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The graffiti "Clapton is God" appears for the first time, and the expression "Guitar God" is born

Posted By: Randy Renaud · 7/31/2012 8:10:00 AM

In 1965, local boy Eric Clapton left one of London's top bands, The Yardbirds, to pursue his love of the blues with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. There, his ferocious playing and extended solos -- something very rare on the 1965 London pop music scene -- quickly earned him a devoted following on the club scene. For the first time, fans crowded the front of the stage, not to see the lead singer, but to be close to this guitar phenom. 


Subway Entrance

Clapton's fan adoration reached such a zealous peak that one fan spray-painted, on the Islington subway wall, the 3 famous words: Clapton is God. After that, the proclamation spread, and similar graffiti started popping up on highway overpasses and walls all over London.  

Soon after that, Clapton took his gifts and riffs to a brand new band called Cream in the summer of 66, and their power-trio format afforded Clapton even more space to extend his solos and pedal effects. And secured his status as rock's first Guitar God. 

In the years that followed, the term Guitar God became a common expression -- a crown of chords laid upon the heads of Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and thousands more. 

Cream - Crossroads live at Royal Albert Hall, London (1968)

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