Eric Clapton has been a rock god almost since rock n roll started. His legend grew quickly in the mid-60s around swingin’ London when graffiti around the city popped up literally calling him “God.” His career is into its 6th decade now and he shows little signs of stopping, having just announced a tour of Europe and the southern USA. According to the guitar player, his friends have stopped calling and texting, so why?
It Started With A YouTube Video
Eric Clapton broke the news himself, in an interview with Oracle Films, posted on their YouTube page. Oracle’s channel description reads. “We are professional filmmakers that have joined the fight for open debate and freedom of information, in the face of global government encroachment and big-tech censorship.” In the interview, Clapton discusses lots of conspiracy theories about Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Theories Clapton says he learned from YouTube.
Clapton is what could be described as a Covid skeptic or even a Covid denier. “The more I got into that,” Clapton says about reading and watching videos about The Great Barrington Declaration, “the more I realized I was distancing myself not only from the government but from the rest of the public too.”
The Great Barrington Declaration is a manifesto written by three doctors, Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford, Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, and Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University. That declaration was drafted at and sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian think tank that has often gone against mainstream scientific thinking.
In the Great Barrington Declaration, the authors argued that the pandemic lockdowns were a bad idea and that only the most vulnerable populations should be “shielded” by the virus. It states that all mandatory lockdowns should be lifted, including all schools, offices, restaurants, and other public places reopened.
This obviously resonated with Eric Clapton, as he did what he’s done his whole life, he wrote a song. That song, a collaboration with fellow skeptic Van Morrison, called “Stand & Deliver” was a strong rebuke of the measures many governments, including the US and most of Europe, and lockdown protocols put in place in response to the spread of Covid-19. The lyrics are unsurprisingly a little trite, but they do make his point,
Magna Carta, Bill of Rights
The constitution, what’s it worth?
You know they’re gonna grind us down, ah
Until it really hurts
Is this a sovereign nation
Or just a police state?
You better look out, people
Before it gets too late
It ends by comparing masks wearers during the pandemic to a notorious English outlaw, Dick Turpin, who is akin to an American outlaw like Jesse James:
Stand and deliver
Dick Turpin wore a mask too
Now Eric Clapton Says His Friends Have Abandon Him
Almost immediately, and predictably, Eric Clapton took a flogging from fans and non-fans alike. Clapton has always been conservative – and occasionally controversially so – so this line of thinking is not all that surprising. In fact, soon after the song was released, Jameela Jamil and others posted a racist rant Clapton went on during a 1976 concert in London, saying, among other things, “This is England, this is a white country, we don’t want any Black wankers and [C-word] living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome.” Clapton was admittedly very drunk at the time, but still…
This brings us back to the interview. Clapton says because of his hardline stance against the safety measures and protocols out in place by the U.K. government, he’s on the outs with some of his oldest musician friends. After explaining his negative reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine he did end up getting, Clapton says that after he started speaking out the calls dried up. “I’ve tried to reach out to fellow musicians. I just don’t hear from them anymore. My phone doesn’t ring very often, I don’t get that many texts and emails anymore. It’s quite noticeable.”
Watch the full interview here:
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