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Author: Subject: "Clapton - the Autobiography"

True Peach





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  posted on 12/25/2017 at 05:37 PM
First of all - Merry Christmas to the famABBly!

I recently found a copy of Eric Clapton's autobiography, "Clapton (the Autobiography)" at a church yard sale - for the tidy sum of a quarter. I typically do not read rock star biographies (including those about the Allman Brothers) unless they're given to me as a gift - or if I find them used for a low price.

There were a lot of interesting details about Eric's personal life (if this is your kind of stuff). But what I found most interesting was the total omission of Chuck Leavell.

He gives detailed minutia of the "Unplugged" period - mentioning the CD, DVD and mentioning pretty much every musician involved by name. But there is no mention of Chuck.

I remember reading somewhere (possibly in one of Chuck's books - also a gift ) that Chuck questioned why he and the other musicians didn't receive residual payments for sales of the CD/DVD of the "Unplugged" project. Did this line of questioning lead to Chuck's non-mention in Eric's book?

 

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Peach Pro



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  posted on 12/26/2017 at 01:37 PM
Perhaps, and EC seems like he just might be a bit of a dick!!!

Merry Christmas, Rusty, and Roll Tide!!!

 

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  posted on 12/26/2017 at 10:59 PM
I couldn't stand the book. Clapton's and Gregg's book did neither one of them any favors in my opinion. Both came across as insecure and not someone I'd particularly want to emulate.

Both are 2 of my all-time favorite musicians.

Just my opinion. I'm sure many will differ.

I've read other bios of rock stars that I really liked. I think both Petty & Springsteen's books were wonderful. I read both last year.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 10:40 AM
It’s been a while since I read EC’s autobiography, but at the time, I found it surprisingly dry, detached. For a man who has had a colorful music career and encountered so many characters and conveyed so much passion through his music, it was surprisingly flat.
 

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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 11:41 AM
After reading Clapton's autobiography, I seriously wondered if playing music was his sole redeeming quality. His depiction of himself as a horrible drug addicted narcissist downright harmful to those around him has colored my opinion of him ever since. Dead Mallard, I would disagree with you slightly on Gregg's biography. It appeared to me that Gregg took great pains to avoid looking like Clapton. However, Gregg's book isn't without stunning omissions and subtle ax grindings either. I found it truly disappointing that Gregg didn't, couldn't or wouldn't acknowledge Kirk West for starting the Big House Museum. This makes the fan wonder what was behind Kirk's firing there at the last. Also from reading the book it would also appear that Gregg felt that Willie Perkins stole from him and held a grudge. That truly was a shame when it appears from all accounts and purposes that Willie kept Gregg alive during the 80's and is partly responsible for his resurgence in popularity i.e. "I'm No Angel." I haven't read the Petty Bio yet. So thanks for the suggestion.

 

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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 12:27 PM
Which Petty book are you guys talking about? I'm curious to read that actually.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 12:42 PM
quote:
Which Petty book are you guys talking about? I'm curious to read that actually.


Ditto. Big Tom Petty fan and i loved the "Running Down A Dream" DVD/CD boxset and book but i'm definitely interested in a well researched biography. So any info / review of that book is very welcome.

 

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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 02:02 PM
quote:
First of all - Merry Christmas to the famABBly!

I recently found a copy of Eric Clapton's autobiography, "Clapton (the Autobiography)" at a church yard sale - for the tidy sum of a quarter. I typically do not read rock star biographies (including those about the Allman Brothers) unless they're given to me as a gift - or if I find them used for a low price.

There were a lot of interesting details about Eric's personal life (if this is your kind of stuff). But what I found most interesting was the total omission of Chuck Leavell.



I read Chuck's book "Between Rock and a Home Place" a few years back and if I'm not mistaken, Chuck speculates that he and Eric had a bit of a falling out somewhere along the way and he was a little mystified about why. I'm a little foggy on details but I do remember the book to be a good read, so you may want to seek that one out too.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 02:25 PM
A different take on these things - when I read a musician's autobiography (or biography) I'm not reading it to find out how wonderful the person is or how much of an **** they are. The drug problems and womanizing are known facts.
I'm more interested in some of the stories (or a version of them) about how the music was made, what was it about, how the bands were formed, etc. There were some cool stories in both of those books, they both exposed something of their inner demons. I wouldn't let either one of them date my sister.
I'd recommend both books

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 05:59 PM
I'll have to pull the book out again.

