- Eric Clapton, 76, has cancelled shows in Zurich and Milan after catching Covid
- Clapton slammed vaccine rollout as ‘mass formation hypnosis’ earlier this year
- Rocker is believed to have been fully jabbed but caught virus at show in London
Anti-vaxxer Eric Clapton has been forced to cancel part of his European tour after contracting the virus while performing in London.
Clapton, 76, who previously claimed he suffered alarming side effects from his AstraZeneca jabs, will not perform his gigs in Zurich and Milan which were scheduled to take place over the next two nights.
The singer, who is understood to be fully vaccinated, earlier this year described those who had been jabbed as victims of ‘mass formation hypnosis’ and released an anti-lockdown single called Stand and Deliver with Van Morrison in 2020.
In a statement published on his website yesterday, a spokesman said it is believed he contracted the virus after performing at the Royal Albert Hall on May 8.
The statement said: ‘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 travelling 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.’
The statement said that ‘intensive internal discussion’ lead to the decision to cancel his next two shows in Zurich and Milan in the hope he would be fit for his show in Bologna on May 20.
It concluded: ‘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.
‘The shows are due to be rescheduled within the next six months and tickets purchased will remain valid for the new rescheduled date.’
In January this year, the 76-year-old rocker slammed the vaccine rollout in an interview for The Real Music Observer Youtube channel and claimed subliminal messaging hidden in advertising led people to get jabbed.
He said: ‘Whatever the memo was, it hadn’t reached me. Then I started to realise there was really a memo, and a guy, Mattias Desmet [professor of clinical psychology at Ghent University in Belgium], talked about it.
‘And it’s great. The theory of mass formation hypnosis. And I could see it then. Once I kind of started to look for it, I saw it everywhere.
‘Then I remembered seeing little things on YouTube which were like subliminal advertising. It had been going on for a long time: that thing about “you will own nothing and you will be happy.”
‘And I thought, “What’s that mean?” And bit by bit, I put a rough kind of jigsaw puzzle together. And that made me even more resolute.’
Mass formation psychosis – an attempt to hypnotise groups of people to follow messages against their will – has been widely discredited by scientists.
Asked why he felt implored to speak out in the first place, Clapton explained: ‘My career had almost gone anyway. At the point where I spoke out it had been almost been 18 months since I’d been forcibly retired.
‘I joined forces with Van and I got the tip Van was standing up to the measures and I thought, “why is nobody else doing this” so I contacted him.
‘He said “I’m just objecting really. But it seems like we’re not even allowed to do that. And nobody else is doing it.”
‘He sent me Stand and Deliver, which he’d already recorded. And it was during the process of talking about that with another musician, getting excited and sharing the news I found that nobody wanted to hear that.
‘I was mystified, I seemed to be the only person that found it exciting or even appropriate. I’m cut from a cloth where if you tell me I can’t do something, I really want to know why.
‘My family and friends got scared, and I think they were scared on my behalf.’
Clapton added that he also stopped watching the news due to the ‘one-way traffic about following orders and obedience’, which helped motivate him musically.
After he voiced his views, the Wonderful Tonight hitmaker – who is father to daughters Ruth, 37, Julie, 20, Ella, 19, and 16-year-old Sophie – said: ‘My family and friends think I am a crackpot anyway.
‘Over the last year, there’s been a lot of disappearing – a lot of dust around, with people moving away quite quickly.
‘It has, for me, refined the kind of friendship I have. And it’s dwindled down to the people that I obviously really need and love.
‘Inside my family, that became quite pivotal… I’ve got teenage girls, and an older girl who’s in he thirties – and they’ve all had to kind of give me leeway because I haven’t been able to convince any of them.’
Clapton – who is married to Melia McEnery – added: ‘I would try to reach out to fellow musicians and sometimes I just don’t hear from them.
‘My phone doesn’t ring very often. I don’t get that many texts and emails anymore.’
Clapton has been releasing anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown statements and songs for months.
In December 2020, Clapton joined fellow classic rocker turned anti-vaxxer Van on his song, Stand and Deliver.
The song features lyrics including, ‘Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave?’ and ‘Dick Turpin wore a mask too.’
Clapton previously detailed a ‘disastrous’ experience with the AstraZeneca vaccine for which he blamed ‘propaganda’ for pushing on him.
The musician continued on revealing that he suffers from ‘peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.’
In a message to his music producer, he said: ‘I took the first jab of AZ [AstraZeneca] and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days.’
The 76-year-old said he ‘recovered eventually’ but suffered further ‘disastrous reactions’ six weeks later after the second shot.
He added: ‘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 should never have gone near the needle. But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone.’