Eric’s first guitar was an acoustic Hoyer – which he got as a present for his 13th birthday.
About two years after that, he started playing more seriously and began practicing non-stop.
[Legendary Guitar: Jeff Beck’s 1954 Yardbirds Esquire] However, since Jeff was never actually seen playing the guitar, there are some doubts whether this story is completely true.
[…] As said, this was Eric’s main guitar with the Yardbirds, and it was likely used on both the 1964 live album “Five Live Yardbirds” recorded at the Marquee Club in London [Yardbirds at The Marquee Club 1964], and on the tracks that Eric played on “For Your Love” in 1965 (basically everything except “I’m Not Talking”, “I Ain’t Done Wrong”, and “My Girl Sloopy” – which were of course played by Jeff Beck).
Next to that, you’ll also notice that Eric’s guitar is fitted with a black round pickguard, while every other Kay Jazz II features a very distinctively shaped pickguard mostly in white.
The guitar allegedly belonged to the Yardbirds management, and after Eric had left the band, Jeff Beck who took over his role played the same guitar for some time prior to acquiring a Fender Esquire (more on Jeff Beck’s Gear Page).While I was changing my strings the audience would often break into a slow handclap, inspiring Giorgio (Gomelsky, The Yardbirds’ manager) to dream up the nickname of ‘Slowhand’ Clapton.[I choked up as my guitars were sold, Eric Clapton, Daily uk] After Eric left the Yardbirds on March 25, 1965, the guitar ended up with the band’s new guitarist – Jeff Beck, who used for a brief period of time before acquiring a Fender Esquire.(Jeff Beck:) We were on the road constantly and I didn’t even have my own guitar.I [initially] used Eric’s red Tele, which I think belonged to the Yardbirds.[Eric Clapton: Blues Power; Guitar World.com] In the quote below Clapton notes again that he would often break his strings while playing on the Tele, and how that eventually played a role in him acquiring the nickname “Slowhand”.This statement however makes the quote above a bit confusing, since he mentioned moving from Gibson to the Tele, while below he mentiones that he had the Tele from the day one.In October 1963 Clapton joined The Yardbirds, and stayed with them until March 1965.Influenced by guitarists like Buddy Guy, Freddie King, and B. King, Clapton developed a distinctive style and rapidly became one of the most talked about guitarists in the British music scene. During this time, Clapton really began to develop as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Their hits include “Sunshine of Your Love”, “White Room” and “Crossroads”.If you happen to know more, as always – shoot us a message using the contact form at the bottom of this list.In his autobiography book Eric also talked a bit about the guitar, mentioning that what he was really after was the Gibson ES-335 – which he would acquire later on while playing with the Yardbirds.