Eric Clapton announces plans to quit touring

Guitarist says life on the road is "unbearable and unapproachable"

Eric Clapton has announced he is thinking of quitting touring, because he believes that touring has become “unbearable” and “unapproachable”.

Clapton turns 70 in March 2015, and says he has “odd ailments” that may lead to him being forced to stop playing guitar altogether. He intends to concentrate on studio work at the expense of live performances.

“There are tons of things I’d like to do, but I’m looking at retirement too,” Clapton told Uncut. “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.”


Complaining that he feels the world has become too similar with most countries now resembling “a different version of America”, Clapton said of touring: “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.”

Asked if he would eventually have to stop playing guitar altogether, Clapton responded: “Maybe. It might be that I can’t, if it hurts too much. I have odd ailments.”

Clapton’s comments come in the same week that he was booed for walking off stage during a gig at Glasgow’s Hydro arena (June 21). He later apologised, blaming a “technical fault” for the abandonment. Awarded a CBE in 2004, the former Cream singer has released 20 solo albums, with the most recent, ‘Old Sock’, in 2013.

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