Eric Clapton kicked off a five-night run at Tokyo’s legendary Nippon Budokan on Saturday, and welcomed fellow touring guitarist/vocalist John Mayer as a special guest during the encore.
Clapton—who told BBC Radio 2 last year that he is losing his hearing and suffering from tinnitus—performed an extensive set of originals (“Pretending”, “Running On Faith”, Tears In Heaven”, “Wonderful Tonight”), songs from his career-spanning projects (Derek & The Dominos‘ “Layla”, Cream‘s “Badge”), and classic covers (Charles Segar‘s “Key to the Highway”, Willie Dixon‘s “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man”, Bob Marley‘s “I Shot The Sherriff”, Robert Johnson‘s “Cross Road Blues”, and more), before surprising the crowd with the collaboration. After the fifteen-song set, Clapton returned to the stage with John Mayer for a rendition of J. J. Cale‘s “Cocaine”.
John Mayer shared his excitement about the sit-in on his Instagram account, noting, “It’s always great when the stars align and I get to catch up with [Eric Clapton]. An exceedingly generous man. Watching him play is like getting picked up by the scruff of my neck like a kitten. I just love it. To do it in Tokyo makes it all the more special. Excited to be making an appearance at his #crossroadsfestival in September.”
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It’s always great when the stars align and I get to catch up with @ericclapton. An exceedingly generous man. Watching him play is like getting picked up by the scruff of my neck like a kitten. I just love it. To do it in Tokyo makes it all the more special. Excited to be making an appearance at his #crossroadsfestival in September. (photos by Aki Ueda)
As Mayer reveals in his post, he will take part in the return of Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival this September in Dallas. Mayer was not on the initial lineup listing for the upcoming event, so you can likely take this as confirmation that he’ll be officially added as the event draws closer.
The Clapton collab was not Mayer’s only high-profile onstage collaboration in Tokyo in the last week. On Wednesday, at his own show at the Budokan, Mayer welcomed Ed Sheeran to collaborate on a pair of tunes.
You can watch video of Mayer’s guest spot with Eric Clapton in Tokyo below:
Eric Clapton w/ John Mayer – “Cocaine”
Setlist: Eric Clapton | Nippon Budokan | Tokyo, Japan | 4/13/19
Pretending, Key to the Highway, (I Wanna) Make Love To You, I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man, I Shot The Sheriff, Driftin’ Blues, Running on Faith, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, Tears in Heaven, Layla, Badge, Wonderful Tonight, Cross Road Blues, Little Queen of Spades, Before You Accuse Me
E: Cocaine (with John Mayer)