There are few opening bars as instantly recognisable as those of Eric Clapton’s 1971 track Layla. The rock song deals with themes of love, loss, loneliness and unrequited love, and although it was partly inspired by a story Clapton had read, the same themes came to define much of his life and work, all explored in BBC2’s documentary Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars.
Here’s everything you need to know about Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars.
The documentary airs on Saturday 30th June at 9pm on BBC2.
What is the documentary about?
The film focuses on blues rock legend Eric Clapton, charting his life from his early childhood to the present day. Music proves integral to Clapton’s life from early on – he recalls his “massive inferiority complex” as a child, a time when he developed trust issues after learning that the woman he thought was his sister was actually his birth mother.
The documentary – interspersed with archival footage and Clapton’s voiceover – also focuses on Clapton’s drink and drug addictions, and his unrequited love for his friend George Harrison’s (The Beatles) wife, Pattie Boyd, which in part inspired the Derek and the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
There’s also audio of Clapton’s chats with Jimi Hendrix, whose song Little Wing Clapton covered throughout his career.