Eric Patrick Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England


Eric got his first guitar

It was a German-made Hoyer Spanish-style acoustic. It had steel strings and cost around £2.


Eric got his first electric guitar

It was a double cutaway Kay, which was a close of Gibson’s ES335. He purchased it with financial assistance from his grandparents for £100.


January - August

Eric joined his first band, The Roosters, at age 17. They played mostly in the Greater London area. Venues included the Carfax Ballroom in Oxford, the Ricky-Tick Clubs in Kingston, Reading, West Wickham and Windsor, the Wooden Bridge Hotel in Guildford, The Jazz Cellar in Kingston, The Scene in Ham Yard, Soho and Uncle Bonnie’s Chinese Jazz Club in Brighton.

The Roosters:
Eric Clapton – Guitar 
Terry Brennan – Vocals 
Tom McGuinness – Guitar 
Ben Palmer – Piano 
Robin Mason – Drums



Eric joined Casey Jones & The Engineers and toured for the first time. He played seven gigs over several weeks on the Northern Beat and Cabaret Circuit. The first show took place at the Civic Hall in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Performances followed at The Oasis and the Belle Vue Amusement Park, both in Manchester. At the Civic Hall and The Oasis gigs, The Engineers were also required to back cabaret singer Polly Perkins

Casey Jones & The Engineers
Brian Casser – Vocals
(formerly of Cass & The Cassanovas, Liverpool’s first notable beat group)
Eric Clapton – Guitar
Dave McCumisky – Guitar
Tom McGuinness – Bass
Ray Stock – Drums

13 October

Eric saw The Yardbirds at the Crawdaddy Club at the Athletic Association Grounds in Richmond, Surrey and accepted their invitation to join the band

The Yardbirds
Eric Clapton – Lead Guitar
Keith Relf – Vocals / Harmonica
Chris Dreja – Rhythm Guitar
Paul Samwell-Smith – Bass
Jim McCarty – Drums

18 October

Eric’s first live gig as a full-time professional musician took place with The Yardbirds at Studio '51 in Leicester Square, London 


13 November

Eric’s first recording session took place with The Yardbirds at Morden Park Sound Studios in Surrey

8 December

The Yardbirds performed their standard set with Sonny Boy Williamson at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, Surrey. The show was recorded in its entirety


16 December

The Yardbirds recorded "I Wish You Would," "A Certain Girl" and "You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover" at Morden Park Sound Studios in Surrey


4 May

Eric played his first studio guest session for Otis Spann. Muddy Waters, one of Clapton’s blues heroes was also present and played rhythm guitar on the tracks


8 August

The Yardbirds recorded the backing track for "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and several takes of "Got To Hurry" at Olympic Sound Studios in London


19 September

The Yardbirds’ first package tour started at Colston Hall in Bristol. They were one of several support acts for headliners Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas.


7 November

The Yardbirds were one of the bands on the Top Beat Show at the Royal Albert Hall which was recorded and aired on BBC-2 TV on 9 December


24 December

Opening night for Another Beatles Christmas Show at the Hammersmith Odeon, London. The Yardbirds were one of the support acts for shows thru 16 Jan 1965. During the run, Eric met and became lifelong friends with George Harrison


2 February

The Yardbirds recorded "For Your Love" at IBC Studios in Portland Place, London. Eric left the band a few weeks later as he disliked the pop-oriented direction the music was taking


3 March

Eric’s last gig with The Yardbirds took place at the Bristol Chinese R&B and Jazz Club at the Corn Exchange in Bristol, Gloucestershire

9 April

Eric’s first appearance with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers took place at the King Mojo Club in Sheffield, South Yorkshire

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
John Mayall - Organ / Harmonica / Vocals
Eric Clapton - Guitar
John McVie - Bass
Hughie Flint - Drums


12 May

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers backed Bob Dylan at a recording session at CBS Studios in London. The material remains unreleased.


30 August

Eric left The Bluesbreakers for the first time to travel the world playing in a blues band they formed called The Glands. After driving through Europe, they arrived in Athens, Greece on 29 September


7 October

Eric and his friends secured a contract for their band, The Glands to play at the Igloo Club in Athens, Greece. Within days, Clapton did double duty and played with the house band, The Juniors


24 October

Eric played his last gig with The Juniors at Cine-Terpsithea in Athens, Greece before returning home to England


4 November

Eric rejoined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. They played a session for Champion Jack Dupree at Decca Studios in West Hampstead and had an evening gig at the Blue Triangle Club in Ealing


21 November

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers played an early evening at the Red Cross Hall in Sutton, Surrey then traveled to Hayes, Middlesex for a late night show at the Blue Moon Club


2 December

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers recorded “On Top Of The World” and "Double Crossing Man" at Pye Studios at ATV House in London.


