I remember reading Eric Clapton’s autobiography when it first came out in 2008. The title of the book — Clapton: The Autobiography – doesn’t mince words; neither do its contents.
I’ve long admired Eric for his musical abilities, but I’ve never really known much about him outside of his songs. Suffice it to say that this tome leaves few stones unturned. The intimacy and candor make it obvious that Eric truly did write this himself because there’s none of the fluff that typically accompanies a ghost writer.
In addition to learning myriad nuggets of knowledge and tidbits of trivia, I particularly enjoyed the way in which Eric’s remembrances of people, places, and events tie into the accounts of other characters in their own biographies (auto, authorized, and unauthorized) that I’ve read, like Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, and Ronnie Woods. Unfortunately, as a result of reading this book, I discovered that I didn’t really like Eric much as a person.
But that’s neither here nor there. Like many of the artists of his time, Eric bounced around a number of bands, including the Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, and Cream, in which he played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop.” When Cream disbanded in 1968, Eric, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech formed the blues rock band Blind Faith.
Two years later, in 1970, by which time his guitar playing was already the stuff of legend, Eric embarked on a solo career. Alongside his solo calling, Eric also performed with Derek and the Dominos, with whom he recorded his all-time classic signature song Layla.
It’s been 13 years since I read Eric’s biography, and I don’t have it here in my office, but — as I recall – a lot of people at that time didn’t immediately make the connection that Eric was a member of Derek and the Dominos. My recollection is that, when the news did eventually break and realization finally dawned, signs promptly promulgated proclaiming that “Derek is Eric!”
The reason I’m waffling on about this here is that I just read an interesting article about the American actor, puppeteer, and filmmaker, Frank Oz. I was already aware that Frank was associated with The Muppet Show as a puppeteer, but I hadn’t realized that he voiced the characters of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle.
Do you remember the classic Good Grief, the Comedian’s a Bear sketch (my friend Little Steve can perform this so well that – if you close your eyes – you’d swear that Kermit and Fozzie were in the room with you)?
What I didn’t know that that Frank also voiced the character of the Jedi Grandmaster Yoda in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
As soon as I discovered this, I found I could hear both Yoda and Fozzie’s voices playing in my head (actually, that’s not an uncommon occurrence, now that I come to think about it) and things somehow seemed to click into place.
It brings a new aspect to the saying, “May the farce be with you.” I’m almost moved to create my own sign declaring “Yoda is Fozzie!” Maybe I should have this printed on a T-Shirt, but is the world ready to be exposed to this earthshaking news?