Love & Life

Eric Clapton’s Past Racist Comments Surface After Announcement of ‘Anti-Lockdown’ Single

Rock legends Eric Clapton and Van Morrison announced this morning an anti-lockdown single they made together. The song, “Stand and Deliver,” was written by Morrison and recorded by Clapton, and it will be released on December 4th.

Their announcement doesn’t state the song is outright against government lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but proceeds from it will go toward Morrison’s Save Live Music campaign, which he started after virulent anti-lockdown comments.

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The news reminded many people of other past controversies involving Clapton, particularly a famous incident when he made racist comments while addressing an audience during a concert in Birmingham, England, on August 5, 1976.

Morrison Clapton
Van Morrison (L) and Eric Clapton at London’s Royal Albert Hall in April, 2009. (Getty)

While the old diatribe from the guitarist was never forgotten by many people, it was still news to some fans, particularly younger ones who may be more familiar with him from his 1990s career renaissance, when he recorded hits like “Tears In Heaven” and “Save the World.”

Many people took to social media to share those past comments, which–be warned–contain graphic and disturbing language:

Some Twitter reactions didn’t mince words at all about Clapton’s onstage tirade in 1976. Those comments, incidentally, helped give rise to the 1970s-80s U.K. movement Rock Against Racism.

On the plus side, maybe more people will find out that Eric Clapton is a racist asshole now!

— Fuppsake (@muffduff) November 27, 2020

In addition to those old, controversial comments, Clapton’s behavior in his personal life didn’t escape without criticism either. This commenter also pointed out how one of Clapton’s most famous songs (“Layla”) was about his love for his friend George Harrison’s then-wife.

ppl just finding out eric clapton sucks like he didn’t write a famous ballad going after another guy’s wife and give a whole-ass racist speech about getting the “wogs” and “coons” out

— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) November 27, 2020

Some felt age and white privilege played roles in the thinking about “Stand and Deliver.”

Clapton–the only three-time member of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame–once recorded a hit version of Jamaican hero Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff,” other were quick to point out.

The rocker did have some defenders on Twitter. As they pointed out, not only were these comments made more than 40 years ago, but it occurred while the guitarist was suffered from deep addiction issues.

I am certain that Eric Clapton won’t be able to sleep tonight knowing that he’s dead to you.

We dig up statements made 44 years ago by someone who was deep into drug addiction to cancel him because we don’t like his politics.

You look awfully mature for a toddler.

— John Gacinski (@johngacinski) November 27, 2020

However, seemingly just as many critics noted how he once recorded a sensitive ballad about the death of his son, which they feel is hypocritical given how quarantine lockdowns help prevent deaths.

Eric Clapton 1991: I am devastated by the loss of my young son, here’s a beautiful song about him that will make everyone cry

Eric Clapton 2020: I no longer care about humanity, here’s a terrible song about how I want everyone to fucking die#StayHome #WearAMask #COVID19

— 😷 Tara Dublin #Biden46 😷 (@taradublinrocks) November 27, 2020

Conservative commentator, podcast, and author Michael Knowles applauded the duo coming together for the cause. He was also happy to learn Morrison has released other songs this year that protest the worldwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Knowles later posted two of them, “Born to Be Free” and “No More Lockdown.” Morrison also put out a third single on the theme, “As I Walked Out,” and accused the U.K. government of “taking our freedom.” The new track recorded by Clapton will also benefit Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which supports musicians who have suffered financially from the pandemic.

Just learned that in addition to his new single with Eric Clapton, Van Morrison has released three other anti-lockdown tracks this year. Van the Man!

— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) November 27, 2020

Author and professor Ebony Elizabeth Thomas tried to seek middle ground, noting that it’s possible to separate an artist’s personal decisions from their art.

You can still love Layla, y’all.

And yes, he dealt with incredible tragedy. Tears in Heaven still makes me tear up…

And Change the World is textbook 90s. (Thank you, Babyface.)

But he is an entire ASS. That’s not changing. Ever.

— Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (@Ebonyteach) November 27, 2020

For his part, Clapton hasn’t explicitly discussed government lockdowns. His comments in relation to the announcement of the single refers more to the loss of live music and how it affects many musicians.

“There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music; he is an inspiration,” Clapton said in a statement published in Variety. “We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover.”

