Eric Clapton Part Five
When I learn more facts about, I had to type it down quickly for you to read, and that’s why, I call this blog Eric Clapton Part Five.
Personal Problems And Early Solo Success
Clapton‘s career successes in the 1970s were in stark contrast with the struggles he coped with in his personal life, which was troubled by romantic longings and drug and alcohol addiction. He became infatuated with Pattie Boyd, who at the time was married to close friend George Harrison, and withdrew from recording and touring to isolation in his Surrey residence as the band broke up. There he nursed a heroin addiction, which resulted in a lengthy career hiatus interrupted only by the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971 (where he passed out on stage, was revived, and managed to finish his performance). In January 1973, the Who‘s Pete Townshend organized a comeback concert for Clapton at London‘s Rainbow Theatre, aptly titled the “Rainbow Concert“, to help Clapton kick his addiction. Clapton returned the favor by playing “The Preacher“ in Ken Russell‘s film version of the Who‘s Tommy in 1975; his appearance in the film (performing“Eyesight to the Blind“) is notable as he is clearly wearing a fake beard in some shots, the result of deciding to shave off his real beard after the initial takes in an attempt to force the director to remove his earlier scene from the movie and leave the set.
Yvonne Ellimanwith Clapton promoting 461 Ocean Boulevard in 1974
In 1974, Clapton started living with Pattie Boyd ( they would not marry until 1979) and was no longer using heroin (although he gradually began to drink heavily). He assembled a low-key touring band that included Radle, Miami guitarist George Terry, keyboardist Dick Sims (who died in 2011, drummer Jamie Oldaker, and vocalists Yvonne Elliman and Marcy Levy (also known as Marcella Detroit). With this band Clapton recorded 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974 ), an album with an emphasis on more compact songs and fewer guitar solos; the cover version of “I Shot the Sheriff“ was Clapton‘s first number one hit and was important in bringing reggae and the music of Bob Marley to a wider audience. The 1975 album There‘s One in Every Crowd continued this trend. The album‘s original title, The World‘s Greatest Guitar Player (There‘s One in Every Crowd), was changed before pressing, as it was felt its ironic intention would be misunderstood. The band toured the world and subsequently released the 1975 live LP, E. C. Was Here. Clapton continued to release albums and toured regularly. Highlights of the period include No Reason to Cry (a collaboration with Bob Dylan and The Band); Slowhand, which contained “Wonderful Tonight“ and a second J. J. Cale cover, “Cocaine“. In 1976 he performed as one of a string of notable guests at the farewell performance of The Band, filmed in a Martin Scorsese documentary called The Last Waltz.
A seven-times Platinum RIAA certification for the album Timepieces: The Best ofEric Clapton (1982 )
In 1981 Clapton was invited by producer Martin Lewis to appear at the Amnesty International benefit The Secret Policeman‘s Other Ball in London. Clapton accepted the invitation and teamed up with Jeff Beck to perform a series of duets— reportedly their first ever billed stage collaboration. Three of the performances were released on the album of the show, and one of the songs appeared in the film. The performances at London‘s Drury Lane theatre heralded a return to form and prominence for Clapton in the new decade. Many factors had influenced Clapton‘s comeback, including his “deepening commitment to Christianity“, to which he had converted prior to his heroin addiction.
After calling his manager and admitting he was an alcoholic, Clapton flew to Minneapolis— Saint Paul in January 1982 and checked in at Hazelden Treatment Center, located in Center City, Minnesota. On the flight over, Clapton indulged in a large number of drinks, for fear he would never be able to drink again. Clapton wrote in his autobiography:
In the lowest moments of my life, the only reason I didn’t commit suicide was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink any more if I was dead. It was the only thing I thought was worth living for, and the idea that people were about to try and remove me from alcohol was so terrible that I drank and drank and drank, and they had to practically carry me into the clinic.
Tina Turner and Eric Clapton at Wembley Arena, 18 June 1987
After being discharged, it was recommended by doctors of Hazelden that Clapton not partake in any activities that would act as triggers for his alcoholism or stress. A few months after his discharge, Clapton began working on his next album, against doctors‘ orders. Working with Tom Dowd, he produced what he thought as his “most forced“ album to date, Money and Cigarettes. Clapton chose the name of the album “because that‘s all I saw myself having left“ after his first rehabilitation from alcoholism.
In 1984 he performed on former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters‘ solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, and joined the supporting tour. Since then Waters and Clapton have had a close relationship. In 2005 they performed together for the Tsunami Relief Fund. In 2006 they performed at the Highclere Castle, in aid of the Countryside Alliance, playing two set pieces of “Wish You Were Here“ and “Comfortably Numb“. Clapton, now a seasoned charity performer, played at the Live Aid concert on 13 July 1985. When offered a slot close to peak viewing hours, he was apparently flattered. As Clapton recovered from his addictions, his album output continued in the 1980s, including two produced with Phil Collins, 1985‘s Behind the Sun, which produced the hits “Forever Man“ and “She‘s Waiting“, and 1986‘s August.
George Harrison and Clapton at the Prince‘s Trust Concert, Wembley Arena, London, 1987
August was suffused with Collins‘s trademark drum and horn sound, and became Clapton‘s biggest seller in the UK to date, matching his highest chart position, number 3. The album‘s first track, the hit “It‘s in the Way That You Use It“, appeared in the Tom Cruise— Paul Newman movie The Color of Money. The horn-peppered “Run“echoed Collins‘ “Sussudio“ and other work, while “Tearing Us Apart“ (with TinaTurner) and “Miss You“ continued Clapton‘s more angry sound. This rebound kicked off Clapton‘s two-year period of touring with Collins and their August collaborators, bassist Nathan East and keyboard player/songwriter Greg Phillinganes. While on tour for August, two concert videos were recorded of the four-man band, Eric Clapton Live from Montreux and Eric Clapton and Friends. Clapton later remade “After Midnight“ as a single and a promotional track for the Michelob beer brand, which had also used earlier songs by Collins and Steve Winwood. Clapton won a British Academy Television Award for his collaboration with Michael Kamen on the score for the 1985 BBC Television thriller serial Edge of Darkness. In 1989, Clapton released Journeyman, an album that covered a wide range of styles, including blues, jazz, soul and pop. Collaborators included George Harrison, Phil Collins, Daryl Hall, Chaka Khan, Mick Jones, David Sanborn and Robert Cray. At the 1987 Brit Awards in London, Clapton was awarded the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
Clapton would also get together with the Bee Gees for charity. The supergroup called itself The Bunburys, and recorded a charity album with the proceeds going to the Bunbury Cricket Club in Cheshire, which plays exhibition cricket matches to raise money for nonprofit organizations in England. The Bunburys recorded three songs for The Bunbury Tails: “We‘re the Bunburys“, “Bunbury Afternoon“, and “Fight (No Matter How Long)“. The last song also appeared on The 1988 Summer Olympics Album, and went to No. 8 on the rock music chart. Clapton also played at the cricket club‘s 25th anniversary celebrations in 2011, which was held at London‘s Grosvenor House Hotel.