Born in Surrey, England in March of 1945, Eric Clapton received his first guitar at age 13. He developed a love for blues music early on, an affinity that would play a major role in his biography. He joined his first band at 17, and soon his guitar playing was drawing attention from far and wide. In 1963, he joined The Yardbirds, remaining with the band for a year-and-a-half, during which time he became legendary on the British music circuit. With their first hit, "For Your Love" (1965), the direction of the band became more pop-oriented, compelling Clapton to leave and join the blues act of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. In July 1966, he was recruited by drummer Ginger Baker to join Cream, a new trio (along with bassist Jack Bruce) that became a beloved ‘supergroup.' Together for barely two years, Cream redefined rock music, and despite being a commercial and critical success, personality conflicts led to their disbanding. Clapton had developed a strong friendship with George Harrison of the Beatles, which led to Clapton's guest appearance on the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", making him the first outside artist to appear on a Beatles song. Clapton next formed Blind Faith, but just as the band became successful, he again left and began playing ‘one-offs' with a varied assortment of musicians, including John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and Delaney & Bonnie. From the latter, he put together Derek and the Dominoes, with a resulting album that included "Layla", one of his most identifiable songs. The early 1970s were a torturous time for Clapton, both personally and professionally. He overcame heroin addiction, and began work on a comeback album, "461 Ocean Boulevard", which contained the hit single "I Shot the Sheriff". Tragedy and personal setbacks continued to plague him however, most notably with the deaths of friend and fellow guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and his four-year old son Conor, which inspired the single "Tears in Heaven" in 1992. Clapton's guitar playing has been a major influence on nearly every guitarist of the past half-century, and his 18 Grammy Awards attests to his skill and ability. His generosity hasn't been limited to music however, having participated in dozens of humanitarian causes, most notably in the establishment of his Crossroads Centre, a substance abuse rehabilitation organization.