CLAPTON’S LIFE IN 12 BARS —A documentary about the life of renowned guitarist Eric Clapton does not attempt to whitewash over the darker side of the hard-drinking musician’s life, even though it is directed by his longtime friend, filmmaker Lili Fini Zanuck said Monday.
Zanuck, who has known Clapton for 25 years, directed Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, following the life of the 72-year-old British guitarist from childhood to international stardom, through his struggle with drugs and alcohol and the 1991 death of his four-year-old son.
“To watch myself going through that was not easy,” Clapton told reporters on Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film made its debut.
“Right up until the time I stopped drinking, everything I said was complete blather,” he added, to laughter from the audience.
In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton described a 20-year drug and alcohol addiction that he said saw him spending about $16,000 a week on heroin in the 1970’s. The death of his son Conor, in a fall from a New York high-rise, was the trigger to sobriety.
The musician, who is a producer on the film, spoke about his struggles with having his life documented on screen and doing interviews with Zanuck in a film that does not shy away from examining his faults.
I do not like having my picture taken, I do not like talking to journalists. I love to play music,” Clapton said.
Zanuck, who won an Oscar for 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy, said Clapton did not second-guess the responsibility he gave her in telling his story.
“For me, the movie is about redemption – personal redemption, not necessarily what society thinks,” Zanuck told Reuters. “No one got him out of despair, he did it himself,” she added.
With hits such as “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Cocaine” and “Layla,” Clapton has won 17 Grammy Awards, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He was ranked No. 2 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2015 list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time, behind Jimi Hendrix.
Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars will be released in North American theaters later this year and air on premium cable channel Showtime in February. Watch the trailer here:
THE DAN GOES ON —Walter Becker was never the face of Steely Dan but he was certainly a major driving creative force. While it isn’t known whether Donald Fagen will record any future albums under the band’s name, he is continuing on the road with the announcement of eleven new dates in the U. S., Canada and Europe.
Becker died on September 3 although the cause of death has not been announced. Touching tributes were penned by everyone from Fagen to some of the other musicians with which he worked to his daughter.
As part of his tribute, Fagen wrote “I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band.”
10/13 – Thackerville, OK – WinStar World Casino and Resort
10/16 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
10/17 – Buffalo, NY – Shea’s Performing Arts Center
10/19 – Orillia, ON – Casino Rama Resort
10/20 – Windsor, ON – Caesars Windsor
10/22 – Wallingford, CT – Oakdale Theatre
10/24 – Baltimore, MD – Pier Six Pavilion
10/25 – National Harbor, MD – MGM National Harbor
10/28 – Dublin, Ireland – 3Arena
10/29 – London, UK – The O2
10/30 – Dublin, Ireland – 3Arena
SHORT TAKES — I finally got to watch David Lynch’s final two Twin Peaks eps and loved them a lot. The whole season 3 was no doubt something of a disappointment to all. Many of the fans, from what I could gather, felt let down and cheated. Truth be told, the last two episodes only had scant moments of chracters from the originals series; in rapid succession no less. I have to say though, that Lynch is an amazing filmmaker. He did things on this revival that have never been seen on TV before. Episode 8, yes the one about the beginnings of the nuclear bomb, stands as a classic. The last episode actually felt like something out of Lunch’s Lost Highway; a movie which despite numerous confounding moments, I loved. Kyle MacLachlan, in three roles, was just superb, Again, I would love to have been at their first meeting, when Lynch must have said … it’s three roles, not one! He definitely deserves am Emmy. I did love it. Although I get all the rants, Lynch definitely did leave the ending open for another season. I know Showtime must have taken a bath on this, but you know what? They should go for a season 4. Why not … I also re-watched the terrific John Scheinfeld documentary on Nilsson: Who Is Harry Nilsson? (And Why Is Everyone Talkin’ About Him). I watched it rather quickly when it came out in 2010, but it holds up and I really enjoyed it more than ever. The comments from everyone from Micky Dolenz to Richard Perry to Randy Newman and Harry’s first producer Rick Jarrad, were terrific. No question: he was a complicated soul. But working with everyone from John Lennon to The Monkees has given him a special place in pop music. Check it out if you haven’t seen it … and, the most popular commercial at the recent US Open was for the IBM Cloud … featuring “Jump Into The Fire” by Harry. Brilliant choice! … And, here a shot of SiriusXM’s Steve Leeds with Micky Dolenz, Kurt Loder and David Salidor from last week’s True Stories taping (with Kurt Loder as host) … And, speaking of them The Monkees premiered 51 years last night, September 12, 1966, on NBC.