In the 60s when Eric Clapton was revered by many as one of the greatest living guitarists. Graffiti stating that “Clapton Is God” was seen in numerous locations in London. When Clapton first saw Jimi Hendrix play he was allegedly truly blown away. Apart from the odd gem with Cream and perhaps “Layla” (although it was Duane Allman who was mostly responsible for that iconic lick), I believe that Clapton’s solo output has been somewhat mediocre. I saw him at the Royal Albert Hall in the 90s and my conclusion then was that he was a good guitar player with an ok voice and not many great songs. Perhaps the nadir arrived earlier this year in his collaboration with fellow Covid anti-vaxxer, or at least vaccine sceptic, Van Morrison. In June under the name Slowhand & Van he released a song called “The Rebels”. It was pretty atrocious in my view. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse they released “This Has Gotta Stop” in September. If you wish to check out more dire recordings search for Van Morrison’s “No More Lockdown”. So that you can see how poor both songs are the videos are included in this post. Yes, I recognise the irony of giving such crap airtime, but I thought it was appropriate for this post. I would be happy to step out from behind my computer screen and debate this.
Clapton has a history of racism, his drunken rant on stage at a UK gig in 1976 where he asked foreigners to put their hands up. He then told them they should leave, stating “Not just leave the hall, leave our country… I don’t want you here, in the room or in my country, The Black w—s and c—s and Arabs and f—ing Jamaicans don’t belong here, we don’t want them here,” This is England, this is a white country, we don’t want any Black w—s and c—s living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome.” This racist rant concluded with Clapton calling England a white country made for white people. This rant went some way to help start the whole Rock Against Racism movement. He has addressed this attitude in at least one interview, although to be fair that was with the Daily Mail. He described himself in the ’70s as a “semi-racist” and said that he was “so ashamed of who I was” at the time. He also said that he once dated a Black woman, had Black friends, and said that he “championed Black music.” That old chestnut of racists, “I have black friends” really doesn’t wash Mr. Clapton, particularly 42 years after the original statement. Thanks to Clapton’s Covid related views acclaimed guitarist and decent human being Robert Cray has pulled out of touring with him.
The icing on the cake arrived this week when it was reported that Clapton’s lawyers had sued a woman who was selling a live compilation CD of Clapton playing in the 80s entitled ‘Live USA’ which she said her husband had purchased from a German department store years ago. According to the lawyers it was a bootleg recording. The woman now has to pay legal costs of nearly £3,000 for a CD that she was offering for sale at less than £10. Clapton, through his lawyers, claims that bootlegging is rife and that he has been unable to earn during Covid. Seriously? Wobble your head, Clapton, this woman was really taking nothing from you with a cheap CD of recordings that to my knowledge have never been commercially released. Click here to read the full report in the Guardian. I can no longer bear to listen to Clapton’s music, nor Van Morrison and for that matter Ian Brown and Morrissey too. If Clapton really was God then he has made a shit job of it!
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