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Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945 in Surrey, England.Being the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he is ranked among the greatest rock and roll guitarists of all time (he ranked 2nd on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and 4th in Gibson’s Top 50 Guitarists of All Time).
He used to record himself playing on his portable Grundig tape recorder, and listening to that over and over until he felt he got it right.
[Eric Clapton: Blues Power; Guitar World.com] In the quote below Clapton notes again that he would often break his strings while playing on the Tele, and how that eventually played a role in him acquiring the nickname “Slowhand”.
This statement however makes the quote above a bit confusing, since he mentioned moving from Gibson to the Tele, while below he mentiones that he had the Tele from the day one.
That got me into the band, and then we started making money, I found I had nothing else to spend it on but guitars, so maybe once a month I bought a guitar.
[Eric Clapton: Blues Power – Guitar World.com] There are some interesting details about this guitar worth mentioning.
[Legendary Guitar: Jeff Beck’s 1954 Yardbirds Esquire] However, since Jeff was never actually seen playing the guitar, there are some doubts whether this story is completely true.
[…] As said, this was Eric’s main guitar with the Yardbirds, and it was likely used on both the 1964 live album “Five Live Yardbirds” recorded at the Marquee Club in London [Yardbirds at The Marquee Club 1964], and on the tracks that Eric played on “For Your Love” in 1965 (basically everything except “I’m Not Talking”, “I Ain’t Done Wrong”, and “My Girl Sloopy” – which were of course played by Jeff Beck).
(Jeff Beck:) We were on the road constantly and I didn’t even have my own guitar.
I [initially] used Eric’s red Tele, which I think belonged to the Yardbirds.
In October 1963 Clapton joined The Yardbirds, and stayed with them until March 1965.
Influenced by guitarists like Buddy Guy, Freddie King, and B. King, Clapton developed a distinctive style and rapidly became one of the most talked about guitarists in the British music scene. During this time, Clapton really began to develop as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Their hits include “Sunshine of Your Love”, “White Room” and “Crossroads”.
Although released in 1970 it was not until March 1972 that the album’s single “Layla” (a tale of unrequited love inspired by Clapton’s relationship with his friend George Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd Harrison) would make the top ten in both the United States and the United Kingdom.