Eric Clapton has opened up about his decision to release a politically charged song, titled This Has Gotta Stop, to voice his stance against coronavirus politics.
The song, produced by his longtime production partner Simon Climie, was recorded several months after the release of anti-lockdown track Stand And Deliver with Van Morrison.
The 76-year-old legendary musician, who has previously said he refuses to play in concert halls where concertgoers must prove they have been vaccinated, has spoken of the backlash he has faced for his public opposition to the restrictions confinement and vaccinations in a new interview with Dave Spuria of The Real Music Observer.
The iconic guitarist, who previously said he fears he’ll “never be able to play again” due to health issues that arose after receiving both doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, has spoken out about his current condition (as transcribed and translated by MetalZone.fr): “I feel pretty good. I think it’s been about nine months since I’ve been sick from this stuff. [faisant apparemment référence aux effets secondaires de la vaccination].”
“For a few months, I didn’t know if it was going to go away, or if it was going to get worse… I couldn’t play – I really couldn’t play… I had a lot of work to do, and I didn’t know if I was going to be in shape for this or if it was going to have to be canceled.”
“Two years of work had already been cancelled. And I went to the United States. It was like a trial, it was in September of last year. I was pushing to see if I had recovered enough to be able to stand next to the guys I play with and use my hands properly. And I had a great time.”
“I still have a few little things that are affected by the cold or the stress sometimes. But overall I think I’m pretty much where I was before I got [les piqûres] – Thank God.”
Regarding how Stand And Deliver and This Has Gotta Stop came to be, Clapton said: “My career was almost over anyway… By the time I expressed my opinion, it had been almost 18 months since I had been forcibly retired.”
“I joined forces with Van. I had been told that Van opposed the measures. And I was like, ‘Why isn’t anybody else doing this?’”
“I’ve known him since we were kids. I called him. I said to him, ‘What do you think? What is happening ?’. And he said, ‘I’m just objecting, really. But it looks like we’re not even allowed to do that. And no one else does. And I said, ‘You’re kidding. Nobody else ?’. And he said, ‘Nobody else’. And I said, ‘I’m with you. Can I do something to help you? Do you have any songs?’. And of course that was a stupid question, because he writes two songs a day or something…”
“He sent me Stand And Deliver, which he already had… I didn’t know he had already recorded it. So I thought, ‘Oh, man. I’m going to have an unreleased Van Morrison song. I was thrilled. And it was when I was talking about it to other musicians, when I was getting excited about this idea, that I found that no one wanted to hear it. And I was kind of surprised because I seemed like the only person who thought that was an exciting idea or even appropriate for the situation.”
“It challenged me. […] If you tell me I can’t do something, I really want to know why I can’t do it. And I felt like a wall had been built around me. I said to myself: ‘I will do it’. But I made concessions – I cut corners, to reassure those I really didn’t want to hurt or scare. And needless to say, my family and friends were scared, and I think they were scared for me.”
The guitarist’s latest album, Lady In The Balcony: Lockdown Sessions, was released on November 12, 2021 via Mercury Studios.
Interview with Eric Clapton for The Real Music Observer:
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Eric Clapton – Stand & Deliver (Van Morrison protest song):
Eric Clapton – This Has Gotta Stop:
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Eric Clapton explains why he was musically motivated to express his views on the vaccine and the containment
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