Review: Clapton, The Autobiography by Eric Clapton

My book club voted in something different this month, an autobiography written by Eric Clapton, the quintessential rockstar and guitar hero.  As I counted up the votes, I inwardly groaned when I saw the results.  Apart from “Cocaine” and “Tears in Heaven,” and the death of his young son, Conor, I knew very little about Eric Clapton, and wasn’t too sure I cared to know any more than I already did.

So even though I didn’t care, I was trying to have an open mind.  But it was with some trepidation that I started this book (purchased on the Nook, Mr. FTC nosey pants).  I purposely did not read any reviews ahead of time so that I could just take it all in.

But, I’m sorry.  Mr. Clapton should stick to music as his writing skills are severely lacking.  This book reads like a diary, i.e. Today we went to the store and bought a guitar.  Today George Harrison and I jammed.  Today I did some heroin.  Today I tried to get Patti to leave George.  Today my kid fell out the window.  Today I got drunk and smashed my Ferrari into a laundry van, but I was ok (no word on the fate of the other guy, however).

Clapton made some amazing music and knew tons of interesting people (hellooooo- Mick Jagger!  Bob Dylan!), yet the telling of it all sounds incredibly boring. Maybe he was just too wasted to remember many details but the stories are all oddly flat and dull. Even the re-telling of young Conor’s tragic death in a fall from the 53rd story of a New York City skyscraper is devoid of emotion.  Maybe because he was barely a parent to the boy he wasn’t sure how to feel or what to say, but he wrote more passionately about a new guitar, an obscure blues musician, or a smokin’ hot groupie than about losing Conor.

Clapton was a spoiled baby and a total narcissist who wanted what he wanted until he got it; then he didn’t want it anymore- success, women, friends, cars, homes, even his high-profile bands.  His lack of emotion and regard for other humans was sickening to read.  He had a hand in destroying numerous lives and relationships, but, ya know, he feels pretty good about it all now that he’s sober and mature.  Ugh.

Maybe for book club I’ll whip up some hashish brownies or some magic mushrooms and put on Slowhand because I have no idea what we’ll talk about.  I can’t relate with any wasted rock and roll stories of my own.

I can’t remember the last time I hated a book this much.  If you’re a diehard Clapton fan, maybe you’ll be into this.  If not, save your money.