June 30, 2020
At four years of age, Eric Clapton's son, Conor, fell 50 stories to his demise from an apartment building. The heartbreaking moment became the motivation for one of the music legend's iconic songs.
On March 20, 1991, Conor died after falling out of an open window in a high-rise. The little boy was living with his mom, actress Lory Del Santo, in the New York apartment, as reported by Ultimate Classic Rock.
The mishap occurred during a visit from the housekeeper who had opened the six-by-four window to clean it when Conor was not in the room and could not stop the kid from running straight through the window before it was closed.
A GOOD FATHER
Clapton did not live with Del Santo and Conor. However, at the time, he happened to be in New York. He even took his son to the circus the night before the disaster struck.
In a 1999 interview, Clapton shared that he wants to be a decent dad to his child, which eventually incited him to get sober. He explained:
"When he was born, I was drinking, and he was really the chief reason that I went back to treatment, because I really did love this boy."
Conor's funeral was held at St Mary Magdalene's Church in Clapton's home village in Ripley, Surrey.
According to Over Sixty, the award-winning singer bid farewell to Conor at his son's funeral two days prior to his 46th birthday celebration.
The song went on to become the best-selling single of Clapton in the US.
"TEARS IN HEAVEN"
Clapton, who has been alluded to being one of the most significant and powerful guitarists ever, once called the kid as "the one thing in my life that good could come out of."
Following his child's demise, Clapton collaborated with songwriter Will Jennings to write "Tears in Heaven," as reported by Guitar World.
The song went on to become the best-selling single of Clapton in the US. In 1992, it reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Clapton also won six Grammys for the single and his "Unplugged" album at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards.
In 2004, the song was introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.