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Eric Clapton Says Touring Has Become ‘Unbearable,’ Confirms Retirement Plans

Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Legendary guitarist Eric Clapton has again said that he is thinking of quitting touring, attributing his decision to the road being “unbearable” in addition to “odd ailments” that may force him to put down his guitar permanently.

As reported by NME, Clapton makes these bold proclamations in the August 2014 cover story of Uncut Magazine. “The road has become unbearable. It’s become unapproachable, because it takes so long to get anywhere. It’s hostile – everywhere: getting in and out of airports, travelling on planes and in cars,” Clapton says in the interview.

“There are tons of things I’d like to do, but I’m looking at retirement too. What I’ll allow myself to do, within reason, is carry on recording in the studio. I don’t want to go off the boil to the point where I’m embarrassing myself.”

Clapton admitted that his health could factor into his decision, adding, “Maybe. It might be that I can’t, if it hurts too much. I have odd ailments.”  Last year, Clapton canceled several shows due to back pain.

Earlier this week, Clapton was booed at a show in Glasgow after cutting his concert short due to technical difficulties. And while Clapton’s comments in the Uncut interview may spark some worry among his devoted fans, this certainly isn’t the first time that Clapton has spoken of his imminent retirement from the road. In February 2013, he spoke of wanting to retire from the road when he turned 70, which just so happens to be on March 30, 2015.

During the course of his interview with Uncut, Clapton also takes the opportunity to shed some light on the status of Cream:

“I haven’t spoken to Jack [Bruce] or Ginger [Baker] for quite a time. I don’t think there’s been any line of dialogue between any of us – or between me and them, that is to say – since the American affair [the trio’s Madison Square Garden shows in 2005],” Clapton says. “After that I was pretty convinced that we had gone as far as we could without someone getting killed. At this time in my life I don’t want blood on my hands! I don’t want to be part of some kind of tragic confrontation.”

 

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