2:52 Bridge The bridge contains no words and simply provides variation to the simple melody using guitar chords in the major mode. 3:34 3rd verse The third and final verse seems to bring together and lyrically make sense of the first and second verses. Here Clapton states “bit by bit, I’ve realized he was here with me, I looked into my father’s eyes”. Here he finishes his message and comes to his realization that his father was always there with him. 4:15 chorus The final chorus is the same as the last two with more improvisation from the slide guitar, leading the chorus into an add-on. 4:35 chorus add-on The song fades out with the chorus add on, which has Clapton repeating “my father’s eyes”, while the background vocals repeat “looked into my father’s eyes”.
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