Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Clapton” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  18,031 Ratings  ·  1,247 Reviews
“I found a pattern in my behavior that had been repeating itself for years, decades even. Bad choices were my specialty, and if something honest and decent came along, I would shun it or run the other way.”

With striking intimacy and candor, Eric Clapton tells the story of his eventful and inspiring life in this poignant and honest autobiography. More than a rock star, he i
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 9th 2007 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Clapton, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Clapton

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jason Koivu
It seems as if Eric Clapton wrote this tell-all autobiography in an attempt to debunk the oft-heard graffiti-fied slogan “Clapton is God”. If so, mission accomplished.

Although I’ve loved his music since I can remember, I always thought he was probably kind of a dick. This book proves it. Oh sure, he’s got his reasons: illegitimacy, abandonment and a bevy of the usual childhood dramas. But hey, there’s a lot of people who’ve had it rough and they didn’t turn out to be cocks. Even so, I've give h
Max Fetter
Apr 03, 2011 Max Fetter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21st-century
Eric Clapton's attempt at writing an interesting account of his life was pretty much a failure.

I read the book because I am a Clapton fan (though not a huge one), because I had read another rock star's (Anthony Kiedis) drug-related biography and thoroughly enjoyed it, and because my mom got it for me so I felt obligated to do so. From beginning to end, I found rare interest in anything the knight had to record about himself. Unfortunately, I am writing this well over a year after reading it, bu
Oct 13, 2007 Donald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eric Clapton, guitar god, has written his autobiography, aptly titled Clapton, The Autobiography. It covers his entire life, from his poor upbringing, to the present day as happy family man. He addresses every phase of his personal and professional life, which is amazing in the fact that the book clocks in at only 328 pages. Maybe this is why, as honest as Clapton is, it left me wanting a bit more. For instance, during his drunk periods he admits to being "chauvinistic" to his then-wife Patti, a ...more
Julie Christine
It wasn't until I started the autobiography that I considered why it appealed to me in the first place. I'm a rather indifferent fan of Clapton's/Cream/Derek & the Dominos, etc- Unplugged is the only album of his that I own. It was more of a curiosity about that era- the hardcore sex, drugs, rock & roll of the 70s- and to read about the experiences of someone who barely made it out alive that compelled me to read. As a child in the 70s, I was watching Mr Rogers when EC was writing Layla ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Brendan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brendan by: Gonzalo
His memoir, just like his life, is seemingly compelling at first and utterly vacuous at the end. Clapton's story starts out with a confusing childhood and then builds a bright flame of artistry on top. This all crumbles as his desire and dependecy steer him to the brink self-destruction. But all of the compelling rock n' roll stories that should be in this autobiography are replaced with remorseful and arrogant AA/group-therapy recounts of his misadventures.
As he winds down his story I'm left,
Najviše volim slušati klasični rock od 1965. do 1975. godine i to britanske bendove koji su napravili revoluciju i ponovno "izmislili" blues rock. Clapton je tu bio bitan igrač, a i jedan je od najboljih gitarista svih vremena. Nisam ga puno slušao, ali volim Cream i odličan mi je John Mayallov album Blues Breakers na kojem je svirao. Mislio sam da ću ga poželjeti više slušati dok budem čitao ovu autobiografiju - većinom tako bude kada čitam o nekom bendu ili glazbeniku - ali on piše tako suhopa ...more
Feb 02, 2008 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a total Slowhand freak (and I am) this book is invaluable in that it comes right from the "horse's mouth." I've read a number of EC biographies, and, obviously, the main events of his life story are the same here as they are in the past (Cream still implodes, "Layla" still gets recorded, etc.). In that sense, there isn't much new information as there is the personal perspective and voice of Clapton himself.

Most revealing are the details of his youth growing up. Everyone knows about the
George Bradford
Mar 15, 2009 George Bradford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rock-n-roll, heroes
Full Disclosure. Before reading this book, I was not a huge Eric Clapton fan. Sure, I'd enjoyed him in concert a few times and I owned some of his albums. I respected him. But I wasn't all that interested in reading about him. I was more interested in reading what he had to say about George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

In this book, Eric Clapton has plenty to say about all three. But he's got even more to say about a lot of other people, events, places and things. And in doing s
Pete daPixie
Oct 02, 2011 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poptastic, autobiogs
'The Autobiography' from Eric Clapton, published in 2007, is perhaps a book I would never have read were it not for the fact that my better half picked this up for me at a local car boot sale. As expected E.C. fills the pages with the usual sixties excess of alcohol, sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll. The family name is actually Clapp. Fortunately this was changed, otherwise that 60's graffiti would have been 'Clapp is God' which thankfully we were spared.
As Eric recounts his rise to rock music ic
Jul 07, 2009 Gretchen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you're a music fan -- this book is fab. But, if you're interested in Eric Clapton's life, it's a little drab. You feel so sad for him as he chronicles his life spent in a haze of drugs and sex, even sacrificing for his music, but more than that, I was a little creeped out and even angry about his lack of respect for the poor women in his life -- especially Patti Boyd, the "love of his life." By his own admission, he lacked maturity, but after a while, you think, come on, you're a rock star wi ...more
Nov 08, 2013 Carmen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Clapton Fans
Wow. I'm not familiar with Clapton or his music. This book made him seem like a very selfish, inconsiderate individual. But it wasn't too boring. His struggles with heroin and alcohol were the most interesting. I don't really believed he loved/loves any woman...only himself. It's surprising that he comes off as so badly in his own words...I don't think he even realizes how unsympathetic a character he makes himself.
Apr 10, 2008 William rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading this I come away with a new perspective on this fellow.

