Eric Clapton Planning to Quit Touring, Calls It 'Unbearable'

Guitarist may stop playing altogether because of health issues

Ultimate Guitar

In a new interview with Uncut (via NME), Eric Clapton has revealed that he is quitting touring because he finds the process "unbearable" and "unapproachable." The legendary guitarist had previously stated that he'd retire from touring in 2015, in time for his 70th birthday:

"There are tons of things I'd like to do, but I'm looking at retirement too. What I'll allow myself to do, within reason, is carry on recording in the studio. I don't want to go off the boil to the point where I'm embarrassing myself."

Clapton complained that much of the world had become "a different version of America," before going on to state: "The road has become unbearable. It's become unapproachable, because it takes so long to get anywhere. It's hostile - everywhere: getting in and out of airports, travelling on planes and in cars."

He also alluded that he may stop playing guitar altogether due to health issues:

"Maybe. It might be that I can't, if it hurts too much. I have odd ailments."

The former Cream and Yardbirds member recently caused controversy after apparently walking offstage during a gig in Glasgow. He blamed a "technical fault" for the incident.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Can't blame the man. He's been active for years now, and endless touring and constant traveling is tiring.
    I've heard musicians saying that the rigours of touring can be too much at times, so for a guy in his 70's I think it's fair enough. Besides, look at someone like Chuck Berry, the guy may do pretty well for an 87 year old, but he looks like he struggles now and its a little embarrassing. Quit while you're ahead.
    Make the people come to you. If you're an Eric Clapton or Paul McCartney and can charge incredible ticket rates, those fans can also afford to travel to see you. Do a month's run in Vegas, do a week's worth at MSG, have live shows broadcast into IMAX theaters...
    Not many people at 70 years of age want to be constantly moving around from place to place. Eric has done a lot in and for music so the time seems right for him to quit.
    awh...I wanted to see him so bad live too. Hopefully, he has one last show in So. Cal so i can see this legend do magic. Truly a great musician
    I don't even want to start touring. Sounds like a fruitless endeavor in a day and age where the music industry is at the behest of a greedy bunch of suits, instead of the fans, artists, and the people who actually understand music.
    I was thinking the other day how cool it'd be to see him live. saddening, but he has been around for ages. can't blame him