Eric Clapton’s History of Extremist Right Wing Views are Now Centre Stage Once Again Amidst His Anti-Vax Stance From the Comfort of His Fully Vaccinated Existence.
This is a tough one for me. I hate learning unforgiveable shitty things about people I idolized my entire life. Rolling Stone took rock legend Eric Clapton to the shed this week over his support for U.K.’s Anti-Vax Movement. Eric has apparently bankrolled a lot of costs incurred as of late by Cambel McLaughlin, the 27-year old founder of Jam for Freedom, a group of U.K. musicians that plays for free in public spaces, spreading the anti-lockdown word and sometimes singing songs with lyrics like “You can stick your poison vaccine up your arse.”
Despite ol’ ‘Slow Hand’ being fully vaccinated, he apparently opposes anyone else needing to get it because he has had some unconfirmed side effects with rashes and nerve involvement in his hands. This would be a total devastation and almost a somewhat valid reason for his hesitancy being that he needs his hands to execute his craft. Oh, he’s touring now and doing great by the way, so slag off with your bullshit.
The Right-Wing Connections
The meat of this story is a weird correlation we keep seeing with anti-everything assholes. They coincide with extremist, white… err.. Right wing views. Clapton has a history spanning back over a half a century of getting shit-canned and spouting off in public about the “dark skinned wogs” ruining his Jolly Ol’. He was someone who praised British MP Enoch Powell and his “Rivers of Blood” speech which was said to cause the rise of the violent white supremacy movements in the UK in 1968.
Texas governor bans all COVID-19 vaccine mandates, including by private businesses. https://t.co/EDkrtiR8dl
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) October 12, 2021
Early day signs Slow Hand Was an Asshole
Also in a 1968 interview with Rolling Stone, Clapton referred to Hendrix with a derogatory term that was also slang at the time.
“When he first came to England, you know English people have a very big thing towards a spade. They really love that magic thing, the sexual thing. They all fall for that sort of thing. Everybody and his brother in England still sort of think that spades have big dicks. And Jimi came over and exploited that to the limit, the fucking T. Everybody fell for it. I fell for it. Shit.” – Eric Clapton, Rolling Stone 1968
I’m usually the first one to cringe at those who pull old skeletons out of closets in an attempt to cancel someone. A lot of shit can be taken out of context. I do believe a small, conditional allowance should be afforded for the era as long as positions have been since acknowledged as wrong and amended. It’s not a pass, but merely a way to move forward. It seems Eric’s legend status has kept him insulated from much scrutiny over the last half-century. Minus a few scrapes in biographical pieces and “True Hollywood Story” type exposes, he’s been pretty immune to cancel culture. Until now. His hypocritical Anti-Vax position has made him cannon fodder that spans across racial lines. Oops?
Odeon Theatre – 1976
Clapton began making vile, racist comments from the stage. During that drunken tirade, which he has never denied, he talked about how the influx of immigrants in the U.K. would result in the country “being a colony within 10 years.” He also went on an extended jag about how “foreigners” should leave Great Britain: “Get the wogs out . . . get the coons out.” For those civilized folks who don’t know what a “wog” is, it’s short-hand for “golliwog” which was a popular British slur for anyone who wasn’t white. One of the attendees was a Black man named Caryl Phillips.
“He said a few things about they should go back to where they came from and so on, then he’d play a couple of songs. He was like a drunk who would remember that he’d been talking about something and then pick it up again a couple of songs later. He was one of the last people you expected to stand up there and speak in this way. It hung like a toxic cloud over the whole evening.
It felt like all eyes were kind of upon me, and then swiveled way from me.” – Caryl Phillips – Rolling Stone
Enter Red Saunders. Prolific British photographer and one of the founders of “Rock Against Racism.”
Red was prompted to write a letter to New Musical Express: “What’s going on, Eric? You’ve got a touch of brain damage. . . . Own up, half your music is black. You’re rock music’s biggest colonist. You’re a good musician but where would you be without the blues and R&B?”
Saunders’ letter led to the founding of Rock Against Racism, which for about five years put on concerts in Europe and the U.S. in reaction to comments like Clapton’s. Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2017, “I just have to face the guy that I became when I was fueled on drugs and alcohol,” Clapton said. “It’s incomprehensible to me, in a way, that I got so far out. And there was no one to challenge me.” All well and good if he wasn’t still riding the party line of the extreme right, with a little less prevalent racism to this day.
Rock Against Racism 1979
Saunders recalls that Pete Townshend said he wanted to bring Clapton along when he played one of the Rock Against Racism shows in the summer of 1979. Red Saunders vehemently insisted Clapton apologize first for his past bullshit. Not surprisingly, Clapton never showed up or offered the apology.
The signs are clear. The history stands for itself. You can try to excuse the racism with his alcohol abuse, but we know that isn’t a defense. Drawing a lot of parallels with just a small snapshot above will show you that just because Eric Clapton is a guitar god, doesn’t make him a good human being. We’ve reserved deserved judgement for clout long enough. This guy is a straight up asshole. I’m mad that his discography is as good as it is. Why couldn’t he suck like Ted Nugent for fuck sakes?