A Life of Unfortunate Events: Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton has had one of the worst series of personal stories that I have ever heard of. Indeed, I believe the proper term here would not be FML, but FCL. Here are some choice examples:

Jimi Hendrix

It is a well known fact that guitar gods Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix were good friends. Indeed, according to Eric Clapton’s biography, when they were in New York together, they would often drop by clubs and jam with the musicians there, which I believe is code for “terrorize the crap out of the mortals’. Imagine if you were a new young musician trying to make a living in New York, and Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix show up to your first gig with guitars and rock the hell out of your audience. How would you feel?

Anyway, Eric Clapton felt like Jimi Hendrix was a brother to him, and one day after he finished recording Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, he was walking by a guitar shop and saw a left-handed Fender Stratocaster. You see, Jimi Hendrix was a left-handed guitarist, but he played his Stratocaster upside-down, since they didn’t usually make left-handed guitars. So Clapton decided to buy the guitar for him as a gift, cause it’s a nice thing to do. The very next day, Jimi Hendrix was found dead in a basement apartment in London. He didn’t even have the chance to give him the guitar. FCL.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan was one of the most talented guitarists of all time, and Eric Clapton knew this and often performed with him. Indeed, on one fateful night in Wisconsin when Stevie Ray Vaughan was on tour with Eric Clapton, after the concert Clapton was getting on helicopters to travel to the next location, and there happened to be some extra seats on one of the helicopters, so Stevie Ray Vaughan decided to join the ride. When the helicopters arrived at the next destination, SRV’s helicopter was nowhere to be found. In fact, the helicopter had crashed, resulting in the death of everyone on board. Clapton had just lost a great friend and one of the greatest guitarists on Earth and some dear friends in his road crew. FCL.

Conor Clapton

This is probably the most well-known personal tragedy about Eric Clapton. Conor Clapton was Eric Clapton’s 4 year-old son who died after falling from the 53rd floor of an apartment building in New York, but it gets even sadder than that. You see, according to Clapton’s autobiography, he had been avoiding meeting his child, since he was unsure whether he’d be a good father, what with his previous drug problems and rock star lifestyle. But he had finally mustered up the courage to hang out with his little son in New York, so they went to the circus together, which is where Clapton finally thought for the first time that he might be able to do this father thing, so he got really excited. So he said goodbye and went home, hoping to hang out with Conor more in the future. The next day (this seems to happen to Clapton a lot), he gets a hysterical phone call from Conor’s mother, saying that Conor fell out of the window, ending his all too short life. FCL.

Yeah, I don’t know how he dealt with it.

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