Leavell said he was amazed there was no acknowledgement to the band, no final back stage celebration at the end of an extremely successful tour/album. Chuck is such a positive guy that he nothing bad to say about anyone's character except possibly EC. (and did very little juicy kiss and tell storytelling in his book).

And they apparently kindled no friendship as he said they never spoke again.

And that album, which was a huge deal in Clapton's career, doesn't hit it as big without Leavell. Chuck was just gold on that record. Possibly his best front to back contribution to any record he's ever been a part of.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 06:35 PM
quote:
I'll have to pull the book out again.

Leavell said he was amazed there was no acknowledgement to the band, no final back stage celebration at the end of an extremely successful tour/album. Chuck is such a positive guy that he nothing bad to say about anyone's character except possibly EC. (and did very little juicy kiss and tell storytelling in his book).

And they apparently kindled no friendship as he said they never spoke again.

And that album, which was a huge deal in Clapton's career, doesn't hit it as big without Leavell. Chuck was just gold on that record. Possibly his best front to back contribution to any record he's ever been a part of.


I agree completely. In many ways, I see that album as being as much about Chuck as Eric.

 

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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 07:03 PM
My take on Clapton from his book was that he had more fun than any miserable person in history.

 

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  posted on 12/27/2017 at 11:20 PM
quote:
A different take on these things - when I read a musician's autobiography (or biography) I'm not reading it to find out how wonderful the person is or how much of an **** they are. The drug problems and womanizing are known facts.
I'm more interested in some of the stories (or a version of them) about how the music was made, what was it about, how the bands were formed, etc. There were some cool stories in both of those books, they both exposed something of their inner demons. I wouldn't let either one of them date my sister.
I'd recommend both books


I read musician's autobiographies for the same reason you do, to hear about how the music was made, how or why songs were written, recorded, which other musicians inspired them, etc.

I never read the Clapton book but I wish that Gregg's book and Alan Paul's book/collection of interviews went into how the Allmans and Gregg created their music more, instead of the stories about sex, groupies/hookers, drugs/addiction, etc. which basically anyone who is a fan of the Allmans and/or Gregg already knew about or would not be surprised to hear about.

[Edited on 12/29/2017 by The_Newt]

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 12/28/2017 at 01:15 AM
Petty: The Biography by Warren Zanes (2015)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_4?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&a mp;field-keywords=petty+the+biography&sprefix=pett%2Cstripbooks%2C229&a mp;crid=1HXOSCTPPYC1V




Springsteen:


https://www.amazon.com/Born-Run-Bruce-Springsteen/dp/1501141511

I loved both. Could not put them down. Borrowed both from my local library and had them back within 3/5 days.



 

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  posted on 12/28/2017 at 01:18 AM
I enjoy the opinions given on Clapton & G. Allman's books.

Agree strongly about more content involving the music and less about the R & R lifestyle.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 12/28/2017 at 01:22 AM
Another music bio I really enjoyed was Backstage Passes by Al Kooper. What a career that guy has had. Awesome read. Unfortunately, my local library did not have the revised version that came out (I think in the 80's) that dealt with his relationship with Skynard.

https://www.amazon.com/Backstage-Passes-Backstabbing-Bastards-Survivor/dp/0 879309229/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514441958&sr=1-1& keywords=backstage+passes+and+backstabbing+bastards


 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 12:49 PM
quote:
Petty: The Biography by Warren Zanes (2015)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_4?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&a mp;field-keywords=petty+the+biography&sprefix=pett%2Cstripbooks%2C229&a mp;crid=1HXOSCTPPYC1V

Springsteen:


https://www.amazon.com/Born-Run-Bruce-Springsteen/dp/1501141511

I loved both. Could not put them down. Borrowed both from my local library and had them back within 3/5 days.




Thanks for the info. Gonna put that Petty book on my wishlist.

 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 02:50 PM
Warren Zanes' Tom Petty book is one of the best biographies that I have read. I'd put it up there beside Bob Mehr's book "Trouble Boys" about the Replacements as maybe my top two biographies.
 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 03:00 PM
quote:
quote:
First of all - Merry Christmas to the famABBly!

