Eric commemorated his 70th birthday with a series of shows in at Madison Square Garden and the Royal Albert Hall. One of the London concerts was released in audio and video formats as Slowhand at 70. In 2016, he performed a handful of dates at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan, released on DVD / Blu-Ray as Planes, Trains and Eric. 2017 saw a series of shows in New York, Los Angeles and London. Eric’s 2018 itinerary has concerts in Germany, London’s Hyde Park before a crowd of 65,000 and a return trip to Madison Square Garden in October.
Over the course of his career, Eric has received numerous awards and accolades. His first was "Best International Musician" in Melody Maker’s Pop Poll. He has won 18 Grammy Awards and a BAFTA for his work on the Edge of Darkness soundtrack. He is the only triple inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Yardbirds, Cream and as a solo artist. Eric has also been inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In September 2018, Eric was honored with one of the first stars on the Royal Albert Hall's Walk of Fame. In 1994, Queen Elizabeth II made Eric an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in her New Year’s Honors List for “contribution to British Life.” In 2004, she honored him further when he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE.
After conquering his heroin addiction in the early 70s, Eric replaced it with an addiction to alcohol. For the remainder of the decade and into the 1980s, his personal life and work suffered due to his alcoholism. In January 1982, Eric entered the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center. He did backslide but entered rehab for a second time a few years later. Eric has been sober since 1987 through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. For more than thirty years, Eric has committed himself to working with those who suffer from addiction.
In February 1998, Eric announced the opening of Crossroads Centre, an addiction treatment center on Antigua following the 12-step model. One of its principles is to provide subsidized care for some of the poorest people of the Caribbean who cannot afford treatment on their own. A foundation was established to provide “scholarships” for these individuals.
To raise funds for the Crossroads Centre Foundation, Eric has held a series of Guitar Festivals and Guitar Auctions. On 24 June 1999, Clapton auctioned 100 of his guitars, including "Brownie" (the guitar on which he recorded “Layla”), at Christie’s Auction House / New York. The 1999 guitar auction netted almost $5 million (US) for the foundation. On 30 June 1999, Clapton hosted a concert to benefit the Centre at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from its airing on America’s VH1 and DVD and video sales benefited the Centre. Five years later, Eric planned a second fundraising effort for the Centre. On 4, 5 and 6 June 2004, he hosted the first Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, Texas. The three-day event presented the cream of the world’s guitarists in a benefit event for the Centre. Additionally, a second guitar auction on 24 June 2004 raised $6 million for the foundation and included the sale of "Blackie," his legendary Fender Stratocaster and a cherry red Gibson ES335, known as "The Cream Guitar." A third guitar auction in March 2011 raised an additional $1.75 million. Eric also presented three further Crossroads Guitar Festivals in 2007, 2010 and 2013. Proceeds from sales of CDs and DVDs continue to benefit the Crossroads Centre Foundation.
In October 2007, Eric's autobiography was published. Clapton - The Autobiography was translated into twelve languages and topped best-seller lists around the world. An unflinching documentary about his life, Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2017. It is available on DVD and Blu-Ray along with a companion soundtrack.
Eric married Melia McEnery on January 1, 2002. The couple has three daughters: Julie Rose (b. June 2001), Ella Mae (b. January 2003) and Sophie (b. February 2005). He also has an elder daughter with Yvonne Kelly. Ruth (b. January 1985) is married with two young sons.
Eric’s son, Conor (b. August 1986), died on 20 March 1991 when he accidentally fell from a window in his mother’s New York City apartment. Conor’s mother is Lori del Santo.
Eric married his first wife, Pattie Boyd Harrison on 27 March 1979. They had no children and divorced in 1989.
Written By Linda Wnek