Clapton : Music ,Addiction and Redemption



a classic encounter at Bradley and Eric Clapton people were writing graffiti Clapton is God I was disgusted and pleased at the same time the reclusive rock-and-roll legend surprisingly open about his demons were you ever suicidal it almost almost on a nightly basis raw and revealing about his years of abusing drugs and alcohol and the reason he you're very close to yourself you loved him a lot hey yeah you would have loved him too never-before-seen moments about how the music saved him after the tragic death of his four-year-old son what I did was I just when the emotions started to surface I played them and I thank God that music was there for me because that could have been a very dangerous play I'm Lara Logan welcome to classic 60 minutes when it comes to playing guitar one of the all-time greats is Eric Clapton the legendary rock star is the only three-time member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and his iconic songs have earned him millions through the decades but when it bradley met captain for a rare interview in 1999 the reclusive guitarist wanted to talk more about how he'd handled the adversity in his life than the success and there was plenty of adversity but first they talked about his rise to fame your first man that you join his work which was called the rooster and from there you went to Casey Jones in the engine and then the other you went to John Mayall's Bluesbreakers here all of these great names in rock and roll history in our own I 1966 Clapton had hooked up with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker to form a band called cream it was a huge international success at this point you were being recognized as the greatest player for the blues guitar in Britain people were writing graffiti Clapton is God when you saw that what do you think I was disgusted and pleased at the same time I am an egomaniac with an inferiority complex so I like the attention and I don't like the attention but the more attention the more success the more he retreated into the world of drugs and alcohol I couldn't get through a day without doing something to alter my consciousness and it started with heroin the addicted started now he's got it with sugar sugar oh yeah when I was five six years old I was crying sugar down my throat as fast as I could get it done sweet you know sugar on bread and butter I became addicted to two because it changed the way I felt and as the years passed Clapton would do more and more to change the way he felt the first time I got drunk I passed I was I got lost by power into a Jazz Festival in the country and I woke up two days later and the thing was over my friends are gone I've crapped myself I puked all over myself and I had no I had no money and I was like what happened here I had a hell of a time and I thought you know can't wait to do this again you probably got a love advance yeah that's see the difference in me in somebody who doesn't qualify as an auntie when did you know that it had you I think I knew for quite a long time but that thing about denial the ability to lie to ourselves as human beings was very strong in me so I would just shove that information were you lonely then oh yeah I think I've had loneliness play a part in my life all the way through the roots of that loneliness can be traced back to the small English village of Ripley where Clapton grew up his mother was only 16 and unmarried when her son was born and at that time a child born out of wedlock was really a scandal have many shows like that pretty shameful yeah Clapton would never meet his father when he was less than a year old his mother left him with his grandparents who he grew up believing were his parents Clapton wouldn't learn the truth until he was 9 when his mother returned for a visit I made him initially a plea to her to be accepted as her son and she said I think in a great deal of pain perhaps we ought to leave it as it is and then I got angry and I really didn't know what the hell was going on I had no idea of the good intentions and they just seemed to me that everyone had been lying how did it impact you so I was doing well at school and suddenly I I went to the bottom of the class what I did was I found an alternative system in existence and for Clapton part of that was developing a love for music specifically the black music of America's Mississippi Delta the blue choose me sir I saw in the Blues and uplifting essence which I a lot of people don't really quite get what for me is very important which is it it's about dignity self-respect and having fun or you're not being able to laugh at other plight and take the mickey out of it and so if it was you know there was a redemptive quality in that music which wasn't existent in anything else around him but where did you hear the Blues and ripple on the radio and to me it sounded like they were in in a fantasy land to me see that you know you for you perhaps head the plantations and think of the cotton fields would have been a place of abject misery and hardship from pick it with pepper Titans I wanted to be I couldn't think of anything I'd rather be doing the picking cotton and hearing that music all around me that was a fantasy it was but you know it were and it was so primal the way I responded to that but I just bonded immediately and began began that journey how old were you when you got your first guitar 13 I got my grandmother to depart to buy on what we call the never-never which is the high purchase system what's the number of our money down you know money down is like money you put a deposit down and then you pay for this thing over like a five year period long period of day yeah Clapton taught himself to play by listening to records my