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by Ray Coleman

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
British music journalist Coleman, longtime Melody Maker editor and author of the biography Lennon, has captured the ``life, work and pulse'' of the blues/rock guitarist and songwriter, tracing Clapton's turbulent career with a number of groups (Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, etc.). The musician's life, Coleman notes, ``evokes the ingredients of a novel rather than a biography'': he was raised by his grandparents and had a troubled childhood, was expelled from college and began performing professionally at 18, and kicked both heroin and alcohol addiction. His obsessive pursuit of George Harrison's wife, Pattie, led to a clandestine affair and their 1979 marriage. Coleman tracks the details of Clapton's life with an intensity equal to his subject matter, and his extensive research is evident. In addition to a discography, the book also features pages from Clapton's diary, several song lyrics, a chart of ``career moves'' and more than 70 photographs. (October)
Library Journal - Library Journal
For readers interested in rock/blues guitar virtuoso Clapton as-a-man, this will be fascinating. Coleman packs this ``authorized book'' with quotes, and in some respects succeeds in putting the reader inside Clapton's head. Yet so adulatory is the author that his hand is always tipped; even Clapton's notorious drug and alcohol periods lose impact. The book is also marred by narrative meandering and a prose style that often degenerates into ``lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous'' breathlessness. For readers interested in Clapton's music, bands (Yardbirds, Cream, etc.), colleagues, and times there is unfortunately very little of substance. For public libraries where there is interest. Robert E. Brown, Onodaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
YA Eric Clapton remains one of the most innovative rock guitarists around, a status that he has maintained since the 1960s. This biography traces his musical life from late adolescence to his present solo act; it also follows his personal ups and downsa three-year addiction to heroin followed by a bout with alcoholism, his wooing of his wife Patty, his growth into a band leader. Coleman's research is thorough: he interviewed old girlfriends, band members, friends famous and not, and family. All reports appear quite honest, not entirely positive, and yet the book reads like a fan's adulation. Its original title in Britain was Survivor!, and that is the message: look what Clapton survived for his music. One of the final chapters is a chronological examination of his music which only superficially analyzes the trends. YAs will read enthusiastically the details, even as Clapton discusses openly his current opinion that the years he spent on drugs were wasted. A guitar player might wish for more minutiae concerning technique, but that's not the purpose of this book. The discography is complete and well presented. The chart ``Eric Clapton's Career Moves'' will provide students of rock history an excellent timeline from March 1963 through December 1984, detailing Clapton against a backdrop of other bands of note.Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.

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Grand Central Publishing
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