In recent decades, Eric Clapton has settled into a kind of commercially comfortable respectability. His songs, like “Tears From Heaven” and “My Father’s Eyes,” are easy on the ears but hard to get enthused about. So it might be difficult for those of younger generations to understand how Clapton’s guitar playing once inspired fanatics to spray-paint “Clapton is God” across walls all over London.
This two-hour documentary takes us back to those exciting times: to when Clapton joined the Yardbirds at the age of 18, only to leave a year and a half later because he was unhappy with the band’s commercialism; to his legendary blossoming as an electric blues guitar virtuoso with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers; to his emergence as a superstar with Cream and his brief experiment with Blind Faith. The film explores the early development of Clapton’s playing through interviews with fellow musicians Mayall, Chris Dreja, Ben Palmer, Neil Innes and others, along with Cream producr Bill Halverson and a group of veteran music journalists.
Eric Clapton–The 1960’s Review is not the film to watch for extended musical performances by Clapton, but it’s a great way to learn more about what made him, if not God, certainly one of the greatest blues and rock guitarists of all time.