Eric Clapton is a legend, plain and simple. He is an expert songwriter as well as one of the best living guitarists. Clapton is a three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Once as a solo artist, once with Cream, and once with The Yardbirds. So, when he tours people flock from all corners of the globe to see Slowhand live and in person.
However, he may be canceling several upcoming shows in the United Kingdom. Eric Clapton refuses to play venues where proof of COVID vaccination is required for entry. NPR reprinted a statement that Clapton made through the social media accounts of Robin Monotti. Monotti is a London-based film producer, architect, and anti-vaccine advocate.
In the statement, Eric Clapton said, “Following the PM’s announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021, I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own: I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present.”
Eric Clapton is referring to an announcement from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson which stated that UK residents would have to show proof of vaccination to attend venues and nightclubs. The mandate takes effect in September.
The Background of Eric Clapton’s Announcement
Eric Clapton started railing against COVID safety measures last December. He released the Van Morrison=penned anti-lockdown anthem, “Stand and Deliver,” on December 18th, 2020. The track contains lyrics like “Stand and deliver. / You let them put the fear on you. / Stand and deliver. / But not a word you heard was true.” In the opening verse. The chorus, however, goes a little deeper asking, “Do you wanna be a free man / or do you wanna be a slave? / Do you wanna wear these chains / until you’re lying in the grave?”
Then, in May of this year, Eric Clapton went on an anti-vaccine rant. He did this through Monotti as well. He wrote the anti-COVID measure advocate a letter in which he detailed “disastrous” side effects of getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Rolling Stone reprinted the letter after validating its authenticity. Eric Clapton said that he took the first shot in February of this year and was told to wait 12 weeks to get his second shot. However, he was offered, and accepted, the second dose six weeks later. He stated that his hands and feet were “…either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks.” Furthermore, he worried that he would never play again.
In that same statement, Eric Clapton referred to vaccination initiatives as “propaganda.” and implied that the information surrounding vaccines was misleading. So, that explains why he has decided to make his most recent announcement.