Aired Friday January 8 at 10:25 pm on Arte, the documentary “Éric Clapton: la vie en blues” paints the portrait of this legendary guitar hero. It will be followed at 12:35 am by the concert “Slowhand at 70”.
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“Clapton is God,” a fan had written on a London wall, forging the excessive nickname of a gifted artist. The British guitarist, born in 1945, himself keeps the thread of this tale of his flamboyant and heartbreaking life, without masking his fatigue, the wear and tear of his voice. The finesse of a difficult, egocentric and arrogant personality, marked by drama and transcended by a demanding, primordial artistic passion.
From this “life in blues” we can remember the traumas: a teenage mother who rejects him, a plunge into drugs, a beloved son who died at 4 when falling from a skyscraper… “Music saved my life. life, ”says Eric Clapton. As a child, he had a “revelation” when he heard Muddy Waters. “This music soothed my pain”. Become “addicted to the blues”, he practices alone on his first guitar, playing over his records day and night.
He forges his virtuoso playing in hard work, open to all influences. He wants to play like BB King, sound like the Indian oboe of Bismillah Khan, the harmonica of Little Walter, the blues of John Mayall, to find harmonies worthy of the Beatles, to become the equal of George Harrison, whose wife he courted. Patti who inspires him Layla …
When his prodigious guitar is heard, when the artists with whom Clapton played, those he admired, those he betrayed, parade the film becomes gripping. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd salutes “a revolutionary sound”, Bob Dylan listens to it intensely, Muddy Waters makes fun of “White people who can play ten times more chords than me, but who will never have the voice”, Aretha Franklin offers him a session, Jimi Hendrix doubts him, the Beatles invite him to the White Album, BB King pays him homage… The legend of the guitar hero is on the move.
The documentary “Marianne Faithfull, soul flower”, by Sandrine Bonnaire, paints a sensitive portrait of the singer …
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