Eric Clapton - Cocaine

Cocaine was written and originally recorded by guitarist J.J. Cale. Cale recorded "Cocaine"in 1976. When Clapton was looking for songs for his Slowhand album just one year later, he chose "Cocaine," which became the first song on the set.

The lyrics are about drug addiction, something Clapton knew quite well. A few years ago he stated "being glad to be still alive, especially by surviving the 70's". When he recorded this song back then, he had kicked a serious heroin habit but was filling his body with cocaine and alcohol. His attitude at the time was that he could manage his addiction and quit at any time - he just didn't want to; that's why he could sing so objectively about a drug that was consuming him. When he finally did get off drugs and alcohol, he had to learn how to make music while sober, which was a big transition as everything sounded very rough to him. He also realized how damaging his addiction was to himself and others on a personal level, and became active in helping others get through their addictions; in 1998 he opened the Crossroads rehab center in Antigua, where clients go through a 29 day wellness-centered approach to treatment.

Best live performance
From the slowy build of the guitar intro to the point where bass and drum kick in, from the energizing guitar riff into the solo: 6 minutes of Clapton at his best.

Some facts
This is one of Clapton's most famous songs, but the studio version was never released as a single.

Eric Clapton is nicknamed slowhand because of his agressive guitar playing style in his early days with Cream. This often led to broken strings, which he replaced on stage while the audience was slowly clapping hands.

At one point, Clapton removed this song from his set list because he thought it gave the wrong message about cocaine use. He started playing it again after he rearranged the song to include the line, "That dirty cocaine" into the choruses.

How to play Cocaine?
We searched around the web the best tabs, chords and tutorials, here they are:

Guitar tab

Bass tab

Lyrics with chords in a handy easy-to-read onstage version

Guitar Lesson by good old Marty Schwartz: