Eric Clapton’s son Conor Clapton tragically died in 1991 after accidentally falling out of the window of a 53rd-floor apartment in New York City.
The harrowing incident was the inspiration behind Clapton’s popular song, ‘Tears in Heaven‘ and also caused the singer to isolate himself from the rest of the world while he processed the heartbreaking tragedy.
In a recent interview on BBC Radio, Clapton has shared some insight into how he dealt with the horrible event.
“I had, I brought him [Clapton’s son] home from New York with the Italian side of his mother’s family, and we went through the process of the funeral, and when they left.
“And that I had this little Spanish guitar, I became attached to that. And I went away. I went off to Antigua, and I rented a little cottage there, in a sort of a community.
“And I just swatted mosquitoes all day and played this guitar and stayed there for almost a whole year without much contact with the outside world.”
While isolating himself from the rest of the world, Clapton explained the process of writing ‘Tears in Heaven’ for Conor.
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“I tried to heal myself, and all I could do was play and write these songs, and I rewrote and re-performed them again and again and again until I felt like I’d made some sort of move towards the surface of my being.
“And then I was able to come out. It was so deep, and I had thought that I had taken care of it until I saw [the 2018 movie] ‘Life in 12 Bars.’
“And it’s very disturbing for me, but beautiful at the same time, the way it’s handled in the film. The footage I haven’t seen of him before, which is difficult to watch, with the underlying music.
“And playing ‘Tears in Heaven,’ I mean, it’s overwhelming, and I’ve got to go and do it again in a few days’ time.”
At the time of his death, Conor was at his mother’s apartment and climbed out a window that had been inadvertently left open following janitorial work in the apartment.
“The first I knew was a telephone call from their apartment,” Clapton recalled in a 1992 interview with British journalist Sue Lawley.
“I was actually getting ready to go out of the hotel room to go and pick him up for lunch. Lory was on the other end of the phone, and she was hysterical, saying he was dead. And I could not let myself believe it.”
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