Eric Clapton Tests Positive for COVID, Postpones Two Shows + Announces U.S. Tour
Eric Clapton is full of tour news today, some good and some bad. First the good news is that Clapton earlier today (May 16) announced a fall U.S. tour hitting several major markets. But as new dates are on the horizon, some of his current shows are being postponed as the musician has tested positive for COVID.
This afternoon, it was revealed that Clapton's immediate shows in Zurich and Milan have been postponed, as the guitar great tested positive shortly after his second concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. According to Clapton, he's been advised that if he were to resume traveling and performing too soon, it could substantially delay his recovery.
A statement was issued via Clapton's socials that reads as follows:
Postponement of shows in Zurich and Milan
Eric Clapton is unfortunately suffering from Covid having tested positive shortly after the second concert at the Royal Albert Hall. He has been told by his medical advisors that if he were to resume traveling and performing too soon, it could substantially delay his full 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.
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.
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 concerning the rescheduling of the postposed shows once suitable dates can be identified.
The shows are due to be rescheduled within the next 6 months and tickets purchased will remain valid for the new rescheduled date.
In May of 2021, Clapton wrote in a personal letter verified by Rolling Stone that his COVID-19 vaccine had hampered his ability to play his guitar, leaving him worried that he'd never recover his skills.
Writing to his friend Robin Monotti Graziadei, an Italian movie producer and architect, Clapton outlined his experience receiving two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine several weeks apart, encountering adverse side effects each time. After the second dose, the musician, who already suffered 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," Clapton relayed 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…"
Clapton has also gone on record as stating he wouldn't play shows where vaccination was required, calling it a form of "discrimination." "I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present," Clapton affirmed. "Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show."
While Clapton will eventually reschedule the postponed European tour dates and is hoping to be back in action in Bologna later this weekend, he will be back stateside this fall. The legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician has seven shows booked for the fall, including stops in Columbus, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York.
Clapton’s band for these shows is quite impressive, with Doyle Bramhall II, Paul Carrack, Nathan East, Sonny Emory and Chris Stainton making up the players while Sharon White and Katie Kissoon will provide backing vocals. The show will also feature Jimmie Vaughan as a special guest.
The tour launches Sept. 8 in Columbus, Ohio, wrapping with a two-night stand at Chicago's Madison Square Garden on Sept. 18 and 19. See all of the dates listed below and stay tuned to Clapton's website for ticketing info.
Eric Clapton 2022 U.S. Tour
Sept. 8 – Columbus, Ohio @ Schottenstein Center
Sept. 10 – Detroit, Mich. @ Little Caesars Arena
Sept. 12 – Chicago, Ill. @ United Center
Sept. 13 – Chicago, Ill. @ United Center
Sept. 16 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ PPG Paints Arena
Sept. 18 – New York, N.Y. @ MSG
Sept. 19 – New York, N.Y. @ MSG