I think back to when I was a kid and listening to music. I had a different taste than my sister did. We always fought over what we would listen to when we were in the bedroom that we shared. I do however remember listening to Eric Clapton in his early years and from then on throughout his career. There is something about the man’s voice that I always loved to hear.

Back then we listened to the radio to hear our music and I remember listening to his. Eric was born on March 30, 1945. He was raised by a family full of musical talent. His grandmother played the piano and it is said that his Father was a gifted musician as well. His uncle and his mother liked listening to the sounds of the big bands.

Eric asked for his first guitar at the age of 13. Then in 1961 at the age of 16 he began studying at the Kingston College of Art. He was on a one year probation, of course this ended in him being expelled when his year was up due to  lack of progress. His love for playing his guitar and listening to the blues kept him from concentrating on anything else including his studies. What a mistake they made!

In early 1963 joined his first band, The Roosters, which ended in August 1963 when the members decided to go their separate ways. In October of 1963 he became a member of the “Yardbirds” this was primarily due to his reputation of being the most talked about guitarist on the R&B pub circuit. In April 1965 he was invited by John Mayall to join his band, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Eric played with the band for a while until he decided to leave the group to go on a tour of Greece with some friends. When his tour was over he returned to the Bluesbreakers. It was then that the now classic Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton was recorded. He also recorded a one-off four-track session called “The Powerhouse” which included band members John Paul Jones, Steve Winwood and Jack Bruce.

For the second and final time, Eric left the Bluesbreakers in July 1966, he decided to team up with Jack Cream and Ginger Baker to form Cream. With three extensive tours in the US, and three solid albums, “Fresh Cream”, “Disraeli Gears” and “Wheels of Fire” the band became famous worldwide. Unfortunately Cream was only together for two years, but they were considered to be one of the most influential rock groups of the modern era. They disbanded after they had two final performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 26, 1968.

After the breakup of Cream, Eric founded Blind Faith with Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech only to have them disband only after one album and a disastrous American tour.

While few would argue that Eric Clapton is one of the finest guitarists of all time, it is often forgotten just how pivotal, influential and downright startling this man was during the 1960s. And while, throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s, Clapton has remained a musician and songwriter of rare ability.

In this extraordinary DVD, his life and career throughout these crucial ten years is put under the microscope, and with the help of archive interviews with the man himself, exclusive contributions from friends, band mates and colleagues, rare and classic performance footage, seldom seen photographs plus a host of other features, the story in question is told in a manner it never has been before.

This DVD, includes brand new interviews with musicians and performers; John Mayall, Paul Jones, Neil Innes, Tom McGuiness, Chris Dreja, Top Topham, Ben Palmer, Dave Kelly and Cream producer Bill Halverson, plus expert insight from Cream biographer Chris Welch, Yardbirds biographer Alan Clayson Willianson.

Eric Clapton – The 1960’s Review will go on sale on September 21, 2010. It has a run time of 120 minutes. I say if you are interested in Eric Clapton’s earlier years and how he got started, this DVD is one to watch. You can get your copy by clicking on the Amazon link above.

Jan Barrett

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