9 March

Eric along with Steve Winwood, Jack Bruce, Ben Palmer and Paul York recorded tracks for "What's Shakin'" at Olympic Sound Studios in London


27 March

Recording sessions for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton began at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, London


3 May

Eric jammed with his former band, The Yardbirds, (now featuring Jeff Beck on guitar) at the Marquee Club in London


13 May

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers had a gig at Town Hall, Oxford and Ginger Baker sat in. Ginger proposed forming a band to Eric while giving him a ride back to London


11 June

Melody Maker broke the news about a "sensational new group" featuring Eric, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce called Cream


17 July

Eric’s last scheduled gig with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers was at the Black Prince in Bexley


18 July

Cream began rehearsals at St Anne's Brondesbury Church Hall in West Kilburn, London to prepare for their debut at the end of July

22 July

Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton was released on LP and reel-to-reel tape

30 July

Cream's unofficial debut took place at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester

31 July

Cream's official debut took place at the 6th Annual National Jazz and Blues Festival in Windsor, Berkshire

3 August

Cream went into the studio for the first time at Rayrik Sound Studios in Chalk Farm, London. They tried several songs but a take of "Wrapping Paper" became their first single

30 August

Cream went to Ryemuse Studios in Mayfair, London to record tracks for their first album, Fresh Cream. The sessions continue into early November


15 September

Cream supported The Who at the Gaumont Cinema in Hanley, Staffordshire


1 October

Jimi Hendrix jammed with Cream at Regent Street Polytechnic, London and played "Killing Floor"

9 December

Cream's debut album, Fresh Cream, was released. The band also pre-recorded their 9 January 1967 appearance on the BBC World Service radio show, Alexis Korner's Rhythm and Blues at BBC Maida Vale Studios. They ended the day with an evening gig at Bluesville at The Manor House in Harringay, London


January - December

26 January

Cream performed "I Feel Free" on Top of Pops on BBC Television at Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush, London


26 March

Cream's US concert debut took place at the RKO Theater in New York City as part of Murray the K’s “Music in the 5th Dimension.” There were 5 shows daily from 10:15 am through 2 April


3 April

Cream had a recording session at Atlantic Studios in New York City. That night, Eric headed to the Café Au Go Go and jammed with the Butterfield Blues Band, Mitch Ryder and some of the Mothers of Invention joined in


7 May

Cream played part of the 15th Annual New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert at the Empire Pool and Sports Arena in Wembley, London. That night, they went to Birmingham for a gig at The Swan


12 May

Recording session for Cream's Disraeli Gears at Atlantic Studios in New York City

19 May

Cream performed “I Feel Free” on ARD-TV’s Beat Club

27 May

Eric jammed with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Peter Green at Brasenose College in Oxford. He then played at the Exeter Eights Week Ball at Exeter College in Oxford with Cream

2 June

Eric and Jack Bruce jammed at The Speakeasy in London with Jimi Hendrix, Jose Feliciano and Graeme Edge

25 June

Eric was one of The Beatles' guests at EMI Abbey Road Studios in St Johns Wood, London for the Our World television broadcast


8 July

Cream's "Strange Brew" peaked at #17 on Britain's Top Fifty singles chart. The band also had a gig at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen, Scotland


12 July

Cream began recording Wheels of Fire at IBC Studios in London. The studio sessions continued in London and New York through June 1968


22 August

Cream launched their first US Tour with 12 nights at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, California. On the tour, they played 3 nights at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles, 9 nights the Psychedelic Supermarket in Boston, gigs around the New York Area including 12 nights at the Café Au Go Go, 2 nights at The 5th Dimension in Ann Arbor and 3 nights at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, where the tour wrapped up on 15 October


22 September

After Cream's gig at the Auction House in New York, Eric jammed with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and for the first time, one of his blues idols, BB King at the Café Au Go Go

2 November

Cream's second album, Disraeli Gears, was released on mono / stereo LP. The band also played at Romano's Ballroom in Belfast

22 November

Eric played on a session for George Harrison at EMI Abbey Road Studios for the track “Skiing” off of Wonderwall

16 December

Eric played on Aretha Franklin's song "Good To Me As I Am To You" at Atlantic Studios in New York City. The track was released on Lady Soul


