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  • Legendary blues guitarist Eric Clapton, now 72, during a concert in 1981.

    Legendary blues guitarist Eric Clapton, now 72, during a concert in 1981. | Photo: EFE/pm

Published 13 January 2018

"I'm hoping that people will come along and see me just because – or maybe more than because – I'm a curiosity. I know that's part of it. It's amazing to myself that I'm still here," Clapton said.

Legendary blues guitarist Eric Clapton, 72, has revealed in an interview with BBC Radio that he's losing his hearing and the skin on the palms of his hands, but has vowed to keep performing live for as long as possible.

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Interviewed about new documentary "Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars," directed by Lili Fini Zanuck, Clapton says he will continue "doing a few gigs" despite his mounting health issues. 

"I mean, I'm going deaf, I've got tinnitus, my hands just about work," Clapton said. "I'm hoping that people will come along and see me just because – or maybe more than because – I'm a curiosity. I know that's part of it. It's amazing to myself that I'm still here."

Clapton, nicknamed Slowhand, is already working on his latest studio album, following on from 2016's "I Still Do," and is due to perform in London's Hyde Park in July with guests including Carlos Santana.

In a previous interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Clapton said he had eczema (dermatitis) and the palms of his hand "were coming off" while recording his last album. "I had to wear mittens with Band-Aids around the hands," he said.

The star remains optimistic, however, and seems to be ar peace about his future. Asked how he would feel if he was no longer able to play guitar, Clapton answered: "That would be alright. I would accept it, because playing is difficult anyway."

"There's light at the end of the tunnel," he said of the forthcoming documentary. "It's very difficult for me to sit through because it goes on so long about the difficult part of my life, and I think is important for people to see that is a happy ending. It's like a redemption concept."

Clapton found fame playing with Cream, Blind Faith and The Yardbirds before embarking on an equally successful solo career.


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