Eric Patrick Clapton CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is regarded as one of the most successful and influential guitarists in rock music. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time“ and fourth in Gibson‘s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009.
After playing in a number of different local bands, Clapton joined the Yardbirds in 1963, replacing founding guitarist Top Topham. Dissatisfied with the change of the Yardbirds sound from blues rock to a more radio-friendly pop rock sound, Clapton left in 1965 to play with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. On leaving Mayall in 1966, after one album, he formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop”. After Cream broke up in November 1968, he formed the blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech, recording one album and performing on one tour before they broke up. Clapton embarked on a solo career in 1970.
Patti can’t figure out what to wear. Does this look good? How about this dress? Does green suit me?
While most men patiently wait out this ritual, Eric decides to pen a beautiful love song “you look wonderful tonight” with the implied “as always”.
But is there more? When they finally get to the party Patti asks Eric how he’s feeling. And he says “wonderful tonight”, so wonderful, in fact, that in the last verse he gives her the keys to drive home because his head aches.
Eric was battling alcohol and heroin addiction and I wonder if this may be an acknowledgment that his love for Patti was for more than just her beauty.