The positives: i) he is obviously a very talented guitarist; ii) he has worked succcessfully to overcome his many personal deamons, and; iii) he has extended a hand to help others overcome their personal deamons.

The negative: this fellow seems more than a little self-absorbed and his closing talk about his yacht just about put me over the edge.

East Bay J
Jan 24, 2009 East Bay J rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music-bios
I got into Eric Clapton because of The Yardbirds, who I got into because of Jimmy Page. Now, the story is that Clapton left The Yardbirds because they were “going pop” and he was a “blues purist.” This bore out with his next band, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Then he started Cream, which was a little bluesy. Sometimes. Blind Faith, same story. Then Clapton made 461 Ocean Boulevard followed by, I don’t know, too many tepid, mediocre, middle of the road albums, sometimes scoring a… that’s right… p ...more
Nov 13, 2010 Sir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Djordje Popovic
Jan 21, 2014 Djordje Popovic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike many others, Clapton's Autobiography is brutally honest, freed from egoism and thus passionate, touching and inspiring journey through the thorns of his path. It provides many deep and equally truthful insights into the amazing life of music from late '60s to date.
Duffy Pratt
Jul 11, 2016 Duffy Pratt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I'm having a hard time figuring out what to say about this book. As a book, its pretty good. It tells a good story of a person who has an amazing talent/gift, who has also been terribly self destructive, but somehow managed to survive. The trouble is that Clapton has tended, from the start, to be very self-effacing, and so he doesn't etch his stories in fine detail, or give a vivid picture of what was going on with himself or with others. Thus, the whole book feels like we are getting basically ...more
Dec 08, 2007 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Music lovers, addicts, people in recovery
If you love music, the ‘70s, rock stars and all the drama that naturally ensues than you will love Clapton's no holds barrred account of his life. It’s exciting, it’s sincere and it’s jam-packed with stories of some of music’s greatest personalities as lived through Slowhand himself.

As objectively as possible, the God of the Blues attacks a very biased topic, his own life and writes about it with the humility and humor of a man who viscerally experiences life. He is incredibly open and candid ab
Jan 12, 2008 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for my birthday from my husband, who knows how much I LOVE Eric Clapton and his music. The book is an autobiography, covering Clapton's life from a child up until summer 2007. It was so interesting to read about his casual relationships with other extraordinary musicians, such as the Stones, the Beatles, BBKing and more. His struggle through addiction and his ability to finally rise above and surround himself with people to help him maintain sobriety was inspiring, even as h ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Miha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SURPRISE: I have read the memoirs of my 'enemy', Eric Clapton. Why have I give him such a title before? As a George Harrison fan I thought it was really not pleasant what Eric has done, but now that I see things through his perspective, I became fond of Clapton.

I couldn't way to return to this book and read it, although I knew a few things about his life.
Jan 15, 2008 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
I enjoyed this book, though I found his writing to be a bit disjointed in the final few chapters; as though he'd sort of run out of steam in presenting his life.

Is it strange that I fully believe I was on a plane with EC just last week when flying home from California, or was it simply a figment of my imagination???
Trent Mikesell
Mar 22, 2017 Trent Mikesell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no real interest in Eric Clapton or music from this time period, but I found this autobiography fascinating. What really captured me was his tone. You could tell that he had really reflected on his life and thought about what went wrong and what he could have done differently. He also showed how both good and bad experiences have made him in to the person he is today. I loved the rawness and honesty of it.
Mar 24, 2017 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No prose masterpiece, but it seems brutally honest. Mostly about the sex and drugs and stuff, but Clapton is (to me) most refreshingly honest when he admits things like how his version of "I Shot the Sheriff" is really weak next to the original.
Feb 13, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should confess, I've been a huge Eric Clapton fan for far more years than I care to admit. When I was in high school, I played guitar, and just about everything I learned came from Clapton albums: Just One Night, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, Slowhand. The list goes on.