30 thoughts on “Eric Clapton’s Past Racist Comments Surface After Announcement of ‘Anti-Lockdown’ Single

  1. Whether you are critical of Clapton or not for some comments/behavior 44 years ago is one thing nut the comments by Tara Dublin are incredible sanctimonious and hypocritical in supporting Biden. What a joke. Tara Dublin completely ignores/exonerates Biden’s past many, many comments and support of those issues she has of yesterday is ripping Clapton about in her comments. Typical.

    1. …Ha! Ha! Ha! A comment made in…1976! Ha! Go back and look at Quid Pro Joe’s comments and actions during that Era. Joe could be running for the local Klan Leader. He couldn’t be more racist. I had to read what Clapton said, as I never knew of it, or had for gotten it. It is certainly anti-immigration with racist elements to it. One wonders if that is how he still feels? I was raised by racists. I was 16 years old in 1976. The amount of racism around us growing up was mind-blowing. Yet, as adults…we raised some of the most tolerant people on the planet, from race to religion to sexuality in our children, and we unshackled ourselves from the racist idiocy of our ancestors. The important question is not “what were you”? But…”what are you”? If Clapton is still back where he was…that’s a shame. But if he has grown… isn’t that the point of life?

      1. RJO’s comments makes sense at a time of great polarization; if we are to move forward, it behooves us to consider this point of view which is marked by tolerance and wisdom. It helps explain how a former KKK leader and his black interviewer have maintained their friendship since their first meeting years ago.

  2. I think you all need to geta life! All this BS about statements made 40 years ago. Have you ever met the man? Have youspent time with him? Were you there to hear his so called diatribe? I doubt you did any of the three! So you are just wanting to bitch to be heard! Grow up!

      1. What ever happened to forgive and forget! Wonder how many condemning his past has the right to throw stones! Your all a bunch of miserable unhappy people mad at the world because it didn’t turn out so great for you! If you really want to complain about something try bitching about all the socialist democrats pushing to take your rights from you and you can’t even see it because of your ignorance! Long Live Clapton and Van! Rock On Guys!!!

    1. I agree with James. BS satements made over 40 years ago does not mean anything today. I have seeen Clapton ov er 10 times and even talked to him. He is not what the critics say. The man is a good honest guy and never means any harm period, Long live Clapton–the best guitar player in rick and blues. No one even gets near him,

  3. Eric Clapton is still my favorite guitar and musician. Everyone is in love with words like racist or demand. This is definitely a time for freedom of speech. U don’t like it don’t listen to it ya group of whining babies.

  4. I wish the cancel culture would cancel itself. Such boring drones virtue signaling and being offended by everything and nothing. So very predictable.

    1. These cancel culture morons, if they had their way they all would hiding under their beds sucking their thumbs. Good for Morrison and Clapton maybe there is still hope for celebrities.

  5. When you do or say something Democrats don’t like, their first line of defense is to point a finger and start crying racist. Well, they’ve got me pegged. I’m a racist in that I can’t stand sorry, no good, lying, cheating, stealing, lazy,waiting on a Government handout, Communist leaning, Socialist gleaning, child molesting , Anti-American, Democrat Assholes. While I admit there are a few good ones, for the most part my description is spot on. I wish we could run them out of our country. When I realize that one of them is eating in the same restaurant as me, I leave immediately. If I find that a nasty ass Democrat has used a public restroom before me, it has to be thoroughly sanitized before Ill step foot in it. Democrats are the most deplorable creatures on this planet, and we’d be better of if they were expelled from the planet! Eric, you and Van are more than welcome to use some or all of this op-ed in your song. No charge!

    1. Amen

      The hypocrisy is mind blowing
      I have no problem with people having an opinion
      But the utter hypocrisy makes me sick

      I’m glad I grew up in a time (I’m 63) when everything you
      Say or do is recorded. Omg omg

    1. Eric Clapton is not running for office, who cares what he said or didn’t say. Can any of his critics do anything worth while with their lives. He’s the “man” that can make his guitar talk, sing, cry and laugh. Can’t we just love him and admire him for the phenomenal artist he is? Get over it.

  6. Anyone calling anybody racist has things to hide. They are just deflecting from their own guilt and pettiness. EVERYONE is racist! Every nationality is racist! And Blacks are the most racist. I should know, I lived in the Black neighborhood in the 1970’s, me being Latino. There was not a time when I didn’t get slapped on the back of the head and called names on the school bus. Nasty names. But, I don’t look back and bundle everyone together like the Democrats do. I don’t define someone who said stuff 40 years ago or even one year ago if it’s true and if they feel true to their feelings. Good for Clapton and Morrison for being true liberals. The liberals that most all Democrats used to be before they were brainwashed into robotic finger-pointing hypocrites.