favorite one was the best of muddy waters I remember playing along with it having this guitar not plug dings I didn't have an amplifier and I'm making the shape of the same shape as money on a song called honeybee or I actually I could hit it and and it sounded exactly like the record it sounded like the writ I was in stereo with the record and that was it mister I cracked it then I cracked I knew I knew I could play when we return Eric captain brutally honest about his alcohol and drug abuse and the story behind his biggest hit I don't know if I was capable of knowing what love was her I was obsessed with this woman in this classic 60 minutes Eric Clapton's candid conversation with Edie Bradley continues by the late 1960s Clapton had already created many rock-and-roll classics and it already played with some of the most talented musicians of his generation but his biggest hits or ahead of him his band cream became an international sensation they were the first to feature instrumentals and Clapton's guitar solos became famous by the end of the decade Clapton seemed to be everywhere even playing guitar with the Beatles on the White Album but its captain told Bradley during those high times he was just that high you to come up yeah I started drinking it seemed like an get lie about my age and get into a pub and then it was speed it got into the heavy stuff in my 20s but I'd already been fooling around for a long time by then you just snorted you didn't do you never inject never I never IV no but you did a lot every day yeah for how long three is but you got rid of heroin but you still had a least I didn't again I didn't get rid of anything I I stopped taking heroin but I immediately stopped drinking in the later stages what was it they like for you I mean I would wake up and look out the window I didn't know whether it was morning or late afternoon and if it was dark whether it was night evening or early you know I didn't know in the end and sometimes I didn't even know where where I was even though I woke up at home I wouldn't know where how long would a bottle of vodka light-hearted a half a day yeah you're drinking a couple bottles of the bottles a day and then sometimes you know I would go out or if someone managed to get me into a city of socially situated on top of that were you ever suicidal yes frequently so you know was almost on a nightly basis by the early 1970s Clapton was performing on his own he had also fallen in love with Pattie Boyd the wife of his good friend the Beatle George Harrison this took place over a period of years and I think he kind of knew and he had they had stopped really living together and I put myself in a position of being her Savior so I was full of all kinds of romantic nonsense it was Boyd who decided to leave Harrison and marry Clapton and it was for her the Clapton wrote one of his biggest hits lame Oh Oh Pattie Boyd was described as the great love of your life true um I don't know I don't know because I don't know if I was capable of knowing what love was her I was obsessed with this woman so I like that's why I said I don't know if I loved her because as a practicing drunk which I was then I just wanted something very badly what brought an end to her I think recovery for me stopping drinking I'm realizing they're like that I couldn't live the old life in fact you know when I first stopped drinking I kind of experienced a long period of impotency which was pretty scary and you know all it was was that I hadn't performed any kind of sex act with a woman sober in my life never that never happened without some kind of stimulant so you take that away I just didn't it didn't work was there a low point a point where you said okay that's it there won't be a next drink yeah tell me what that were I was an avid fisherman and that was one area tell me what that were I was an avid fisherman and that was one area where I felt I had some expertise and still harbored a little bit of self-respect and I remember going fishing one morning and on the other side of the river there were two fishermen who were acknowledged experts and it was very important for me to make a good impression to these guys so I started to set up my equipment at some point I lost my balance and I fell over and I broke one of the rods in heart and something in me just died because these guys on the other bank looked away they embarrassed me and that was my last the last little piece of dignity and self-respect I had going for me was taken away and I had to gather up this stuff put it back in the truck and I think I was pretty near to tears if I wasn't actually crying and I drove home I picked up the phone and I called someone who said that I've had enough and that was it what have I done what the hell am i done I've let the cat out of the bag because four years up until then I said I'm fine so Clapton went into treatment but was soon drinking again it was during the relapse that he had an affair with Italian actress Lori del Santo she would become the mother of Clapton's only son Connor when he was born I was drinking and he was really the chief reason that I that I went back to treatment because I I really did love this boy and before I can't I know he's like a little baby but he can see me and he can see what I'm doing I don't want I'm tired of it so because I didn't have that much love for myself he was the chief reason I went back into treatment you're very close to yourself you loved him a lot hey you would have loved him too it was for Connor that Clapton finally quit for good and vowed to be the kind of father he never had but that was not to be in March of 91 Clapton was in New York to visit Connor who was living in the city with his mother the phone rang in his hotel room and his mother