My 17 year-old self would have been perfectly happy if Eric Clapton had written a detailed account of each album: "Well, on `Crossroads,' I was planning to use my Gibson Les Paul, but somebody stole it, so I used an ES-33
Nov 12, 2010 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2010 Joje rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-go
It may get better but I cannot get through the repetitions, even in single paragraphs. Maybe another day, but there's so much else out there to read, and I'd rather listen to the Blues than to this sort of adjectival name-draping. It was page after page of lines like "listening to him had an effect on me similar to what I might feel if I were to meet an alien from outer space. It simply blew my mind...solo in the middle of it that took my breath away. It was like listening to....that gave me the ...more
My colleague loaned this to me and told me it was a great story about substance abuse recovery. He was right about that! The parts of the book that deal with Eric Clapton's active addiction, recovery attempts, relapse, sobriety, and the creation of his own treatment center were interesting and honest.

I thought Clapton demonstrated great insight into his addiction and recovery process. He was forthright in exposing his weaknesses and limitations. I think his ability to surrender and humble himsel
Mar 11, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It always feels a little odd to write a review of an autobiography. It's rather like writing a review of someone's life, and if that's not a scary thought, you're probably not paying attention. Sure, it's simply the expression of one life from the viewpoint of the one who lived it, not the actual life. For something more objective, I'd look to any biography done by someone who wasn't an absolute acolyte of the subject. When the one who tells the story is the one who was there, "objective" isn't ...more
Mar 16, 2009 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because Eric Clapton has been part of the the blues / rock community for so long, reading about his life is like reading the history of rock n' roll. This book is a true autobiography, written by Clapton with little or no outside help. Because of that, it reads like the memoirs of a rock star, written in his own sometimes rambling voice. English professors beware, unlike many autobiographies that I've read where a professional writer has sat down with the subject and parsed up their life into ni ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recently-read
I really only enjoyed the segments in this book that contained Clapton's encounters with other musicians of his time. That was just about only the first third of this book. His autobiography only succeeded in broadening my scope for the blues--the rest of the manuscript contained mostly complaints about his screw-ups throughout his lifetime. There never seemed to be much of a real main point to his writing this autobiography. I kept on giving it chance after chance to reveal its purpose, but non ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Cathy0584 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
EC has come through a lot--learning that the people he thought were his parents were really his grandparents and that the woman he thought was his sister was really his mother, his early meteoric success with his guitar music, playing with the top names in the industry, a long list of toxic relationships with women, all the while bolstering himself with alcohol and cocaine and other drugs. His several attempts at getting clean & sober were finally successful at the age of 42. Since then, he ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Eric Clapton: The Autobiography by Eric Clapton 1 8 May 06, 2015 01:35AM  
Clapton 3 32 Jun 03, 2014 06:17AM  
Mrs. Meyer Bell 6: Book Review 1 2 May 28, 2013 10:34AM  
  • Wonderful Tonight
  • Heaven And Hell: My Life In The Eagles (1974 2001)
  • Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
  • I, Me, Mine
  • Skydog - The Duane Allman Story
  • Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac
  • Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story
  • According to the Rolling Stones
  • My Cross to Bear
  • Long Time Gone
  • Ronnie
  • Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix
  • Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin
  • Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith
  • John
  • The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles
  • Paul McCartney
  • Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. He is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries, garnering an unprecedented three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (The Yardbirds, Cream, and solo). Often viewed by critics and fans alike as one of the greatest guitarists of all t ...more
More about Eric Clapton...

Share This Book

“La tournée terminée, Tom et Roger pensèrent qu'après le succès de I Shot The Sheriff, ce serait bien de descendre dans les Caraïbes pour continuer sur le thème du reggae. Ils organisèrent un voyage en Jamaïque, où ils jugeaient qu'on pourrait fouiner un peu et puiser dans l'influence roots avant d'enregistrer. Tom croyait fermement au bienfait d'exploiter cette source, et je n'avais rien contre puisque ça voulait dire que Pattie et moi aurions une sorte de lune de miel. Kingston était une ville où il était fantastique de travailler. On entendant de la musique partout où on allait. Tout le monde chantait tout le temps, même les femmes de ménage à l'hotel. Ce rythme me rentrait vraiment dans le sang, mais enregistrer avec les Jamaïcains était une autre paire de manches.

Je ne pouvais vraiment pas tenir le rythme de leur consommation de ganja, qui était énorme. Si j'avais essayé de fumer autant ou aussi souvent, je serais tombé dans les pommes ou j'aurais eu des hallucinations. On travaillait aux Dynamic Sound Studios à Kingston. Des gens y entraient et sortaient sans arrêt, tirant sur d'énormes joints en forme de trompette, au point qu'il y avait tant de fumée dans la salle que je ne voyais pas qui était là ou pas. On composait deux chansons avec Peter Tosh qui, affalé sur une chaise, avait l'air inconscient la plupart du temps. Puis, soudain, il se levait et interprétait brillamment son rythme reggae à la pédale wah-wah, le temps d'une piste, puis retombait dans sa transe à la seconde où on s'arrêtait.”
“Watching him, I understood for the first time how you could really live music, how you could listen to it completely and make it come alive, so that it was part of your life.” 5 likes
More quotes…