  7. The “WORLD” has not turned on Clapton. Only the disgusting freedom hating leftist scum has. LOCK THEM DOWN AND BURN DOWN THE LOCKUP.

  8. I never was, or am a big fan of Eric. Not for anything I knew about him, I just didn’t enjoy his music. Now I get that lockouts are painful to musicians, especially those of the old school Era, but their is terrible immaturity in protesting against life saving mandates! I am a musician and artist, and yes, things may never be the same, but that’s life! Adapt and overcome! A fungus can figure this out, so I’m sure Ol Slow Hand can too, if he cares about the future and not his past. BTW! The old “I was really wasted when I said that” doesn’t get my pity! I have probably done more drugs than Eric, and not only does my equipment still work, but I never throw out a comment, high or sober, that I don’t believe in! I suspect that most people are like this! Many try to hide behind their drug habits, when society calls them out for horrid behavior! I find this disgusting! If you are a radical conservative, and believe in that stuff, at least have the balls to take credit for your opinions! Personally, I think this all sucks! I liked two songs from Cream, White Room, and Tales Of The Brave Ulysses, and the rest was slow crappy by, in my opinion! Saying this sober, and quote me! Deadhead til the end!

    1. These lockdowns have not saved a single soul. In fact they have caused much misery, depression, illness, drug & alcohol abuse and DEATH. if you choose to live in fear, that’s fine for you, but leave me alone

      1. Oh
        my God people smarten up. Everybody has free speech. If you don’t like what someone has to say don’t read or listen. Keep your opinions to yourself because most people don’t care what you think. They ought to take the word racist and bury it in a deep hole. I think it’s more of an excuse than anything else . GET A LIFE!!!

  9. He is a proven true musician along with Van Morrison. Reading music is by far more informative then the tripe wanna be journalists drivel out.

  10. Too many of these people think they are ABOVE-IT-ALL and could easily be stoned with the same aggregate from which they quarry. Their attitudes of condemnation violates the LIVE-AND-LET-LIVE philosophy of a FREE THINKING PEOPLE and is the Hegemonic ravings of brainwashed MARXIST LUNATICS aching to be taken down and cancelled by the FREE. Start acting like Human Beings or WE WILL RUB YOUR NOSES IN IT.

  11. I love Eric Clapton. Always have & ALWAYS will. I’m so sickening of white people thinking they have got to get “WOKE”in this day & time. I have NEVER been racist. But since this BLM movement; there are many blacks that my friends & I were friends with, that now are thinking they are & have been treated very poorly. Nobody is perfect. And I think we ALL have said something RACIST in our lifetime. Even blacks are the same way. So unless YOU are perfect (and non of us are) lay off Eric Clapton. JMHO. Keep on Rockin; Eric.

  12. Ha…. go for it Eric. I’ll buy your new song and I’m sure many will. Thanks to Eric for being willing to speak up or in this case “sing up”!

  13. I am older than most that have commented here, maybe older yhan any of you. I have lived through many incarnations of the movements by the college age kids (whether they were actual college kids or non co;;ege kids that were “co;;ege age”. For many of us we grew out of that silliness without doing real actuak damage. Ar least not much. And, for the most part, we accepted the poor treatment we got as just what was expected by us when we did do those things. But to thjs 85 year old it sems that the young people today want to k8ck up their heels without paying the consequences. Life isn’t like that.

  14. I concur with most of the positive comments by the mature crowd here…. I am a Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70, and I had some slightly warped ideas about so many ignorant, myopic ‘people’ back in the States [USA] after I got home from ‘Nam, and it didn’t go away in just a few years! Today I am a bible smart Christian, and well educated and retired writer of sorts, TOM’S JOURNAL…the man in the door. [My Blog] — read all over the world. Cut these fine singers– Eric Clapton and Morrison, some SLACK! I love Eric’s great music! And we ought to be happy that Eric made it thru all his loss and misery when many others would have taken their lives–suicide. Ha! It’s usually the slackers, never employed, cowards that have the biggest mouths, but with the smallest intellect, who reap all the benefits, while younger brave men join the Army and Marines to fight for our Freedoms, that the Socialists want to steal and take away. “Iron sharpens Iron.” –Proverbs 27: 17.

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