Eric Clapton’s Tearful Reaction To Jimi Hendrix’s Death
Considering the tragic incidents Eric Clapton has experienced, it is no doubt that he had really hard times back in the past. On March 20, 1991, his four-year-old son Conor died after falling from the 53rd-floor window, and he expressed his grief in the song ‘Tears In Heaven’ from his ‘Unplugged’ album.
Prior to this incident, Clapton lost his fellow blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and his three crew members during a tour in a helicopter crash between concerts. Apart from the grief for the loss of Vaughan and his son Conor, Clapton was also shaken by the possibility of being on that helicopter at that time. Eric Clapton was with Stevie Ray Vaughan just before his tragic passing.
As it turns out, he was also supposed to meet Jimi Hendrix a day before his death. Although they were supposed to be rivals in the UK music scene, Hendrix and Clapton gradually became close friends, so the guitarist’s death had a devastating effect on Clapton. Let’s see how Clapton reacted to Jimi Hendrix’s passing.
Eric Clapton Burst Into Tears While Revealing He Was To Meet Jimi Hendrix A Day Before His Death
During his sessions with Derek And The Dominos, Eric Clapton heard the sad news of the death of Jimi Hendrix which left him devastated. Eight days before the guitarist’s death, the band covered Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing’ to honor the guitarist.
On September 17, 1970, one day before Hendrix’s death, Clapton purchased a left-handed Fender Stratocaster to give the guitarist as a gift. Sadly, he could never give it to him as Hendrix died on September 18, 1970.
In a 1979 interview, Eric Clapton said the following about that day before bursting into tears:
“The night that he died, I was supposed to meet him at the Lyceum to see Sly Stone play. And I brought with me a left-handed Stratocaster. I’ve just found it, I think I bought it at Orange Music.
I’ve never seen one before, and I was gonna give it to him. He was in a box over there, and I was in a box over here – I could see him but we never got together. The next day, he was gone, and I was left with that left-handed Stratocaster.“
In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton revealed what he felt about Hendrix’s passing after hearing the sad news. He said that it was the first time the death of another musician had a huge effect on him, as Hendrix passed away years before Stevie Ray Vaughan. Clapton then added that he was incredibly upset, angry, and filled with loneliness at that time. He also revealed that he cried all day because Hendrix left him behind.
As reported by TodayIFoundOut.com, Clapton said the following in his autobiography:
“The next day, I heard that he had died. He had passed out, stoned on a mixture of booze and drugs, and choked on his own vomit. It was the first time the death of another musician really affected me. We had all felt obliterated when Buddy Holly died, but this was much more personal.
I was incredibly upset and very angry, and was filled with a feeling of terrible loneliness… I went out in the garden and cried all day because he’d left me behind. Not because he’d gone, but because he hadn’t taken me with him. It just made me so fucking angry. I wasn’t sad, I was just pissed off.”
Below, you can watch that part of the interview where Eric Clapton talked about Jimi Hendrix’s death with tears in his eyes.