Rolling With the Stones

Jam with the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band at these historic stops from their rambling musical journey.

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Residential street in Surrey, England
A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

Born to 16-year-old Patricia Clapton on March 30, 1945, Eric “Slowhand” Clapton grew up in the English town of Ripley, Surrey. Too young to look after Eric on her own after his 24-year-old soldier father defected back to Canada, Patricia turned to her mother, Rose, and Rose’s second husband, Jack Clapp, to raise her son.

Did You Know? Until age 9, Eric believed that his mother was actually his sister.

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Charles Bowman / Design Pics / Axiom Photographic Agency / Getty Images  

London's West End

London's West End

Intrigued by the blues at an early age after hearing records by B.B. King and Buddy Guy — among others — Eric learned to play guitar as a young teenager, receiving his first instrument at 13. He spent the next couple of years busking around London’s West End and the suburbs of Richmond and Kingston, trying to make a name for himself.

Did You Know? In 2000, Clapton released the certified multiplatinum album Riding With the King with one of his idols, blues legend B.B. King.

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Luis Veiga / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images  

The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds

At age 17, after working alongside his grandfather as a bricklayer, Eric turned his full attention to music, earning his reputation by playing with local bands including the Roosters and Casey Jones & the Engineers. However, it wasn’t until October 1963 that Eric cultivated his style and became known as the best R&B guitar player on the English pub circuit, joining Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith, Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja as a member of the Yardbirds.

Did You Know? Eric got the nickname "Slowhand" from the Yardbirds’ manager, because when he would break a string, he would stay on stage to fix it and receive a slow handclap from the crowd.

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CA / Redferns / Getty Images  

Clapton Is God

Clapton Is God

Eric left the Yardbirds after 18 months because of the group’s increasingly commercial sound and joined John Mayall’s band, the Bluesbreakers. It was during this time that he received his second nickname, “God,” after a superfan wrote “Clapton is God” in graffiti on the wall of London’s Islington Tube station.

Did You Know? Eric Clapton has been a part of 9 different bands in his career: the Roosters, Casey Jones & the Engineers, the Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos, and Legends.

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Kimberley Coole / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall

Eric solidified his position as rock’s premier guitarist, elevating himself to superstar status as part of England’s first successful supergroup, Cream, alongside singer/bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. After touring the US and receiving worldwide acclaim for their albums Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire, Cream disbanded because of several factors, primarily the members’ egos. Their final show as a band was on Nov. 26, 1968, at Royal Albert Hall in London. To date, Eric has played 198 shows at the world-famous arena, including a reunion show with the members of Cream 37 years after they called it quits.

Did You Know? The blues and psychedelic-rock style performed by Cream exemplified Eric’s distorted yet heavy guitar sound, which would later be dubbed the “woman tone.”

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Craig Roberts / Britain on View / Getty Images  

'Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs'

'Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs'

Shortly after becoming close friends with the Beatles’ George Harrison in the late 1960s, Eric Clapton formed the band Derek and the Dominos, bringing in Jim Gordon, Bobby Whitlock and Carl Radle. It was during this time that Eric fell in love with George’s wife, Pattie Boyd, and created the concept album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Eric eventually shared the song Layla with Pattie, telling her that she was the inspiration and professing his love for her. It wasn’t until 9 years later, after her divorce from George, that the 2 were married and moved into Clapton’s Hurtwood Edge Estate in Ewhurst, England.

Did You Know? George Harrison was the best man at Eric and Pattie’s wedding.

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Top: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images ; Bottom: John Rodgers / Redferns / Getty Images  

Don't Call It a Comeback

Don't Call It a Comeback

Although Eric and Pattie finally married in 1979, his love for her went unrequited for several years beforehand, forcing Eric into seclusion and leading him into a 3-year downward spiral induced by his overuse of heroin. Finally cleaning himself up, Eric returned to the spotlight in 1973, when he played back-to-back concerts, organized by Pete Townshend of the Who, at London’s Rainbow Theatre.

Did You Know? Eric and Pattie’s marriage lasted for just less than 10 years. He married Melia McEnery in 2002, and they have 3 daughters, Julie Rose, Ella Mae and Sophie.

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P. Floyd / Daily Express / Hulton Archive / Getty Images  

Live Aid

Live Aid

Known as one of the most iconic shows ever performed by Eric, the short-but-sweet, 4-song Live Aid set — which included White Room, She’s Waiting and Layla — elevated Slowhand’s career to new heights. He took the stage at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia on July 13, 1985, and found a new audience at the worldwide charity event.

Did You Know? Live Aid was a dual-venue event that took place simultaneously at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and Wembley Stadium in London.

