Slowhand

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What to expect

‘The masterful biographer Philip Norman has unearthed countless fascinating details’ DAILY MAIL

For half a century Eric Clapton has been acknowledged to be rock music’s greatest virtuoso, the unrivalled master of its indispensable tool, the solid-body electric guitar. His career has spanned the history of rock, and often shaped it via the seminal bands with whom he’s played: the Yardbirds, John Mavall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominoes. Winner of eighteen Grammys, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s only three-time inductee, he is an enduring influence on every other star soloist who ever wielded a pick.

Now his full story – including those bits that were left out from Clapton’s memoir – is told by rock music’s foremost biographer, with Clapton’s consent and access to family members and close friends. In Slowhand: Eric Clapton’s Blues, Philip Norman returns to the heroic age of British rock and follows Clapton through his distinctive and scandalous childhood, early life of reckless rock ‘n’ roll excess, and twisting and turning struggle with addiction in the 60s and 70s.

Readers will learn about his relationship with Pattie Boyd – wife of Clapton’s own best friend George Harrison – the tragic death of his son, which inspired one of his most famous songs, ‘Tears in Heaven’, and even the backstories of his most famed, and named, guitars. Packed with new information and critical insights, Slowhand reveals the complex character behind the legend.

(p) Hachette Book Group 2018

Critics Review

  • Slowhand reads like a textbook account of all the pathologies of the rock-star life: promiscuity, infidelity, heroin addiction, alcoholism

    SUNDAY TIMES
  • It has taken a biographer as perceptive and clear-sighted as Philip Norman to do Clapton justice … Despite everything, you end up liking Clapton, and feeling as if you know and understand him. It is proof that Norman’s biography has done its work

    THE TIMES
  • As usual, the masterful biographer Philip Norman has unearthed countless fascinating details

    DAILY MAIL
  • On a mission to expose the music of the US south to a new audience in as pure a form as possible, [Clapton] captured the raw emotion of the sound he loved enough to transfix his young listeners. A generation was discovering an alien language with which they instinctively felt at home. That cultural leap – which began with conversations in record shops, coffee bars and art schools, and eventually swept the world – is one of the key stories of the last century and is always worth re-examining, as Philip Norman does in this biography of one of the movement’s pioneers

    THE GUARDIAN
  • Solid and sad

    DAILY TELEGRAPH Music Books of the Year
  • Lucid

    FINANCIAL TIMES

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