These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Cargo Ship: "I've Got A Rock 'N' Roll Heart" amusingly sounds like it's about this if you take lyrics too literally:
I get off on '57 Chevys
I get off on screamin' guitar
Covered Up - Clapton didn't write "Cocaine". That was J.J. Cale.
Most people know "I Shot The Sheriff" was originally a Bob Marley song, but some think it's a Clapton original.
Also "After Midnight", another J.J. Cale song.
Clapton actually covered up Cale twice with "After Midnight". Clapton's up-tempo 1970 version was based on Cale's obscure 1966 original. When Cale re-recorded it in 1971 he rearranged it into a slow, bluesy song, and when Clapton re-recorded it in 1987 it was more in line with that take of the song.
Epic Riff: Several, especially "Crossroads", where his arrangement is the most famous.
While the riff in "Layla" is definitely epic, that was Duane Allman, not Eric Clapton on the guitar. This leads people to mistakenly believe that ALL the great guitar playing on the album was Duane Allman, even on the three tracks on which he did not appear.
Growing the Beard - The first time he grew a full beard was in 1969 with Blind Faith, when was getting disillusioned with his "guitar hero" status. After the tour, he joined Blind Faith's little-known supporting act Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. The duo encouraged him to work on his singing and song-writing abilities. He became more than just a guitarist and more well-rounded as an artist. This led directly to his first self-titled album and a very successful solo career. In fact, the most well-known image of him is with a beard during the 1970's and 1980's rather than the baby-faced (or thin-moustachioed) kid from The Yardbirds, The Bluesbreakers and Cream.
Prior to that was the level of virtuosity and feel Clapton acquired between leaving The Yardbirds (where he was already well regarded as an impressive player) and the "Beano" album, which set the scene for the rest of Clapton's career.
Never Live It Down - Going on stage, dead drunk in 1976, and stumbling into an anti-immigration rant including such choice sayings as "Throw the wogs out! Keep Britain white!". Clapton has tried to defend it in the past as drunken trolling, but mostly him, his fans, and his numerous multi-ethnic collaborators all just pretend it never happened.
Old Shame: In the early 70s, Clapton was a big supporter of Enoch Powell's anti-immigration rhetoric and made a few slightly controversial statements regarding race relations in Britain at a time when racial tension was very high.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny - Clapton is best known now for his unplugged solo material and his lighter pop hits, but back in the 60s he was an even more influential guitarist than Jimi Hendrix. This was even the guy who influenced Hendrix.
The image of a guitar hero playing a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall amp arguably began with Eric.
Tear Jerker: "Tears In Heavens". Oh, goodness, "Tears In Heaven". The story behind his five-year-old son Conor's death is just heartbreaking.
"Bell Bottom Blues, you made me cry..." is an apt description of the effect the titular song can have.
"Wonderful Tonight" from 24 Nights, his Royal Albert Hall performance and two-disc set. It's slower-paced and a lot gloomier—if the original one is the main couples' dance at your wedding, then this one is you watching the new couple have their first dance, while feeling that you must examine your own life a bit harder if you're ever to have that shining moment.