When Eric Clapton Watched The Unseen Videos Of His Son In A Documentary
The rock scene has witnessed countless tragedies over the years, from losing a musician to depression to hearing heartbreaking stories artists experienced during their childhood. However, perhaps one of the most devastating scenarios for fans to hear is when their favorite rocker loses one of their children in a horrible accident.
The three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Eric Clapton may have one of the most admirable music careers in rock history as he’s listed among the greatest guitar players of all time. Still, his success didn’t prevent him from living one of the worst nightmares of any parent.
The musician lost his 4-year-old son, Connor, to a terrible accident and had to relive the experience while watching his 2017 documentary, ‘Live in 12 Bars.’ Let’s travel back in time together to see how Clapton reacted to seeing the footage of his late son years after the heartbreaking accident.
Eric Clapton Lost His Son Conor
Eric Clapton married Pattie Boyd in 1979, and the couple shared a deep passion and love for each other. Unfortunately, their fairytale was brief due to the musician’s betrayals and domestic violence. In fact, Clapton himself admitted that he raped and abused his wife under the influence.
While married to Boyd, Clapton had an affair with Italian model Lory Del Santo, who got pregnant, which marked the ending of his marriage in 1989. Del Santo gave birth to their son, Conor, on 21 August 1986. He was obviously fond of little Connor since the media spotted the rocker taking care of his son multiple times.
Unfortunately, four-year-old Connor passed away on 20 March 1991 after an unbelievably horrible accident. The little boy fell out of an open bedroom window on the 53rd floor of a Manhattan apartment building. The musician let his emotions flow in his hit, ‘Tears in Heaven,’ and once said he didn’t feel the pain of his loss anymore in 2004.
Eric Clapton Opened Up About The Tragic Incident
Fast forward to 2018; something happened that made Eric Clapton change his mind about his feelings after losing his 4-year-old son. It was the release of his documentary film, ‘Life in 12 Bars,’ which highlighted Clapton’s tragedies, such as his relationship with Patti Boyd, his struggles with substance addiction, and the death of his son, Conor.
During a recent interview with BBC Radio, Clapton reflected on the aftermath of losing his child and the making of ‘Tears in Heaven.’ According to the rocker, he tried to heal himself through music and shut himself to the outside world with nothing but a guitar in his house for almost a whole year.
The musician thought he had taken care of the pain he felt upon losing his four-year-old until he saw ‘Life in 12 Bars.’ Apparently, it was incredibly disturbing to relive the horrible experience with the documentary, which made him realize that he wasn’t over with grieving his son.
The bittersweet aspect of watching his son after all those years was the beauty of how the incident was handled in the movie. While the footage Clapton hadn’t seen before was difficult to watch for him, it also reminded him of the good times he spent with Conor during the short time they had together.
About ‘Tears in Heaven,’ Clapton said:
“I had, I brought him home from New York with the Italian side of his mother’s family, and we went through the process of the funeral, and when they left. And that I had this little Spanish guitar, I became attached to that. And I went away. I went off to Antigua, and I rented a little cottage there, in a sort of a community.
And I just swatted mosquitoes all day and played this guitar and stayed there for almost a whole year without much contact with the outside world. I tried to heal myself, and all I could do was play and write these songs, and I rewrote and re-performed them again and again and again until I felt like I’d made some sort of move towards the surface of my being.”
“And then I was able to come out. It was so deep, and I had thought that I had taken care of it until I saw ‘Life in 12 Bars.’ And it’s very disturbing for me, but beautiful at the same time, the way it’s handled in the film. The footage I haven’t seen of him before, which is difficult to watch, with the underlying music. And playing ‘Tears in Heaven,’ I mean, it’s overwhelming, and I’ve got to go and do it again in a few days’ time.”
It seems like Eric Clapton shut himself down to ease his pain after losing a child at a very young age. Therefore, he only remembered the devastating incident with his son instead of looking for the beautiful times he had with him for four years. Fortunately, he had a film to remind him of his son regardless of the pain he felt once again.
You can listen to the interview and ‘Tears in Heaven’ down below.