Well, I’m a bit late to the party here, but I have to comment on this since it’s classic rock related. It’s been known for a long time that Eric Clapton isn’t a good person and for many reasons, which I’ll talk about in this blog post. I’m not here to tell you who to listen to or who not to listen to. It’s your choice at the end of the day and music brings joy to people. It’s hard finding out that a musician you admired is not a good person. This doesn’t mean I’ll never talk about Eric Clapton or listen to songs he played on. I still love listening to The Yardbirds, Cream, and Blind Faith. There’s no doubt that he’s talented. I am capable of separating the art from the artist, but as someone who writes a blog and has a platform that talks about music, the responsible thing to do is talk about it. I believe in being as honest as possible about classic rock. It does no one any favours if I ignore all the bad things in classic rock, but it’s also not my style to give lectures all the time on right and wrong. You know what’s right and wrong. I like to assume good faith of people and I don’t think all Eric Clapton fans have Eric Clapton’s values.
It’s the same idea as people who are talking about JK Rowling’s transphobia. I used to love Harry Potter when I was a kid and it would be wrong of me to say it’s not a part of my childhood. It really was! And I’d imagine for a lot of people, Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials and Zoomers raised on classic rock, Eric Clapton’s music was a big part of growing up. It was easier for me to give up Harry Potter than classic rock because I love classic rock more than anything and music brings me so much joy and has been my “therapy” so to speak through all the difficult times.
In case you’re out of the loop, and I don’t take anything for granted here on this blog, I’d rather explain everything than assume people know what I’m talking about. Eric Clapton has had a bad reputation since the 70s for being a shitty person, pardon my French. In 1976, he went on a racist rant at a concert in Birmingham where he praised racist MP Enoch Powell, said he wanted to keep Britain white, that Britain is a ‘white country’, and wanted all black and brown people out of the country. Funny, because he plays black American blues music, but has no respect for the people who make it. He was intoxicated and was struggling with addiction. Many people gave him the benefit of the doubt when they heard about the incident. It happened decades earlier and he never went on a rant like that again. He has apologised, but it’s perfectly understandable and reasonable for people of colour to not accept his apology. He said this:
“I was so ashamed of who I was, a kind of semi-racist, which didn’t make sense. Half of my friends were black, I dated a black woman and I championed black music.”
Semi-racist? I don’t think so, that rant was easily something that could have been said by a member of the BNP or the Ku Klux Klan. And to say “I have black friends?” That old excuse? While yes, race is more than black and white, you can still be anti-black and have black friends. You know that whole thing racists say, “you’re one of the good ones”? As for sabotaging everything? Sounds like he’s just sorry he’s getting backlash.
Even worse, right after the racist incident he was blaming it on alcohol and drugs, and called the incident quite funny. I know plenty of people who like to get drunk and do drugs, but most of them don’t go on racist rants. Cocaine, heroin, and booze don’t make you a racist. Sorry, that’s on you. He didn’t deny it at least, but he didn’t properly apologise. And changed man? Give me a break! Even longtime friend and blues guitarist Robert Cray ended his friendship with him because he compared lockdown to slavery and Cray said he’d never open for Eric Clapton again.
Still, it’s pretty hard to accidentally trip and fall into a pile of white supremacists. Yes, sometimes working class people can get radicalised when they have hardships, but that’s not Eric Clapton. He has everything! He’s wealthy and living the dream. Is racism something that he grew up with? I really can’t answer that because I’m not Eric Clapton, but I am quite suspicious of him that’s for sure.
All of this was known in 1976 and Eric Clapton’s rant is why Rock Against Racism was started.
Second, everyone knows rock stars don’t make the best spouses. Eric Clapton is someone I don’t think you want to be married to. Eric Clapton has admitted to beating his ex-wife Pattie Boyd and even forcing her to have sex (which is rape). Horrible person.
And he has continued to be a bad person. Last year, you may remember he went on an anti-lockdown rampage, with him and Van Morrison performing a song that’s anti-lockdown in a time when we didn’t have vaccines yet and don’t have the treatments we have now for COVID (and even then, they’re not accessible to all because big pharma are all about profit, don’t think I’m letting big pharma off the hook here). I understand being against lockdowns and being against vaccine passports (I don’t support either, but I am extremely pro-vaccine). I think at this point, it’s not feasible. Lockdowns have been disastrous for mental health and you can’t put your life on hold forever. Zero COVID is impossible now. All we can do now is take precautions. Getting vaccinated is one of them. At this point, if you’re in a developed country, you had the opportunity to get vaccinated. Your problem if you choose not to and decide to “fuck around and find out”, just like if you choose not to wear a bike helmet. The song is crap by the way, don’t waste your time. It’s a far cry from Astral Weeks or Disraeli Gears. Depressing how this whole thing has been politicised to be honest, but that’s another rant for another day.
Vegetarians and animal rights supporters won’t be thrilled by his support of fox hunting and his hobbies such as fishing and shooting. Don’t worry guys! Plenty of great vegetarian guitarists like Steve Howe, Jeff Beck, Brian May, and Dave Davies to name a few.
Feminists also have reason to hate him. Here he is with anti-abortion Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “Me and the bestie”?
Lately, he’s spouting anti-vaccine propaganda and using his story about his bad reaction to the vaccine (which I believe, I know there are people who had bad reactions to the vaccine) to spread an agenda, even though he has no medical licence or any training in the field. The vaccines have been proven to be safe and if you take them you won’t end up in hospital if you get COVID, it gives you peace of mind. That’s a good thing. Just funny that Eric Clapton calls himself someone who has always been a rebel, you can’t be a rebel and be a conservative, that’s just not how it works. Conservatives are pro-status quo. Rebels are against the status quo.
And the latest Clapton being CRAPton is him suing a German widow who sold her husband’s bootleg CD of an Eric Clapton concert on eBay for €10, and he won. That’s just the definition of petty and being a bully. He’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars, €10 is peanuts to him and 100 million is a big number, I don’t think an average person could manage to spend that in a lifetime. Reminds me of that Spongebob episode where Mr Krabs sells Spongebob’s soul for just 62 cents. And the poor woman could be fined €250k or get 6 months in prison over basically a victimless crime (you can’t tell me Eric Clapton has been victimised here). This is why copyright law needs to be overhauled. Screw greedy musicians and record companies. Eric Clapton should be ashamed of himself for all these horrible things.
Don’t just take it from me, here’s a great article in The Independent saying that you shouldn’t be surprised Eric Clapton is like this.
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