Eric Clapton has had to postpone shows in Zurich and Milan after testing positive for COVID-19.
Just a day after revealing new dates for his upcoming fall U.S. tour, the guitar legend tested positive shortly after his second concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, according to an official statement on Clapton’s Facebook page, and has been advised that if he resumes performing and traveling, it could delay his recovery.
“Eric is also anxious to avoid passing on any infection to any of his band, crew, promoters, their staff, and of course the fans,” read the statement. “So, after intensive internal discussion, it has been decided with great regret and apologies to all those concerned to postpone the performances in Zurich on 17th May and Milan on 18th May, the present hope being to be able to resume the tour starting with the concerts in Bologna on 20th and 21st May.”
The statement continued, “It is very frustrating that having avoided COVID throughout lockdown and throughout the period when travel restrictions have been in place Eric should have succumbed to COVID at this point in time, but we very much hope he will be sufficiently recovered by the end of the week to be able to perform the remainder of the planned performances.”
A further announcement will be made regarding the rescheduling of the postponed shows, according to the post. The shows are due to be rescheduled within the next six months and tickets purchased will remain valid for the new rescheduled date.
Clapton had previously stated that he will refuse to play shows where vaccination was required and called it a form of “discrimination.”
“I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present,” said Clapton. “Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”
In May 2021, Clapton said that after receiving two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine several weeks apart, his ability to play guitar was impacted, and he experienced severe reactions. After the second dose, Clapton, who suffers from neuropathy, said he endured sensations in his extremities that had him fearing the worst. “I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted 10 days,” said Clapton at the time. “I recovered eventually and was told it would be 12 weeks before the second one.”
He continued, “About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot, but with a little more knowledge of the dangers. Needless to say, the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb, or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone.”
In the process of rescheduling his postponed dates, Clapton is still scheduled to play Bologna, Italy on May 20, with the continuation of the tour in the U.S. in fall, which kicks off on Sept. 8 in Columbus, Ohio, and concludes with two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York on Sept. 18 and 19.
Clapton’s band for the tour includes Nathan East, Sonny Emory, Doyle Bramhall II, Paul Carrack, and Chris Stainton with Sharon White and Katie Kissoon will provide backing vocals and special guest Jimmie Vaughan.
The long-awaited Eric Clapton documentary Nothing But the Blues is also getting a release on DVD and Blu-ray. The film, written and produced by Scooter Weintraub, originally aired in 1995 on PBS and features an in-depth interview with Clapton by executive producer Martin Scorsese and a concert, recorded at the Fillmore in San Francisco during Clapton’s 1994 tour in support of his Grammy-winning album From the Cradle.
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