Iowa Radio Show Host Spends Evening With Guitar Legend
I started playing the guitar when I was around 11 years old and there are two people who I've always wanted to play like. One of my best friends Sam is one of my favorite guitar players in the world. He got a guitar when he was around 11...so I had to have one. We would learn new songs together and jam together. There's always been this mini rivalry when it came to our guitar playing.
The other guitar player I'd do just about anything to sound like was once referred to as "god" in 1966. I got to spend an evening with one of my guitar heroes, Eric Clapton
Guitar legend Eric Clapton recently performed in St. Paul, Minnesota and I was lucky enough to go to the concert. I have to give a big thank you to my friend Paul, who purchased the tickets as a wedding present.
Who Is Eric Clapton
If you're unaware of who Eric Clapton is, he's considered one of the greatest guitar players to ever live. He rose to stardom for his guitar playing in the mid-60s, playing in bands called The Yardbirds and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. After leaving the Bluesbreakers, he joined Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker to form one of the first supergroups Cream. Cream released the incredible Disraeli Gears album.
After Cream broke up in the late 60s, he joined Steve Winwood to form a band called Blind Faith. After releasing 1 album with Blind Faith, he went on to join Duane Allman, another guitar-playing legend, to make one of the greatest blues records of all time called Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs. I happen to own an original print of this album on vinyl. Maybe you've heard it before.
He's won 17 Grammy awards and was the first British citizen to win 6 in one night, according to Grammy Awards. I could write an entire article on the highs and lows of his career but we'll save that for a different day.
North American Tour
Eric only scheduled 5 locations for his North American stretch of this tour and one of them happened to be in St. Paul. This was actually the first time he performed in Minnesota in 14 years. I happened to also be at his show 14 years ago, in St Paul, and it's very possible this is the last time he will ever perform in my home state again. I was lucky enough to see him perform with Steve Winwood when I was 18 years old and all of these years later...he's still got it.
At 78 years old, Eric is still as smooth as I've always remembered. His playing might not be as flashy as it was in his younger days but he still never misses a single note.
Most of the heroes I aspire to be like are family members. I have an incredible dad and tons of uncles to look up to. Eric Clapton is probably the only "celebrity" I'd consider a hero.
My dad used to listen to this tape called the Cream of Clapton and the first time I heard the song white room, I had to learn how to play like that. To be fair...I'm not even close to being that good but picking up a guitar really changed my life and has given me a lifetime of fun and memories. I taught myself how to play and I think it really instilled a lot of confidence that if I set my mind to something, I could do it.
Thanks for one heck of an evening in Minnesota Mr. Clapton. It's likely the last time I'll ever see you live and I, along with 18,000 fans, enjoyed every second of it.
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