Clapton cites Muddy Waters, Freddie King, B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Hubert Sumlin as guitar playing influences. Clapton stated blues musician Robert Johnson to be his single most important influence.
Eric Clapton. "When all the original blues guys are gone, you start to realize that someone has to tend to the tradition. I recognize that I have some responsibility to keep the music alive, and it's a pretty honorable position to be in."