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The singer-songwriter said in a new interview that Clapton had signed a guitar for him and gave it to him as a present when Sheeran was visiting his home. Sheeran has previously spoken about Clapton being an icon of his; the pair have since become good friends.
Sharing the anecdote on Hot Ones, Sheeran said: “My hero is Eric. When I was 11 I heard ‘Layla’, picked up a guitar and went from there. I got to know him in 2015 and we’ve been friends ever since.
“I went to his house and he took his guitar off the wall and just gave it to me. He signed the back and said, ‘Keep my guitar’. I was like, ‘Fuck. Cool.’
“It was the only guitar in my studio at home and I was on tour and the person looking after my house phoned me up and said, ‘Your music studio is on fire’, and I was like, ‘Fuck! The guitar is in that studio.'”
It turns out the guitar Clapton gave him wasn’t destroyed but suffered some damage. Sheeran said it was “totally restored” though noted “it smells like a burnt house”.
“But it plays amazing, looks amazing, actually kind of smells amazing and it still has Eric’s signature on it. That’s my favourite guitar,” he added.
Elsewhere in his Hot Ones chat, Sheeran said that he’s interested in experimenting with heavy metal in the future.
“I was really into death metal as a kid. I listened to Cradle of Filth and Slipknot and all that stuff. I’m not saying I could ever step into that world, but I learnt all those riffs on guitar as a kid. That’s something I’ve never thought about doing – but something I would not be opposed to creating,” he said.