Fans of blues rock legend and guitar god Eric Clapton are facing their biggest test of faith yet: should we still love him or not?
Clapton has not been without controversy, but over time, the man has come to accept his struggles with substance abuse and alcohol abuse as he seems to have atone for them with his candid acceptance of his dark years. has done. The musical eulogy and subsequent loss of his four-year-old son in a tragic accident cemented his status as a rock statesman who has thrown some brutal curveballs in life.
But processing his current anti-vaxxer avatar has become a case of severe indigestion for even his most ardent fan.
He has been a vocal opponent of the UK government’s vaccination campaign and has funded anti-vax bands such as Jam for Freedom, widely seen as a jaw-dropping show of misinformation. In a recent offensive story from Rolling Stone, the magazine called on Clapton to not only “bring about the vaccine nonsense but to control it”.
Jam for Freedom founder Cambell McLaughlin is quoted as admitting how he discovered that the person donating the £1,000 was actually former Cream, Yardbirds and Derek and Domino icon, Eric Clapton. In case anyone is confused about how to feel on the matter, Rolling Stone drives home the point that Clapton is actually a habitual offender.
Citing his 1976 Birmingham concert when a very drunk musician took to the stage and spewed the most disgusting racist diatribe that would make Donald Trump proud, the magazine bolstered his argument that Clapton is not only a reckless adversary, but He’s also a really close racist. .
Much time has passed, and generations have changed to apologize retrospectively, but his various attempts to address the events of that evening have paid off. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he used a racist slur to refer to a man he considered a major influence: Jimi Hendrix. The magazine has made sure to mention this as well. Clapton has, in subsequent interviews, repeatedly denied being racist and each time attributed it to the substances he was on.
Logically, facts that do not contribute to his headline about the vaccine controversy should be exempt from the argument that the magazine was trying to make Clapton an annie-vaxxer. It only exposes the agenda to defame the musician, even if the argument is actually in his favor. Is Rolling Stone calling out the musician for all his crimes or is it exposing his latest crime? Because he actually published that interview with abuses.
Clapton has been a substance abuser, a serial womanizer, an alcoholic, and a fair bit of an obnoxious character at various stages of his life. One thing she hasn’t been able to do so far is take on the right-wing anti-vaxxer Susan/Karen-variety of nutjobs that are plentiful in the world today.
And that’s exactly why so many fans are confused because there’s a narrative that Clapton is fueling, which makes it so hard for fans to reconcile.
What exactly is Clapton saying about vaccines? He is saying that those who are hesitant to vaccinate should not be discriminated against through policies and regulations being put in place by the UK government (and by extension, other governments around the world). He says that fear is stopping people from asking questions.
Clapton isn’t helping his cause because of the flipflops he’s done with his ideas of playing in arenas demanding vaccination certificates. After saying he would not, Clapton, who was double-vaccinated, ended up playing at a venue where vaccine certificates or negative RT-PCR certificates were asked for upon entry. In collaboration with Van Morrison, another Vaccine-hesitation musician, Clapton also wrote songs to drive his point home.
How did he get here though? Already suffering from peripheral neuropathy, Clapton had a severe reaction to both AstraZeneca shots, leaving his hands and feet either frozen, numb, or felt like they were burning. Physicians treating similar conditions say the response is consistent with the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and that such reactions would not be uncommon after a vaccine shot in patients with similar pain.
Even if Clapton may have a personal complaint, he is not an average case and there is no point in making broad statements against vaccines in general. And with a governor notorious for his anti-vaccination and anti-abortion attacks — Governor Greg Abbott — Texas isn’t helping Clapton’s fan base either after the show. Most eclectic fans have had a double take on that.
How does all this affect Clapton’s musical legacy? In the long run, this doesn’t happen.
In truth, the public’s memory is too short to remember the kind of crap our heroes did from time to time. I wish to take a less adamant and more rigid, stance about it, but history is full of blatant outrage with zero follow-through. R Kelly literally got thrown back in jail, Pete Townshend sidelined the pedophilia controversy, and we still hear Michael Jackson songs.
In our selective outrage, we often resort to either easily cancelable culture or we argue that we should separate the art from the artist. Punishment must be commensurate with the crime and since the morality of each of us is changing when it comes to such crimes, we must be honest about how often we oscillate between opposing sides of an argument that Depends on who the culprit is.
You shouldn’t be more pious about the cancellation of Clapton’s music and legacy in light of his views on vaccination. The racist argument is far more serious because it casts the entire body of the composer’s work in a new, hypocritical light. Simply put, you can’t co-opt the blues ethos of black people and then ridicule them for their skin-tones.
But since Clapton’s immediate problem is that he is influencing public hesitation over the use of emergency vaccines (and not all vaccines), he needs to be reminded of the kind of influence he has on his fans and his actions. This has a direct impact on how fans view their own life choices. against him. Sure, she’s an artist and doesn’t have a moral compass, but art is never works in black and white.
In many ways, his life has been that of a true rockstar. What is rock-n-roll if it’s not about questioning authority? Clapton is forcing us into this debate and he may be a fool for it, but if it’s making us sane, we have to thank him.