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Mike Cameron / Referns / Getty Images  

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In the 1990s, Eric Patrick Clapton was honored twice by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland — in 1992 as a member of the Yardbirds, and then again in 1993 as a member of Cream. On March 6, 2000, Clapton was once again brought into the fold by the foundation’s committee, as he was inducted to the hall as a solo artist as well.

Did You Know? Eric is the only musician in history to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 3 times.

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Education Images / Universal Images Group / Getty Images  

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden

After several years of well-documented substance and alcohol abuse, as well as his courageous effort to get and remain clean, Eric opened Crossroads Centre, a drug-treatment facility on the Caribbean island of Antigua, in 1998 as a safe haven for those experiencing similar addictions. In a very successful attempt to raise funds for the center, Eric held a benefit concert in 1999 at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden in New York City. That event later developed into the Crossroads Guitar Festival.

Did You Know? There have been 5 Crossroads benefit concerts to date, the last occurring in 2013, again at MSG.

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Larry Busacca / Getty Images  

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

At Buckingham Palace in late 2004, Eric Clapton, now one of Britain’s most beloved rock stars, was honored with one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious awards, being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, for his incredible services to the music industry. Among the vast amounts of praise heaped upon Eric throughout his career, he ranks second on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Did You Know? Eric has won or shared 18 Grammy Awards, including the lifetime-achievement award in 2006.

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Stuart Black / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images  

Dyess, Arkansas
Dyess, Arkansas

Dyess, Arkansas

When Cash was young, his family moved to Dyess, AR, where they lived in a 5-room house and farmed on over 20 acres of land. Johnny spent the bulk of the next 15 years working in the fields alongside his parents, brothers and sisters. Located at 4791 CR 924, Dyess, AR 72330. 960 1280

  

Landsberg, Germany

Landsberg, Germany

In 1950, after graduating high school and working briefly sweeping floors at an auto plant, Johnny joined the Air Force. For the bulk of his 4 years of service, he was stationed in Landsberg, Germany. 960 1280

Manfred Angermayr  

Grand Ole Opry House

Grand Ole Opry House

Johnny met his future wife, June Carter, in the 1950s, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium while both were part of the Opry cast. After divorcing their respective spouses, Johnny proposed to June during a live performance in London, Ontario, 13 years after first meeting. 960 1280

Joe Shlabotnik, flickr  

Nashville

Nashville

Country singer/songwriter Johnny Cash reclines on a couch while playing acoustic guitar in Nashville, TN, circa 1960. 960 1280

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images  

Hendersonville, TN

Hendersonville, TN

Johnny poses for a picture in front of the lake house he purchased with his second wife, June Carter, in Hendersonville, TN. 960 1280

ABC Photo Archives  

Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium

From June 1969 to March 1971, Johnny filmed 58 episodes of The Johnny Cash Show, a TV variety series featuring contemporary music that was taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. 960 1280

Dave Newman  

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Montego Bay, Jamaica

A look at the Cinnamon Hill Great House in Montego Bay, Jamaica, that was purchased by Johnny Cash and June Carter in the 1970s. It was at this very house that Johnny and his guests were robbed and threatened before giving up $50,000 cash and jewelry among other valuables. 960 1280

  

Kansas State Prison

Kansas State Prison

Johnny and his wife, June Carter Cash, are seen leaving the front gate of Kansas State Prison in 1968. Although Johnny had his troubles, he was not here because of himself but to perform for the inmates, something he frequently enjoyed. 960 1280

Hulton Archive  

Country Music Hall of Fame

Country Music Hall of Fame

In 1980, Cash was accepted as the youngest member of the Country Music Association Hall of Fame. Courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. 960 1280

Tim Hursley  

Johnny's Star

Johnny's Star

Johnny Cash's star located at 6320 Hollywood Boulevard in California. Cash, a winner of 17 Grammy awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, was known as a pioneer of rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. 960 1280

Brian Holsclaw, flickr  

Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

Johnny was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. The JC Unit One, Cash's tour bus from 1980 to 2003, was put on display in the Hall in 2007. 960 1280

Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame  

Johnny Cash Museum

Johnny Cash Museum

Located at 119 3rd Ave. South in Nashville, TN, the Johnny Cash Museum is set to open in 2013. The museum’s store, an 850-square-foot retail space, is already open daily and offers autographed vinyl albums, books, T-shirts, photographs and more. 960 1280

Mark Logsdon  

Hendersonville Memory Gardens

Hendersonville Memory Gardens

At the Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Tennessee, Johnny Cash, his wife June and the rest of the members of the singing Carter family were laid to rest. Johnny passed away on Sept. 12, 2003, from complications from diabetes. 960 1280

Richard Suter  

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