Eric Clapton Doesn’t Mind The Backlashes, ‘My Career Had Almost Gone Anyway’
Eric Clapton recently gave an interview to Dave Spuria of The Real Music Observer, in which he reflected on his collaboration with Van Morrison during the pandemic. Clapton said that his family and friends were worried about him when he decided to release the songs.
As you know, Eric Clapton has been outspoken about his anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown statements during the COVID-19 pandemic. He went through some health problems when he had the AstraZeneca vaccine and then said that people shouldn’t be forced to get vaccinated. Later on, Clapton even refused to perform at venues that required people have proof of vaccination.
Eric Clapton was not alone in his stance against the restrictions. He teamed up with Van Morrison, who shared the same position with him, and they released an anti-lockdown song named ‘Stand and Deliver’ on December 18, 2020. They expressed their dissatisfaction with the restrictions and compared it to being a slave. Later on, the two again collaborated on a new song called ‘This Has Gotta Stop,’ which again attacked governmental measures.
During the interview, Clapton talked about the making process of these two songs and revealed that he had nothing to fear as he had almost lost his music career when he started to deliver his controversial statements. Then, he decided to contact Van Morrison, who was also against the measures. Morrison sent him the song ‘Stand and Deliver,’ and they started working on it.
Clapton revealed that although he knew there could be a serious backlash, he wanted to do it no matter what. He changed some of the lyrics not to hurt anyone, but his family and friends were still worried about him. They realized that he would face adverse criticisms, and even his safety could be in danger.
Eric Clapton reflects on how the two songs came about:
“My career had almost gone anyway. At the point where I spoke up, it had been almost 18 months since I had kind of been forcibly retired. And I joined forces with Van. I got the tip that Van was standing up to the measures. And I thought, ‘Why isn’t anybody else doing this?’ And we go back; I’ve known him since we were kids. And I contacted him. I said, ‘What do you think? What’s going on?’
And he said, ‘I’m just objecting, really. But it seems like we’re not even allowed to do that. And nobody else is doing it.’ And I said, ‘You’re kidding. Nobody else?’ And he said, ‘Nobody else.’ And I said, ‘I’m with you. Is there anything I can do to help? Have you got any songs?’ And of course, it was a silly, stupid question ’cause he writes two songs a day or something like that. And he sent me ‘Stand And Deliver,’ which he had already… I didn’t know he had already recorded it.”
He continued by saying:
“So I thought, ‘Oh, man. I’m getting an unreleased Van Morrison song.’ I was over the moon anyway. And it was during the process of talking about that to another musician, and then getting me excited, and then sharing that news, and I found that nobody wanted to hear that. And I was kind of mystified because I seemed to be the only person that thought that was an exciting or even appropriate idea with what was going on. And that challenged me even more.
‘Cause I’m a bit like him maybe — I’m cut from the cloth where if you tell me I can’t do something, I really wanna know why I can’t do it. And it seemed like I’d had a wall built around me. But I thought, ‘I’m gonna do this.’ But I did make concessions — I did take out lines or change lines a little bit just to pacify those that I really didn’t wanna hurt, people I didn’t wanna hurt or scare. And needless to say, my family and friends, they got scared, and I think they were scared on my behalf.”
You can watch the full interview and also listen to the two songs below.