February - December

12 February

Cream began 10 days of recording sessions at Atlantic Studios in New York City prior to starting their North American Tour on 23 February in Santa Monica, California


20 February

Eric jammed with David Crosby, Michael Bloomfield, Mitch Mitchell and Jack Bruce at Whitey's Loft in New York

22 May

Eric received his first Gold Record Award (US) for the Cream album, Disraeli Gears

18 June

Eric jammed with Jimi Hendrix and The Jeff Beck Group at Steve Paul's The Scene on West 46th Street in New York City


25 June

Eric played on a recording session for Jackie Lomax at EMI Abbey Road Studios for Lomax’s album, Is This What You Want? During this time, Eric loaned his Gibson SG Fool Guitar to Lomax. The guitar remained in Lomax’s possession for four years. In 1972, Lomax sold it to Todd Rundgren who sold it at auction in 2000, donating 10% to Clapton's Crossroads Centre

13 July

Melody Maker ran the frontpage headline "Cream Split Up." Before disbanding, Cream undertook another US Tour, recorded one final album and played two farewell shows in November at the Royal Albert Hall

9 August

Cream's third album, Wheels of Fire was released in both mono and stereo mixes on 2LPs

6 September

Eric played lead guitar on George Harrison's song, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at EMI Abbey Road Studios for The Beatles' White Album

26 September

Cream's single, "Sunshine of Your Love," received a Gold Record Award from the RIAA (US)

4 October

Cream launched their US Farewell Tour at the Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

2 November

Eric performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the first time while a member of Cream...

18 November

Cream began recording their final album, Goodbye Cream at IBC Sound Studios in Portland Place, London

26 November

Cream performed two final "Farewell" concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall that were filmed and released

10 - 11 December

Eric played part of The Rolling Stones’ Rock N Roll Circus along with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Who and others at InterTel Studios in Wembley, London


January - February

Shortly after Christmas, Eric and Steve Winwood began jamming informally. In early February, Ginger Baker heard of the jam sessions. By the middle of the month, the press was reporting a new “supergroup.” The band moved to Morgan Studios in an attempt to record their debut album

5 February

Cream's fourth and final album, Goodbye was released - it reached #1 in the UK and #2 in the US album charts

18 February

EC, Steve Winwood and Ginger Baker began recording at Morgan Studios, London. Sessions continued on and off through late June. Rick Grech joined the band in May. Eric continued to guest on sessions throughout this time and worked with Billy Preston and Martha Velez

19 March

Eric played part of Supershow with Stephen Stills, Buddy Guy, Buddy Miles, Jack Bruce, Roland Kirk, Dick Heckstall-Smith and others in Staines, Surrey. The film premiered at the Lyceum, London on 14 November

21 April

Cream's Goodbye received a Gold Record Award from the RIAA (US)


6 May

Blind Faith, Eric's new supergroup was announced with Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech

7 June

Blind Faith's debut concert at Hyde Park, London – it was filmed but not released in its entirety until 2006

12 June

Blind Faith's 5-date Scandinavian concert tour opened at the Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland


12 July

Blind Faith's North American debut took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Their only US / Canada tour ended 24 August at the HIC Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii after 23 concerts

1 August

Blind Faith’s self-titled album was released

27 August

Eric guested on recording sessions for Delaney & Bonnie at Elektra Sound Recorders in Los Angeles following the end of Blind Faith's US Tour

13 September

Eric played the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival Festival at Varsity Stadium with John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, which was filmed and recorded. The band rehearsed on the flight from London

25 September

Eric joined John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band at EMI Abbey Road Studios to record "Cold Turkey" - they re-recorded it three days later at Trident Studios and John later added more overdubs and vocals


October / November

Early in October, the Plastic Ono Band continued to work on “Cold Turkey” at Abbey Road and recorded “Don’t Worry Kyoko” at Lansdowne Studios. During this two month period, Eric also played on sessions for Doris Troy, Aashish Khan, Shawn Phillips, Rick Grech and Leon Russell 

16 November

Recording session for Eric's  first solo album, Eric Clapton, at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends as his backing band. He also decided to join them out on the road

26 November

Eric with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends pre-record a session for the German TV show, Beat Club, in Bremen. That night, they played at the Musikhalle in Hamburg


1 December

Delaney & Bonnie & Friends with Eric started their 7-city UK Tour at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Dave Mason and George Harrison came along as “Friends” for some of the shows

15 December

Eric performed with John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band at the Peace & Love for Christmas concert at the Lyceum Ballroom in London in aid of UNICEF