Eric Clapton Getting Closer to Retirement: 'I May Not Be Able to Come Back Again'

Clapton hints at retirement in tour programme.

Ultimate Guitar

Eric Clapton has come a step closer to retirement, after stating that he might not play in Japan ever again.

As Classic Rock Magazine notes, in a letter written to fans that appeared in the programme for the just-completed Japanese tour, the legendary guitarist noted:

"I may not be able to come back again. I've been coming here for 40 years, since before some of you were born. It's the best place I've ever played. Thank you for having me."

The note follows comments made by Clapton last year that he was planning to stop touring in 2015 to coincide with his 70th birthday:

"The bit onstage, that's easy. If I could do that around my neighbourhood that would be great. You have guys in Texas that play their circuit and it keeps them alive.

"But for me, the struggle is the travel. The only way you can beat that is by throwing so much money at it that you make a loss. So the idea is, when I'm 70 I'll stop. I won't stop playing or doing one-offs, but I'll stop touring, I think."

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is such a shame in a way as i've never been able to catch one of his shows. That said, no one can say he hasn't deserved it. Brilliant guy.
    Yea, brilliant guy. Except for his views on immigration and people of a different race to him that he never denied, but reinforced on multiple occasions.
    Great player, guitars players never retire though, maybe from touring and recording, but rockin' blues guitar is in his veins!
    It is unfortunate but Clapton you earned it buddy. Lots of the older musicians gotta keep touring to survive, but if you can afford the retirement why not? There is no point in putting yourself in a miserable place if you don't need to.
    I still remember him playing Voodoo Chile with Steve Winwood like it was yesterday in concert. Just standing 5 meters from him... Best 15 minutes of my life!
    I saw that too! It was like 1968 with Blind Faith all over again, man! I was more then 5 meters from him, but it was still just as mindblowing. He was great with Winwood! I loved Had to Cry Today and After Midnight. Where did you see him? I saw him in Philadelphia.
    Saw him in Osaka last week. Thought it might be the last chance to see him live. He had to rest his voice occasionally and let the organ player sing a couple but his guitar playing was still amazing and he still plays with absolute passion. Total respect for him.
    I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to see Clapton last year, especially knowing that he's planning on retiring soon. He still puts on a wonderful show, and it's a shame that time's catching up on him.
    What's with all the Clapton abuse? The dude is a bonafide guitar hero, talking of retirement at retirement age... nothing but respect.
    Scott O
    Great article. Havent' had a "Clapton to Retire" article since.....yesterday!!!
    Seen him 5 times he has always amazed me. My favorite guitarist of all time and hope he comes to florida before the end.
    I'll miss Eric's music and impressive guitar playing but! Parts wear down And time is a cruel mistress. Whatever decision he makes thanks for the music Eric.