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Eric Clapton to tell life story ‘warts and all’

Musician will publish life story in spring 2007
/ Source: Reuters

Eric Clapton will follow musicians Bob Dylan and Sting with a book about his life, telling of his 40 years as the top rock and blues guitarist of his age in which he went “to hell and back”, publisher Doubleday said Thursday.

Doubleday in the United States, and Century in Britain, both owned by Bertelsmann AG said they would jointly publish the book in spring 2007 and paid Clapton a “substantial advance.”

Trade industry sources said the advance was between $4 million and $6 million.

Clapton will talk openly about his life, including the death of his child in a tragic fall from a New York apartment and his raucous years in the rock world, said Doubleday spokesman David Drake.

“Clapton is 60 and happily married and he feels very good about his life, and feels ready to look back in an honest way, warts and all,” said Drake. “He’s ready to write really candidly about his peaks and valleys and about how he has gone to hell and back.”

Clapton, the illegitimate son of a Canadian soldier and an Englishwoman, played with some of the best blues and rock musicians of his day and survived bouts of heroin addiction and heavy drinking.

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Christopher Simon Sykes, a close friend since 1967, will collaborate with him in writing the book.

Dylan’s book, “Chronicles: Volume One,” which has been on best seller lists and won literary prizes, serves as a model for the new Eric Clapton book, Drake said.

“Dylan’s is the kind of model we envisioned, and in the same way we see this book bringing out the distinct voice of Eric Clapton. He will be intensely involved in the book writing process,” said Drake.

A boxed set of his music will be released by Warner Brothers to coincide with the book, the publishers said, and Clapton will tour ahead of its release.

He appeared in Britain recently in a reunion with Cream, including bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker, and the group will play in New York later this month.