Monday, June 23, 2008

A book with the blues....

On Sunday I finished my first summer read, Clapton: The Autobiography by Eric Clapton. Over the years, especially the past 10 years, I have grown to love reading as an enjoyable pass-time; reading all sorts of books from love stories, suspense, to memiors and such.

Last year, as many of you may remember, I traveled to Chicago with my family to attend Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. This was his second, and probably his last. If I remember correctly, 100% of the proceeds were going to his Crossroads Centre in Antigua. A large number of musicians participated in it and it was absolutely wonderful.

When I heard this book was coming out, I was esctatic. After taking part in the Festival last summer, I wanted to learn more about his career as a musician and such. Music has been such a huge part of my life growing up and I always found the piano to be my sanctuary. Whenever I felt down or needed time to myself, you could probably find me seated in front of our 88 keys, an old upright that once belonged my my Mom's father. I would always feel better after sitting down at the piano; whether it was for 20 minutes, or an hour. This was the same with listening to a wide variety of music; instrumental, oldies, classical, country, etc. My participation in band from grade school through my high school years was fun a well, but mostly for social enjoyment. Thus, I have always had a fondness and appreciation for all sorts of music.

Back to the book. I will be honest, this was a hard one for me to get into. It was slow starting but the last 2/3rds of the book I thought was enjoyable. I learned a lot about him as an artist, and as a person, as well as an addict. Probably more than I wanted to, and I know that some others whom have read this book have lost respect for him. Fortunately, that was not the case with me. I knew that he was a drug addict, I just didn't know the details. If you don't want to know more than the fact that he pretty much did every drug in the book and drank every thing on the shelf at one point in his life, then don't read the book. But, if you can look past that and realize how much talent was there, his fight to overcome addiction over and over again, and what he has done with himself in his years of sobriety.... then read it.

Mostly due to my Dad's love of the blues, I have grown to love Eric Clapton's music over the past years, as well as many other kinds of blues artists. So many people have such a negative view of this genre of music, and that is okay... it's their opinion. But, Eric Clapton couldn't have said it better....
"The blues is a style of music that was born from the union between African and European folk cultures, conceived in slavery, and fostered in the Mississippi delta. It has its scale, its own laws and traditions, and its own language. In my view it's a celebration of triumph over adversity, full of humor, double entendre, and irony, and it's very rarely, if ever, depressing to listen to. It can be, and usually is, the most uplifting music you will ever hear."
If you are interested in blues music and looking for other artists of interest... let me know. I have a wonderful list started.

11 comments:

IronGambit said...

I am in Chicago right now. :)

kelsalynn said...

I'm glad you liked the book and were able to get into it. I don't fair well with books that start off slow...

I may be late on this, but your blog layout is fricken awesome! It's damn sexy I must say! I'm jealous!

D10 said...

I always wished I could just sit down at a piano and play. I agree Eric Clapton is very talented.

L*I*S*A said...

I'd like to give that book a read at some point...

Jess said...

I'm only familar with the more popular Clapton songs. But it sounds like an interesting read.

Ms. Math said...

You're right - the piano is a great place to make you feel better. I'm so grateful to my parents for putting me in lessons.

J~Mom said...

Sounds like a great book! I loove summer reading. I always have.

akshaye said...

Sounds great. I like all kinds of (auto)biographies.

Nat said...

I have a hard time getting into the blues for some reason. But, I do like some of Eric's songs.

Lily on the Road said...

I love the blues, as you will note on my info section.

Having grown up with Eric Clapton's music and his personal ups and downs, (he's not much older than me) I'm still madly "in love" with him!!

Please share your list, I'd love to hear more about it!

Danielle said...

I've never been a big fan of blues, but I'll listen to it, I kind of listen to a little bit of all of it. You're right about music in so many ways though. I love the feelings it can evoke and the memories it can bring.