So... I just finished reading Eric Clapton's autobiography... I don't know what to say. I'll go ahead and make the disclaimer that I love his music, which is why I read his book.
There's always that risk of learning too much about the lives, escapades, and personalities of our heroes. It can create disillusionment like it just did for me and Clapton. Because this guy is one gullible, goofy dude.
Everything I state here came straight from Clapton's own mouth from his own book. He's brutally and intriguingly honest, laying it all on the table for us to chuckle about.
I'm not going to spoil his entire life's story for you. I just want to tell you about the point where a witch literally cold calls him and gets him to do all kinds of ridiculous stuff over the course of a long-con ultimately resulting in man's worst nightmare...
The Events Leading Up to the Scam
Clapton was doing the typical rockstar thing. He was running around with all of the famous rock and blues guys, having affairs, and indulging in massive amounts of drugs. Drugs to the tune of over £8,000 British Pounds per day.
That's about $12,500 United States Dollars... per day.
I'll keep this family safe and not tell you what three choice items he was blowing all this money on. I'm sure you can guess. I'll give you a hint. They rhyme with Beroin, Bocaine, and Balcohol.
As you can see, he was used to having what he wanted, when he wanted it. And when he became obsessed with George Harrison's wife, Pattie, he had to have her too. Eventually he pulled it off, all the while birthing illegitimate children with about three other side-flings.
Long story short, he was very psychologically vulnerable at this time and would do anything to step around the problem instead of confronting it.
For instance, he felt so guilty for being with Harrison's ex-wife and contributing to their breakup that he decided to rename her Nell and stopped using her real name. He attempted to have her do this as well.
After this craziness, plus a couple failed stints in rehab, and her learning about his mistresses and other children (on top of the fact that they couldn't have a child due to her fallopian tube blockage), she left him for a photographer while he was on tour.
Enter the Witch
Here's the fun part. One day, while he's moping and carrying on like an self-admitted idiot, crying over the woman he pushed away, he receives a random phone call. It's a mystery lady who never reveals her name, but says she knows all about his breakup. She knows all about his mistresses. She knows all about the drugs.
And she knows how he can get Pattie back.
Because she's psychic and knows magic. Clapton basically says "hit me, don't quit me," and starts doing everything she says. This phone relationship continues and her demands start to grow in absurdity, but he's desperate and Pattie is the love of his life, you know? So over the course of weeks he ends up doing stuff like:
- Taking baths for hours soaking in various herbs that stained his skin and left him looking like "The Creature from the Black Lagoon."
- Reciting mantras, incantations, and creating potions, all to be performed and used precisely at midnight.
- Constantly cutting his fingers to draw and smear fresh blood on a crucifix that featured his and Pattie's names. Eric + Pattie 4 Eva.
Yeah, that's pretty nutty, but we all went through this phase... right? Guys? Anyways, it doesn't stop there. Clapton finally calls this mystery woman out and is like "Yo, this ain't working. Pattie is still with that dude. The love potions and all that... I just called her and she still hates me. What's the deal?"
The Long-Con Begins
This secret witch lady explains to Clapton that apparently Pattie is too strong for such simple magic and it's time to take it to the next level. They had a conversation that went like this:
Witch: Are you ready to step up your game?
Clapton: Yes! I love Pattie so much, I'll do whatever it takes.
Witch: Okay. Well peep this. To solidify the sorcery, I'm going to need you to have sex... with a virgin.
Clapton: Done. But where the heck am I going to find one of those?
Witch: Well... It just so happens that I'm a virgin!
Is you frickin' kiddin' me!?!? And guess what he does?
Yep, Eric "R-Tard" Clapton hops a flight from England to New York to go boink this nameless nether-beast. She must have had one of those hot phone voices, though.
Fast-forward through the naughty stuff and Clapton is back chilling at home and months go by. No word from the witch, and nothing from Pattie. He's starting to figure that maybe this magic stuff might be bologna. And then the phone rings:
Witch: Hey, man. I'm getting evicted from my apartment. I need some money, brah.
Clapton: Okay, how much?
Honey, I'm Home!
Take a wild guess what she does with the money. She flies her funky self across the ocean. She starts showing up everywhere.
Clapton at the bar? There she is. Clapton walking to get breakfast? There she is. Clapton playing at a venue? There she is.
He tries to ignore her and it gets to the point where she's shrieking at him in the streets at the top of her lungs, "You can never get away from me!" Then she'd fly away on a broomstick. Okay, I made up that broomstick part. Sounded good, though.
Here's where it gets scary.
A few months go by and he hasn't seen or heard from this hood-rat in a deep minute. Then he starts getting calls from his buddies. "Hey, dude, have you seen the cover of the tabloids today?" Not just one buddy or one tabloid. This woman literally had an amateur photo-shoot done and then tipped off all the tabloids. The front pages all had her in a huge picture with big fat bold text that read:
Woman Three Months Pregnant with Sleazy Clapton's Child!
And there she was, on the front page, with child.
How Can It Get Worse? Let Me Tell You...
All the while, Clapton is trying to ignore this drama. He's making music, the unfortunate event of one of his children falling out of a 45th story window occurs, he's grieving and coping... and it gets worse.
One night, him and his lady decide they are going to go over to one of their musician buddy's house for an evening of relaxing and fellowship. The friend is excited to introduce them to his new girlfriend he met randomly who has also just moved in...
Clapton - The Autobiography
Cliffhanger! It'd be wrong for me to tell the rest of the story. You'll just have to read the book! It's an easy and quick read. This is just one of the crazy escapades Clapton gets himself into. I'd never admit to a fraction of the things he does in this book. You wouldn't believe how he airs out a ton of other famous musician's business too. From the Beatles, Mick Jagger, George Harrison, Muddy Waters, and far more...
What a crazy story. I can say that if anyone has lived a life full of excitement, characters, and interesting events, it's Clapton. It's like every single day was destined to be chock-full of experiences you could never predict.
I bet he looks back and on every page is like "that was the best and worst thing to ever happen to me."