Eric Clapton, who last summer declared that he reserved the right to cancel performances at venues where audience members were required to show proof of Covid vaccination, has indeed canceled two shows, but for another reason: Clapton just tested positive for the coronavirus.
The announcement of the show cancelations in Zurich and Milan was made on Clapton’s official Facebook page last night.
“Eric Clapton is unfortunately suffering from Covid having tested positive shortly after the second concert at the Royal Albert Hall,” the post reads. He has been told by his medical advisors that if he were to resume traveling and performing too soon, it could substantially delay his full recovery. Eric is also anxious to avoid passing on any infection to any of his band, crew, Promoters, their staff and of course the fans.”
The performance in Zurich was scheduled for today, May 17, with Milan initially set for May 18. Clapton’s team says the guitarist hopes to resume the tour starting with the concerts in Bologna on May 20 and 21.
Clapton has been a prominent opponent of Covid protocols in the UK and the U.S., most notably the lockdowns and business closures enacted during the early days of the global pandemic. Clapton, who claimed last year that he experienced “disastrous” side effects – his hands and feet, he said, were “frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks” – collaborated with singer Van Morrison in 2020 on the anti-lockdown song “Stand and Deliver,” which included the lyrics “Do you wanna wear these chains/ Until you’re lying in the grave?”
In his own song, “This Has Gotta Stop,” Clapton sang ” I knew that something was going on wrong/When you started laying down the law/I can’t move my hands…This has gotta stop/Enough is enough/I can’t take this BS any longer.” He subsequently subscribed to a conspiracy theory that vaccination was being encouraged through subliminal hypnosis and “mass psychosis.”
On his Facebook page last night, Clapton’s team wrote, “It is very frustrating that having avoided Covid throughout lockdown and throughout the period when travel restrictions have been in place Eric should have succumbed to Covid at this point in time, but we very much hope he will be sufficiently recovered by the end of the week to be able to perform the remainder of the planned performances.”
A further announcement will be made concerning the rescheduling of the postposed shows later.
Clapton recently announced North American tour dates for September, including stops in Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Pittsburgh and two shows at New York City’s Madison Square Gardens.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.