Eric Clapton has made it clear he will not perform at venues that require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations and that he reserves the “right to cancel the show” following British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordering the use of vaccine passports.
“Following the PM’s announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021 I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own,” the 76-year-old legendary guitarist wrote in response to Johnson’s order on Telegram. “I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present. Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”
Rolling Stone reported that the message included a link to Clapton’s anti-lockdown song, “Stand and Deliver.” He collaborated with Van Morrison on the iconic song which seems to resonate with many out there. The song was recorded in November of 2020 and released in December.
Clapton said that he and Morrison were in agreement and his lyrics “echoed in my heart.” After the release of the song, Clapton said he was “immediately regaled with contempt and scorn.”
(Video Credit: Eric Clapton | Frank Zweers)
Lyrics reflect Clapton’s stance on lockdowns. “Stand and deliver / You let them put the fear on you” and “Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave?” are just two of the messages in the song. “Magna Carta, Bill of Rights/ The Constitution, what’s it worth?/ You know they’re gonna grind us down, ah / Until it really hurts / Is this a sovereign nation / Or just a police state?”
Clapton’s next scheduled shows in the United Kingdom will take place in May 2022, when he has two appearances booked at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He has a handful of North American concerts calendared for September 2021 as well.
Van Morrison tweeted at the time of the song’s release in response to the devastating effect lockdowns were having on the music industry, “Have you downloaded @EricClapton and Van Morrison’s Stand And Deliver? The two artists have joined forces to support the UK #musicindustry and help musicians who have been struggling financially. We must act now before it’s too late.”
Have you downloaded @EricClapton and Van Morrison's Stand And Deliver?
The two artists have joined forces to support the UK #musicindustry and help musicians who have been struggling financially.
We must act now before it's too late. @Spotify @AppleMusic @amazonmusic @Deezer pic.twitter.com/UBeWXUaIDa
— Van Morrison (@vanmorrison) December 19, 2020
Clapton recounted his horrific experience with the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine last may, stating that he underwent a “disastrous” reaction.
“I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days,” Clapton noted. “I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one.”
He added, “About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot, but with a little more knowledge of the dangers. Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again.”
Clapton remarked that he had believed the “propaganda” that the vaccine was “safe for everyone.”
“I continue to tread the path of passive rebellion and try to tow [sic] the line in order to be able to actively love my family, but it’s hard to bite my tongue with what I now know,” he declared.
“I’ve been a rebel all my life, against tyranny and arrogant authority, which is what we have now,” Clapton proclaimed at the time.
The guitarist is widely supported on social media:
Finally a celebrity with balls!
— BeeCorn (@BeeCorn3) July 22, 2021
I love you @EricClapton
— mari (@marijuku230) July 22, 2021
Good for him
— janet baird (@janetba44191749) July 22, 2021
Excellent stand for freedom!!
— Cathy Speirs (@speirs_cathy) July 22, 2021
Good!! He’s choosing to honor each person’s body choice and NOT a political side.
— PatrioticMama8 (@PatrioticMama8) July 22, 2021
Good for the icon @EricClapton a true legend who has transformed himself into one of the best blues players in the country today and still brings it hard, sticking up for what is right and not forcing people to do something against their will!
— Alan B Patterson MD (@AlanPattersonMD) July 22, 2021
Need more to stand up like him.
— AnnieW (@AnnieW67223909) July 22, 2021
Just when I thought I couldn’t like @EricClapton any more, he flexed his spine! 👍
— FreeThinkingPatriotNeanderthal (@StillFreeSCOTTY) July 22, 2021
Clapton doesn’t get older. He just gets better.
— Cherry (@CherryAnnWilli4) July 22, 2021
The rockstars get it. They know what actual rebellion is
— Patriotic Texan (@PatrioticTexan2) July 22, 2021
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