There’s Kobe beef, well-done beef, and now legendary guitarist beef.
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That’s right, acclaimed Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has responded to British-born six-string player Eric Clapton’s vaccine skepticism.
Over the past two years, or so, during the pandemic, Clapton has been as vocal as any about his vaccine skepticism. Indeed, he’s in many ways become the face of the matter, for better or worse, along with the likes of podcast host Joe Rogan and more.
Here’s where Richards comes in. The musician has said to trust the doctors, trust the experts.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast, Richards offered his perspective on vaccines, mandates, and Clapton, saying, “I just want to get rid of this damn thing, and the only way I can see is everybody does as doctor says.”
Richards continued, “I love Eric dearly. I’ve known him since forever and we’ve had ups and downs… This COVID thing, it’s split people up and it made people sometimes go awry for a while, you know. Hope you rethink here and let’s do this thing.”
Clapton, who also teamed up with another big-name singer, Van Morrison, became known as one of the biggest COVID-19 skeptics since 2020, even before the shots were available. He’s been widely criticized for it, even Robert Plant commented on the situation, saying, “Good old Eric. He didn’t like the jab—but he had the jab.”
Clapton and Van Morrison even released the song, “Stand and Deliver,” which had the lyrics, Do you wanna be a free man/ Or do you wanna be a slave? (Yikes!) Clapton also called pro-vaccine talk “propaganda” and said he wouldn’t play venues that required proof of vaccination. He said such a requirement would mean a “discriminated audience.” He later broke that promise and played venues that required proof of health.
Other big-name artists have criticized Clapton, along with Plant, including Brian May who said, “Anti-vax people, I’m sorry, I think they’re fruitcakes.” KISS frontman Gene Simmons also was very vocal about people not wanting the vaccination.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RS