Reports in a British newspaper say that Eric Clapton has incurable damage to his nervous system which has made it difficult to play the guitar. According to Eric, “I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy – which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg.
Eric who is 71 added, “[It’s] hard work to play the guitar and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve. Because I’m in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all. By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago. For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance.”
He told Classic Rock Magazine, “I can still play. I mean, it’s hard work sometimes, the physical side of it – just getting old, man, is hard. I don’t know how I survived – the Seventies especially. There was one point there where they were flying me to hospital in St Paul [Minnesota] and I was dying, apparently – I had three ulcers and one of them was bleeding. I was drinking three bottles of brandy and taking handfuls of codeine, and I was close to checking out. It’s amazing that I’m still here, really.”
“But I love to play, still. I sit in the corner of our front room with a guitar, and I play in the morning and I rest in the afternoon… Life is good.’ Eric released his 23rd album, I Still Do, but the good news is fans should not consider it a farewell. We all wish Eric continued health and happiness and thank him for his music.
Meanwhile we can look back on a career that started with The Yardbirds before Eric moved onto John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then Cream, Blind Faith, before working with Delaney and Bonnie with George Harrison, which lead to Derek and The Dominos, and then a solo career that has produced so many career highlights…and so much great music.