The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


back to profile

Eric Clapton

1945

Eric Clapton was born

1965

Eric Clapton leaves the Yardbirds and joins John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

1966

Eric Clapton forms Cream.

1968

The Rolling Stones film the ‘Rock and Roll Circus’, with guests Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Jethro Tull and the Who.

1969

Soon after Cream’s breakup, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker join forces with Steve Winwood (of Traffic) and Ric Grech (of Family) to form the “instant supergroup” Blind Faith.

1969

John Lennon appears at the Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival concert, accompanied by Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, Alan White and Yoko. ‘The Plastic Ono Band – Live Peace in Toronto’ is released in December.

1969

Blind Faith - the only studio album by the “supergroup” comprising Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech - tops the U.S. and U.K. charts for the first of two weeks.

1970

Eric Clapton records his self-titled solo debut album in Los Angeles. He is backed by Delaney and Bonnie and their band, which includes Leon Russell. It yields such staples of Clapton’s repertoire as “After Midnight,” “Blues Power” and “Let It Rain.”

1970

Eric Clapton is released, peaking at #13. This same month, Clapton begins recording in Miami with his new band, Derek and the Dominos. They record the monumental double album Layla...and Other Assorted Love Songs in ten days. One writer called it “the most valid double since [Bob Dylan’s] Blonde on Blonde.”

1971

The concert for Bangladesh, featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, takes place in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

1973

Backed by an all-star band, Eric Clapton performs a solo concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre. It is promoted as a comeback concert, returning Clapton to the public eye after a reclusive period of heroin addiction. Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert is released in abbreviated form on LP (6 tracks) in 1973 and in expanded form on CD (14 tracks) in 1995.

1974

A drug-free Eric Clapton launches his solo career in earnest, recording 461 Ocean Boulevard in Miami. Both the album and its key single, “I Shot the Sheriff,” go to #1. Virtually reinventing himself in the space of one album, Clapton takes few guitar solos and adopts a more laid-back stylistic demeanor.

1974

Eric Clapton’s version of the Wailers’ “I Shot the Sheriff,” written by head Wailer Bob Marley, hits #1 and helps generate interest in reggae.

1977

Eric Clapton’s biggest-selling album of the Seventies, Slowhand, finds him recording at London’s Olympic Studios for the first time since Fresh Cream, the first Cream album. Slowhand yields Top Forty hits in “Lay Down Sally” (#3) and “Wonderful Tonight” (#16), and an FM favorite and live staple in “Cocaine.”

1983

Money and Cigarettes, one of Eric Clapton’s stronger albums of the Eighties, is the inaugural release on his own Duck Records label.

1988

A four CD box set documenting the first quarter century of Eric Clapton’s career, Crossroads, is released. The 73-track retrospective, which includes rare and previously unreleased material, reaches #34 and goes on to sell more than two million copies.

1991

The first date in what becomes an annual stand of Eric Clapton concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall finds Clapton joined in different segments by a four-piece band, nine-piece band, blues band, and orchestra. The series lasts for 24 nights - hence the title of a live double-CD documentary, 24 Nights, released later in the year.

1992

Johnnie Johnson’s third solo album, ‘Johnnie B. Bad,’ finds the piano great backed by Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and NRBQ.

1992

Eric Clapton performs an all-acoustic set for that is taped for the MTV series Unplugged. It airs on March 11, winning a record audience for the show, and is released on CD and videotape in August. The 70-minute live set, which includes an acoustic arrangement of “Layla,” reaches #1. It goes on to sell three million copies and earns a Grammy for Album of the Year.

1993

“MTV Unplugged” with Eric Clapton is nominated for four Grammy Awards and Mariah Carey’s performance on “MTV Unplugged” is nominated for three Grammy Awards by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.

1994

Eric Clapton releases his first all blues album ‘From the Cradle’.

1995

From the Cradle, an album of blues interpretations released the previous fall, wins Eric Clapton a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album.

1998

His Pilgrim album yields the introspective hit “My Father’s Eyes,” which wins Eric Clapton a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

2000

Eric Clapton and B. B. King release ‘Riding With the King’.

2000

Eric Clapton is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the fifteenth annual induction dinner. Robbie Robertson is his presenter.

2004

Eric Clapton releases Me and Mr. Johnson.

2004

Eric Clapton presents his first Crossroads Guitar Festival at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas

2005

Eric Clapton performs at the Tsunami Relief Concert in Cardiff, Wales.

2010

Eric Clapton releases Clapton

2012

Eric Clapton performs at the Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden in New York City

2013

Eric Clapton releases Old Sock

2013

Eric Clapton presents the Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden in New York City