In a new interview with Uncut Magazine, prominent blues guitarist Eric Clapton confesses that touring, to him, is unbearable.
He elaborated. “It’s become unapproachable, because it takes so long to get anywhere. It’s hostile – everywhere: getting in and out of airports, traveling on planes and in cars.”
Clapton explained that while he enjoys playing, he can’t stand traveling from venue to venue on the road. “The bit onstage, that’s easy. If I could do that around my neighborhood, that would be great. You have guys in Texas that play their circuit, and it keeps them alive. But for me, the struggle is the travel. And the only way you can beat that is by throwing so much money at it that you make a loss.”
The guitarist also nixed any hope for a Cream reunion. “I haven’t spoken to Jack [Bruce] or Ginger [Baker] for quite a time,” he said. “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 [Cream’s reunion concert in 2005].”
“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!” He continued. “I don’t want to be part of some kind of tragic confrontation.”
Instead, Clapton plans to focus on working in the studio. The guitarist turns 70 next year, and has commented to Rolling Stone previously that he will retire from performing when he reaches that age.
However, much like professional athletes, most musicians who have spent a lifetime playing music continue to find themselves performing. Guys like Buddy Guy and B.B. King continue to appear publicly, and while their chops may not be as good as they were 50 years ago, it’s still an absolute treat to see those venerated musicians perform. From their perspective, it makes sense. If you’ve been playing music your whole life, what else are you going to do?
Clapton has a new album coming up next month, a collaborative tribute to the legendary blues-rock guitarist JJ Cale. You can hear the opening track from the album, “Call Me The Breeze,” here.
-David Melamed (@DMelamz)
[Via Rolling Stone]