Eric Clapton just gotten a whole lot richer -- over $34 million richer, to be exact. Ultimate Classic Rock reported: "Clapton got quite the return on his investment. He purchased the 1994 painting, Abstraktes Bild (809-4) by German artist Gerhard Richter, along with two others in Richter's 809 series, for $3.4 million in 2001. Richter's Abstraktes Bild (809-2) was also sold, but for 'only' $3.1 million."
Sotheby's had only valued the painting for between $14 and $19 million, but Clapton's payday broke the record for a purchase by a living artist. The bidding for the works was between three buyers with the sale wrapping up in only five minutes.
Although still one of the greatest axe-men on the planet, Clapton feels his playing lacks then intensity that it did back in the mid-'90s: "I got a, a piece of footage from the mid-'90s of me when I was just playing a blues song, and I thought, 'Whoa.' There were some things that I was doing that I just don't even think I -- (I) consciously let go of. I don't do 'em anymore -- probably because they're too hard to do."