July 28, 2021

Eric Clapton: Return of the Guitar God – 06/20/2021

“I’m going deaf, I have tinnitus and my hands are barely working,” he stated. Eric Clapton four years ago in an interview with the British channel BBC. “I hope people come to see me not just because I’m kind of curious. It’s surprising even to me that I’m still here, ”added the iconic guitarist, anticipating what was predicted to be the last live shows of his career. No one was surprised by those comments, because Clapton – then 72 and now 76 – has long suffered from a neurological disease that affects his limbs. As long as your mind works well, it is clear to you that it is not worth getting off a pedestal that you have been on for five decades, like a true “guitar hero”. But the author of iconic rock songs like Sunshine of Your Love, Layla O Wonderful Tonight, has always been a man of surprises. And he recently demonstrated it by announcing, through Instagram, that next September he will give eight concerts in different cities in the United States. It is also the previous one to a European tour that was rescheduled for spring 2022, due to restrictions by the coronavirus. Clapton even gave details about his shows in the United States (all the dates are already marked) and anticipated that he will be accompanied by the guitarist and friend Jimmie Vaughan, brother of the deceased Stevie Ray Vaughan.

With these concerts in mind, the British musician who inspired the 1960s graffiti “Clapton is God” and who was baptized with the sarcastic nickname of slowhand (“Slow hand”) after dazzling with the speed of his solos, he will challenge fate twice. First of all, you will ignore the advice of the attending doctors. And secondly, it will ignore warnings about the pandemic of COVID-19, which has practically paralyzed shows across the planet.

But apparently, the coronavirus worries him little. And that has put him in the eye of the hurricane in recent weeks. Become a harsh critic of quarantines and vaccination, Clapton has made controversial statements after being vaccinated against the virus. Without supporting scientific evidence and based on his own experience and YouTube videos, he considers that “a lot of the disease is now in our heads.”

Against the vaccine

Since the end of last year, Eric Clapton has been making controversial statements about a pandemic that has killed millions of people. He has done it in interviews and even in lyrics songs against the quarantine that he recorded with Van Morrison. And he gave as an example his bad experience with vaccines In an interview with Oracle Films: “I lost the use of my hands for about three weeks. So he was in serious trouble. By that time I realized that I was not the only one suffering. And that was my experience after applying the second puncture ”. “My fear with vaccination is what will this do to my children. That is perhaps the biggest reason why I am talking to you today, ”Clapton told the journalist who was interviewing him, to warn about the harmful effects that, as he understands, the decisions taken by the governments of almost all the world have.

During the same interview with Oracle, Clapton indicated that he was trying to reach out to his fellow musicians, but that they have made him a lockdown due to his position on the pandemic. “My phone doesn’t ring very often. I don’t get so many text messages and emails anymore. It is quite remarkable. I was ostracized. And I can feel it everywhere, ”he commented. And as many do, he chose to kill the messenger: “Now I stopped watching television. Much of the disease is in our heads ”.

Young clapton
Eric Clapton at a time when the graffiti “Clapton is God” was popularized in England.

Immune to questioning

Despite his controversial message about the pandemic, Eric Clapton’s career and contribution to the history of the song Contemporary places him beyond good and evil for his millions of followers.

From the Yardbirds to John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers; From the power trio Cream to Derek and the Dominos, through the egotistical group Blind Faith and the refreshing proposal of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, to his solo career, Eric Clapton has left his mark at every turn. In artistic terms, he found the formula to produce pop records and at the same time stay united with the blues, which has allowed him to reach a very heterogeneous audience, without losing the respect of the guitarists, his main followers.

And he has won the worst battles, among which are his addictions to drugs and alcohol, overcoming situations from which few mortals escape unscathed, such as the loss of a child as a result of a terrible accident.

In this long course, the gentleman “slow hand” has shared scenarios with the cream of music, where are his friends George Harrison (who “stole” his wife Pattie Boyd), Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Mark Knopfler, the Rolling Stones, Carlos Santana, Phil Collins, Bob Dylan, JJ Cale and BB King.

He was always surrounded by a constellation of stars. And at the age of 76, he remains in the sky, where he shines with his own light and with an intensity equal to or greater than all the others.