I’ve been playing guitar for close to thirty years. I went through a phase where I worshipped Clapton, back in the nineties. For my sixteenth birthday, I got the music book to his unplugged album, and I practiced it till my fingers bled. I paid through the nose for great seats to see him once. This was at the Forum, in Inglewood, California, to give you an idea of how long ago I’m talking about.
As I’ve matured, I’ve learned to look at the man with a more nuanced approach. He’s a behemoth guitarist. There’s no denying that. He has suffered in his life. Being an addict is no fun. Having a child die is not something many people can move past. He has a charity he runs to help alcoholics.
Now for the bad. Deep down, he’s a racist. Even though he has spent his life learning a musical form developed by Black people, he apparently doesn’t like having them in the UK.
And now, he’s decided that he won’t play venues that require masks or vaccines. This one really pisses me off. He’s not an expert on infectious disease. He’s just an angry, entitled rich person who thinks he’s above the rules that the rest of us have to live by.
I think it goes without saying that I won’t be supporting him any more. There are so many more talented musicians out there. I mostly feel bad for the people who rely on Clapton to make a living. Clapton himself will be fine if he never plays another show, but the economy in general will suffer for his loss.