I recently found a copy of Eric Clapton's autobiography, "Clapton (the Autobiography)" at a church yard sale - for the tidy sum of a quarter. I typically do not read rock star biographies (including those about the Allman Brothers) unless they're given to me as a gift - or if I find them used for a low price.

There were a lot of interesting details about Eric's personal life (if this is your kind of stuff). But what I found most interesting was the total omission of Chuck Leavell.




If I remember the passage from Chuck's book correctly, I don't think the fallout was with Eric, but with Eric's management. I think his disagreement was with how his management handled the royalties for the Unplugged album.

I love Chuck, but to say that album is as much about Chuck as it is Eric is using a bit too much hyperbole. That albums success was mostly based of tragedy and recovery over the performance. Chuck's performance was great, but in the end it was Clapton's interpretations of those songs and the tragedy that he had just faced that created the success of that album.

I do agree that Clapton's book is a very dry detached read. However, I find it admirable when someone does admit their faults and mistakes and shows the impact of bad decisions. He didn't make excuses or cover things up.

I also agree, that I wish more of these biographies and autobiographies would go into more detail on the music. There is a book on Van Halen that their former manager Noel Monk wrote that I found to be awful because it was all dirt and almost no musical content at all. The best part of any of those biographies for me are the musical related stories and the inner workings of the band stories vs who took what or who did what to who?

 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 03:49 PM
I believe it was clapton who blamed his manager [roger forrester] for screwing Chuck out of royalty money. clapton is a weasel.
 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 10:10 PM
Also if an album/performance is as much about a sideman as it is the band leader/namesake, then there is a problem.

 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 10:21 PM
quote:
I believe it was clapton who blamed his manager [roger forrester] for screwing Chuck out of royalty money. clapton is a weasel.


From his book:

"Eric was good to me and good for me. I can't say the same for his manager."... "When the issue of a video came up, the band was told there wasn't much hope that would be a hot video out of it, but it probably would be released. I said to his manager Roger Forrester, 'well that's fine. But if it does do well, can we discuss some further compensation from it.' He said 'sure, if anything else happens with it... you'll be looked after.'"

"I did what my better judgement told me not to do. I signed the contract without that being spelled out"...

"In any case, Eric was good to me, and I always felt at home with him."


It was Chuck who blamed Eric's manager and had nothing but nice things to say about Eric. The only thing close to a negative was that Clapton was aloof (which almost everyone knows about him) and that the band just ended abruptly at the end of the tour.

Clapton likely knew or knows nothing of the contracts the band signed. Most artists don't keep up with that kind of detail, nor should they.

 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 10:26 PM
quote:
Also if an album/performance is as much about a sideman as it is the band leader/namesake, then there is a problem.
Chuck just wanted what was due,him. Is that a problem?

 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 10:36 PM
quote:
quote:
Also if an album/performance is as much about a sideman as it is the band leader/namesake, then there is a problem.
Chuck just wanted what was due,him. Is that a problem?


Honest question here: I don’t know how the industry really works. But do band members for-hire, as opposed to a full-fledged band’s “members,” get residuals? Seems they’d get a contract rate and that’s that. Unless the contract has a clause calling for a share of sales?

And, yeah, Chuck slays it on Unplugged. But let’s be real, he had two solos the entire album. Not saying his playing throughout wasn’t stellar, but he wasn’t the star or reason for success.

As much as people rag on Bobby Whitlock on here, it’s funny that we are now sounding like him for this album.

[Edited on 12/30/2017 by cmgst34]

 

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  posted on 12/29/2017 at 10:47 PM
I was responding to CanadianMule’s comment and I quote: “In many ways, I see that album being as much about Chuck as it was Eric.” As far as Chuck he said, (again I quote) “I did what my better judgement told me not to do. I signed the contract without that being spelled out ...” As for Clapton ... Chuck wouldn’t be the first musician that Clapton has screwed; however, unlike the others Chuck has continued to be in demand as a musician. He is basically indispensable to the Stones as their de facto musical director. Of course behind his work on Brothers And Sisters, Unplugged would be his next best recorded performance.

 

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