Classic Interview: Eric Clapton – “I was in it to save the world. I wanted to tell the world about blues and to get it right. In a way I thought, ‘Yes, I am God; quite right!‘“

This classic Guitarist interview from 1994 captured the guitar god in reflective mood for cover of the magazine’s landmark 10th Anniversary Issue. From The Cradle, his follow-up to the Unplugged, was recorded and awaiting release, and that collection of blues covers set the tone for the conversation.

Here we find Clapton explain how the blues was more than a sound to him. It was a historical endeavour as much as anything, a process of peeling back the influences of those who went before him – to the players who were his heroes’ heroes, and taking it right back to the source. This, he explains, is an essential process for any player looking to master a style and make it their own.

But he also talks about the tumultuous times as he made his name on record, with John Mayall, The Yardbirds and Cream, his journey on the electric guitar, and a lot more besides. Enjoy!

Your career has spanned more than three decades now, covering a variety of different genres and involving some of the most prominent contemporary musicians of the late 20th Century. Can you remember what it was that turned you on to music in the beginning? What was it that made you want to be a musician and who were the people who most inspired you?



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