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Eric Clapton?

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Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 70
Topic starter  

I grew up with Eric Clapton. He turned me on to much of my first blues and I tried to learn more Clapton licks than anyone else.

But in the long run, I wonder what his legacy actually will be. IMHO he's far from being the best blues guitarist around. I wouldn't put him in the top 20 even all-time.

Yes he's written some great songs. He might be a better songwriter than guitarist really. But I don't think anyone would rate him as one of the best songwriters either.

And you've got to give him props for keeping the blues alive. He always gives credit to the original masters and I doubt Robert Johnson would be as well-known as he is if it wasn't for Clapton.

And now his Crossroads Festival has become a real chance for new blues players to be found and prosper.

There's no question he has had a major impact on music for almost 50 years. But his actual guitar playing has not been his strength for a long time. I haven't really gone out of my way to listen to him or learn any of his licks.

Believe me I love Eric Clapton but sometimes I wonder why.

Anyone else feel that way?

Rick Honeyboy Hart

"It's about tone, taste, and technique... in that order."

Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 407

I started losing interest in Clapton when he started bringing back all the old blues numbers . He always played bluesy but it was rocking blues . I can't listen to remakes of songs that don't add a new take on them . If it isn't at least changed in some fashion I'd prefer the older version . I don't expect everyone to have the same opinion as me , but that's my take .

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .

Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 848

Well, Ill start by saying im a huge fan, and he is one of my major inspirations. One thing I gotta say is the guy always hits the right note, at the right time... other then back in the drug years... the guy always plays clean. I belive he will be a big name for many years after hes gone. What he has done for the modern blues has been unmatched.

Paul B

Reputable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 296

Before I posted I thought I should sit and listen to some Clapton again. I grew up listening to a lot of Clapton but as I discovered other players I grew a little tired of his stuff and I pretty much feel the same way now. I know Jo Bonamassa rates him extremely highly (I say this because I'm a massive fan of Bonamassa) but Clapton doesn't do a great deal for me.

That said, he has been a massive influence on music so I can't argue with that.

Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3

I was never a HUGE Clapton fan, but his control and use of tone was fantastic (especially when compared to the average rock guitarist in the 1960s). I think most of us lose a lot of interest in artists as they grow away from what they became originally known for. I'm sure most of us can name some bands from the 1970s that we'd never listen to anything from their 1980s catalog....

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Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 726

Not a huge fan of Clapton here either...I would say one of the few songs I really like that he did was "Wonderful Tonight", the live version. A great guitarist/singer...he just doesn't appeal to me all that much.

Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1281

I'm ashamed to say I don't know a lot of Clapton at all. However, we have a channel here in the UK called sky arts, which is basically a channel that shows non stop concerts by various artists.

When Claptons concerts come on, I can't stop watching!!!

That's all I know about him really. I would love to watch him live one day.

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

I grew up with Clapton too. In fact, the very first song I learned to play on guitar was Cream's "Outside Woman Blues". I've seen him live a number of times, and he's never disappointed me.

But a couple of observations:

1) "Legacy" isn't determined in our generation - maybe not even in the next. In the early 1800s, if you asked someone who the greatest Baroque composer was, the answer would probably be Bach - but not the same Bach we think of as the epitome of the era... two of his children (Johann Christian and Carl Philip Emmanuel) were considered "better" composers then. So check back in a hundred years or so to see what his legacy turns out to be.

2) Legacy has nothing to do with virtuosity. It's got more to do with their connection to the public at large. Go to a concert of a virtuoso guitarist (Yngwie, Paul Gilberts, etc.) and talk to the fans. Ask them if they play guitar. 90% or more will be guitarists - because we admire the skill. Go to a Clapton concert and ask the people around you if they play guitar... 90% won't. It's the broad appeal that builds a legacy.

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Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 680

Don't forget that Clapton inspired Hendrix and EVH to greater heights - how many guitarist can we say that about?

together we stand, divided we fall..........