The Quotable Eric Clapton

December 08, 2020 2 min read

The Quotable Eric Clapton

It’s hard to believe, but this year marks the 50th Anniversary of Derek and the Dominos’ seminal “Layla” album.

As far as I’m concerned, “Layla” is the best thing Eric Clapton’s ever been involved with. That’s not to cast aspersions on his myriad accomplishments over the years, but to me, there’s something so transcendent about that record.


Needless to say, it’s been getting a few spins on the Thalia office turntable these past weeks, and that’s meant I’ve been adding some Eric Clapton Words of Wisdom the guitar inspiration quote wall. Whether you’re a fan of Eric Clapton, or just looking for some motivation to pick up your guitar and play, I’d recommend having a read of these:

My driving philosophy about making music is that you can reduce it all down to one note if that note is played with the right kind of sincerity.”

“At first [Robert Johnson’s] music almost repelled me, it was so intense, and this man made no attempt to sugarcoat what he was trying to say, or play. It was hard-core, more than anything I had ever heard. After a few listenings I realized that, on some level, I had found the master, and that following this man's example would be my life's work.”

“Music will always find its way to us, with or without business, politics, religion, or any other bulls--t attached. Music survives everything, and like God, it is always present. It needs no help, and suffers no hindrance. It has always found me, and with God’s blessing and permission, it always will.”



“Music became a healer for me, and I learned to listen with all my being. I found that it could wipe away all the emotions of fear and confusion relating to my family.”

“I found my God in music and the arts, with writers like Hermann Hesse, and musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter. In some way, in some form, my God was always there, but now I have learned to talk to him.”

“Whatever your standing in life, the most important thing is behaving in ways that help other people. It's the same with music. I am a servant of the music ... and if I get caught up in ego, I'll lose everything... it'll burn and that's a guarantee.”

“When all the original blues guys are gone, you start to realize that someone has to tend to the tradition. I recognize that I have some responsibility to keep the music alive, and it's a pretty honorable position to be in.”

Give me a guitar and I'll play; give me a stage and I'll perform; give me an auditorium and I'll fill it.

“I have always been resistant to doctrine, and any spirituality I had experienced thus far in my life had been much more abstract and not aligned with any recognized religion. For me, the most trustworthy vehicle for spirituality had always proven to be music. It cannot be manipulated, or politicized, and when it is, that becomes immediately obvious.”

What’s your favourite Eric Clapton project? And what are your memories of the Layla album? Share your stories in the comments. 



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