Musicians of a certain stature are studied, discussed and thoroughly inspected until no crumb of their personal or professional live remains on the table. Eric Clapton is no different. The multi-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is one of the most celebrated artists in music today.
Much has been written. Clapton himself contributed his own authorized biography a few years ago. What’s left to tell?
According to David Bowling, there is still quite a bit to tell. Bowling uncovers a number of details throughout Clapton’s life, sharing them in chronological order and punctuating the guitarist’s remarkable career highs and lows.
One of the best aspects of the book is the brief detouring into the musicians and collaborators who contributed to Clapton’s work. Consider it a “where are they now?” feature. Some of the names are obvious (Ginger Baker of Cream) and less obvious, such as backup singer Tessa Niles. These sections are the most evocative of Clapton’s reach, through the breadth of music recorded since the 1960s.
Bowling is clearly a fan, which shows in his appreciation of Clapton’s lesser-regarded work. This is not the work of a Clapton critic—which is good. Only fans will want to dig into this much detail.
The inclusion of rare memorabilia artwork (album covers, concert posters, promo materials and more) is an added bonus. Clapton was spoiled with talented artists who created many of these pieces to promote his work, including one-off event posters.
The uninitiated might do well to begin their Clapton education elsewhere, but this is a worthy addition for completists.