was instead she was hardly able to to make sense but she said he was dead he had accidentally fallen 49 floors from the window of his mother's apartment and I remember putting the phone down and calmly walking from my hotel to that place as if nothing had happened and I walk past the street this is a terrible thing shame for me which I'll never ever perhaps recover from and seeing that seeing crowded people and and paramedic and knowing that he was there and walking by and I'll punish myself forever about why didn't I run why didn't I go to see him and the truth is I couldn't I was so frightened and there's tough when we return eric clapton talked about why he shared his sorrows with Eadie Bradley and how he came to write the song for Conor I wasn't quite enjoyed going into that place of emotion in writing it's like a purging experience in my song Eric Clapton is perhaps the greatest guitar player in the world but his addiction to drugs and alcohol was also world-class of the decades of abuse he says he became sober so he could be a good father for his son Connor as this classic 60 minutes continues captain tells Edie Bradley how writing tears in heaven helped him after his son died and here in a never-before-seen moments from their 1999 interview they discussed where the captain ever thought about returning to drugs or alcohol were you tempted at all did you come close when your son died no it was so overwhelming I didn't have time for to think about drinking I went into shock in a way I became an emotional blank for a little while a drink only really comes up around extreme emotions what I did was I just when the emotions started to surface I played them but I thank God that music was there for me that because that could have been a very dangerous play the music helped you out of it yeah excited you know we must go tears in heaven yes was it a difficult song to run no no because I've always I've always quite enjoyed going into that place of emotion in writing it's a very very it's like a purging experience tears in heaven and the CD unplugged woodwind Clapton six Grammy Awards in 1993 you know the greatest thing that I have is being awake for my life and being able to participate and having no more dark secrets inside which damaged me and that I've got through staying sober Clapton has been sober for almost 13 years now and today spends much of his time in the Caribbean on the island of Antigua Eric you feel that you're you're alone or now um yeah I think I am I'd rather not be I mean I like being in relationships I like I have a lot of good relationships friends you know but I don't have an intimate relationship in the moment and I would like that but I'm kind of getting getting almost too old for it why would you all well you know set let's say set just I like my own company and for me to give that up to share my time I'd have to be pretty well obsessed with someone you don't do a lot of interviews here I don't know why did you decide to do this now knowing that I'm going to be intrusive um because I'm involved in something that needs to be spoken about that is actually bigger than me is this treatment center that I'm trying to bring to people's awareness you'll take us there I will it almost looks like a hotel the idea while everyone I told full sentence today Clapton has spent almost 7 million dollars on the project a drug-and-alcohol treatment center called crossroads you built all of this from scratch yeah yeah I mean there was nothing here there was nothing here and Clapton's investment in the center is more than financial crossroads has personal importance to him he says because of how far he's come you've survived a complicated childhood drug addiction alcohol addiction the loss of your son how have you come through all of this and managed to remain sane and remain whole I think the process of letting it go you know of acknowledging that I'm not the master and it ain't about what I want it's about what I can give now he wants to give people who can't afford to pay for a stay at the crossroads a chance to use the rehab center if you're a local person Caribbean not necessarily from Antigua but from another Island and you don't have any money you can come here and get treatment 1/3 of the beds will be set aside for them and to pay for their care he put on a benefit concert this summer at Madison Square Garden Oh Oh this is a total he raised over five million dollars by auctioning off more than a hundred of his guitar at four hundred and fifty thousand dollars anyone else it is charity all the way at four hundred and fifty thousand dollars so in 1974 someone asked you what you'd like to be doing ten years from now and you said I'd like to be alive yeah still true still true I'd like to be sober too because that's the one isn't really possible without the other soon after his interview Eric Clapton found a new love in 2001 he married William a canary she was 25 and he was 56 they now have three daughters together captain continued to tour and continue to raise millions of dollars for his crossroad Center he's helped to build a halfway house in Antigua and to buy an additional treatment facility in Florida and in 2007 he came out with a new book Clapton the autobiography brutally honest about his public triumphs and private torments I'm Lara Logan join us next time for another episode of classic 60 minutes did you have a nickname no we ever called the loony the loony there was a group of us at school that called ourselves the living that was our little Club who didn't want to play sports who didn't like anything and we called ourselves loonies how did you know about that I did my homework I'm an investigative reporter that's cool

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