Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars

The Grammy nominated film “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars” is currently screening on BBC I Player and provides a fascinating insight into the UK’s foremost blues guitar pioneer

Understandably, the role of West London and The Ealing Club merge way into the background in this particular movie which beautifully illustrates the drive and inspiration behind some of Eric Clapton’s most revered guitar playing and songwriting. 

Alexis Korner, The Crawdaddy, Jack & Ginger, Cream, Marshall Amps are never far away from Eric Clapton’s story and of course get a mention in this movie. 

Understandably, there is not enough time to discuss how Eric Clapton used to fill in for Mick Jagger on vocals down at the Ealing Club (mentioned in his biography). Neither will you hear about becoming inspired to purchase his first ‘Kay’ electric guitar spurred on by a Blues Incorporated gig (at the Marquee) or trips out to Hanwell (Ealing Borough) to try out the latest offerings from Marshall Amplification.

Turn to Eric Clapton’s European Tour Programme of 1978 and within, Pete Frame’s “Rock Family Tree” clearly illustrates the path of the great British Bluesman up to the “Backless” Album era.

Ilustration of Pete Frame’s Rock Family Tree that was included within the Eric Clapton 1978 European Tour Programme

For more on the Ealing Club, Alexis Korner and Chris Barber, Jack, Ginger, Cream, Marshall and a great deal more check out Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of The Ealing Club. 

The DVD can be purchased at