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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Annoying Autobiography

I don't really know why, but I'm in the middle of reading Eric Clapton's autobiography. It's not a very uplifting read. Clapton comes off as the "accidental tourist." Someone with a great gift, who is just sort of walking through the rock and roll universe in a drug-addled, alcoholic haze.

And Eric doesn't really make anyone else look very good either. It seems his circle was filled with a lot of a sad, needy people.

I'm kind of amazed. I get much more enjoyment playing guitar, writing music, playing for a lot of empty clubs and rehearsal spaces then Mr. Clapton seems to get from playing to the world. You'd think the guy was "sitting on top of the world" but instead he seems like a very unhappy, kind of twisted, tortured, not very deep or enlightened human being.

Maybe there's a payoff later in the book. But it's kind of a slog reading it. I guess there's something to be said for cold honesty. Maybe it's the Oprah-ization of the world. Living a wasted existence, owning up, and then happy, clean and sober in the end. It's just kind of sad and annoying to see someone whose work I admire come off as such a hollow cipher. Maybe Clapton should sue the author for defamation?!


  1. So, he's not God? Or maybe he's just a boring God.

  2. Well yes maybe it says something about the expectations that have been built up in our minds by the fame machine.

    I got the same awful feeling when i read Bill Wyman's biography. Details about a rather sad mundane life on the road.

    Maybe we can't expect to much from people. They gave pleasure with their music. Maybe it's just to much to expect they can write good books as well but you do wonder why they would bother when it involves hiring a ghost writer to get it done.

  3. Yes, a boring God, sort of like a human being I guess. I powered through the book, sort of "speed read" the last few chapters. I guess, I'm much more interested in the music the man created than the man. Maybe it's best just to enjoy the work - Cream, the Bluesbreakers, Derek and the Dominos. Clapton played with and inspired so many great musicians. And his Crossroads foundation has probably helped many people too. I do think there's a supremely compelling story in the Eric Clapton saga. Maybe Eric himself isn't the best messenger. Not the most compelling writer. Maybe someone else will give it a try sometime.


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