Clapton breaks my heart for the third time, goes anti-vax again

August 29, 2021 • 1:45 pm

Clapton has let me down for the third time (see also here and here). NME, a news, music, and entertainment site, has an article about a new Eric Clapton song, “This Has Gotta Stop”. It’s not rocket science to see that this is a protest against lockdowns, if not masks and vaccinations.

I quote the website:

The veteran rocker has been publicly vocal about his opposition to lockdown restrictions and vaccinations in recent months and last December he teamed up with fellow sceptic Van Morrison for the track ‘Stand and Deliver’, one of many anti-lockdown songs Morrison recorded and which were met with significant backlash.

Now, Clapton has shared ‘This Has Gotta Stop’, a new song on which he appears to air his frustrations with the measures in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 while criticising the vaccine.

I can’t take this B.S. any longer/ It’s gone far enough/ You wanna claim my soul, you’ll have to come and break down this door,” Clapton sings on the track.

Appearing to touch on his “disastrous” reaction to the vaccine – which he detailed in May after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine – he continues: “I knew that something was going on wrong/ When you started laying down the law/ I can’t move my hands/ I break out in sweat.

The track comes with with a video that features illustrations of an evil puppeteer, hypnotised people, and protesters displaying signs that say “Liberty” and “Stop”. You can watch it below.

He doesn’t do politics very well, at least in song. What ever happened to the guy who wrote “Layla” or performed “Promises”? It all goes to show that you can be brilliant about music and a moron about public health.

77 thoughts on “Clapton breaks my heart for the third time, goes anti-vax again

    1. Lucky I’ve listened to his songs so much I can’t stand them anymore anyway. Music does not equal scientific or social media intelligence. What a selfish moron.

    1. I agree. Whilst a gifted musician, I’ve always had the impression that he has been frequently (I might even go so far as to say pervasively) decidedly less than wise in all other aspects of his life.

  1. Just because someone is an exceptional musician does not mean he acts rationally and trust scientific evidence. In Germany, we have the soul and R&B singer Xavier Naidoo, someone who has espoused right-wing and anti-Semitic ideas for many years, even though he has always denied it. Since the beginning of the corona pandemic he openly shows himself as a corona and climate change denier. He shares and likes messages from QAnon and the Reichsbürger movement.

      1. I learned a long time ago not to put people on pedestals just because I admire one thing they do. It takes the sting out when they inevitably do something that disappoints you. I admire – almost revere – Eric Clapton’s musicianship and that has not changed. This has not changed, even though I am annoyed (angry even) that yet another celebrity has used their public profile to push unscientific bullshit.

  2. The last time he was whining about how sick he got, my reaction was “so what”. That is the nature of public health measures. Someone is going to get sick. Someone is going to die. He, like everyone else, has taken literally thousands of far greater risks in the pursuit of ends that were pleasing to him. Now he needs to take a small risk, and perhaps suffer some bad consequence, for the good of the population in which he lives. So what? Public health decisions affect everyone. We’re all taking those risks. Because we’re adults. Suck it up, you over-grown spoiled child. You fried your brain as an alcoholic and a heroin junkie. Leaving the thinking to your betters.

  3. Clapton has gotten himself vaccinated. He’s not “against the vaccine”. This is not about that.
    We can be IN FAVOR OF vaccines and precautions without LOVING the oppressive side of the persistent, prolonged, invasive COVID-19 measures. We are being constantly switched on and off by “authorities” like puppets, based on assumptions that often seem to be of very uncertain value, even from a strictly scientific viewpoint. If it’s not about the vaccine being “ONLY” 95% effective, it’s then about the Delta variant, even against which, I have read, the Pfizer vaccine is still over 90% effective. Or it’s about antibodies “disappearing after six months”, forgetting that B and T cells retain a memory of COVID surface proteins and can make new antibodies. And on and on. But never mind all that: Stay scared!, we are constantly reminded. I’m old enough to know that we used to be OK with a polio vaccine which was about 90% effective, and we are OK with flu shots whose effectiveness is 60% at best (yes, COVID is worse, but the “normal” flu kills too) — but now we twist our noses at effectiveness rates *above 95%* and declare them not to be enough?
    Can we chew gum and walk at the same time? I wonder.
    Let’s stop reacting in knee-jerk, cultish, tribal, unthinking fashion, please.
    You are a champion of reason, Jerry, so please check your assumptions before issuing hasty judgments.
    I like your work, most of the time, but on this I had to say something.

      1. I think he just wants to tell me that he’s better than I am because he’s more of a champion of reason, and if Clapton got vaccinated, he’s entitled to say whatever stupid things he wants about public health, even though he’s widely admired and listened to.

      2. Yeh, you’d think after reading the well written commentary here at this site, by Jerry and so many others, you’d at least be able to express what you say more clearly.

    1. Telling our host what to do is not going to go over well.
      Do you think the rising case and hospitalization rates are real? Or is that part of the “authorities” plan to turn us into puppets? Not LOVING precautions is quite different than getting on your bully pulpit by recording multiple songs about how health regulations are trying to “take your soul”.

    2. You and Clapton sound like people who just don’t like authorities, worry about their health, and combine the two into a whiny story. No one likes the pandemic. The authorities have not always told the same story because they are as much at the whim of the virus as we are. Did they always say the right thing in the light of the science. Probably not 100%. They’re human. IMHO, nothing the authorities have done comes close to deserving your rant or the writing of a song.

    3. GimmePaws, I do not “love” mandatory vaccination, yet I don’t complain about it, in fact I am in favour of it. It is a medical intervention, ithey are often at the same time both unpleasant and a necessity.

    4. What you said doesn’t make any sense. Yes, he got vaccinated, but kvetched about it and probably lied about his reaction. In the meantime, he’s writing songs about the oppression of lockdowns and masks, which, given his influence, have a negative effect on curbing the pandemic.

      Please check the Roolz before you make statements saying that I’m reacting in a “cultish, tribal, unthinking fshion.” If you get vaccinated, it’s simply hypocritical to go after the public health measures that help vaccination stem the pandemic.

  4. “Let’s stop reacting in knee-jerk, cultish, tribal, unthinking fashion, please.”

    Hallelujah! Irony is risen from its grave! Praise be to Lord Gish!

      1. Without that outro, it would have been a much better song. When I say that “Layla” is the best rock song of all time, that refers to the bit before the slow part. The rest is commentary, and not good commentary.

        1. That maybe so, but it’s still a lovely piece of music. Here, give a listen to pianist Jason Frisk playing it all on its own:

  5. Politics and aesthetics — never the twain shall meet, I say, for in that direction lies the psychiatrist’s couch and liquor cabinet.

    I still play my old Clapton and Van the Man sides without a second thought given their imprudent pandemic prattle.

    1. Usually it’s easy to love the music or art of someone who’s views we might otherwise reprehensible. I’m not going to throw away any cds I have featuring Eric Clapton or Van Morrison because they went off the deep end of ignorance regarding the pandemic. On the other hand, there’s Cat Stevens — I never actually purchased any of his material but still like some of his songs. That he became a Muslim and changed his name was no big deal to me, but when he openly supported the fatwa calling for the murder of Salmon Rushdie for the “crime” of writing The Satanic Verses, yep, that’s a big deal to me and utterly reprehensible. Admittedly, Clapton’s actions are just as reprehensible.
      I did see Clapton in concert about 15 years ago, but wouldn’t bother to do so now. He has made himself ridiculous. I have no idea how many people he may actually influence with his stance and songs. I learned decades ago, however much I may admire someone for one aspect of what they do, that doesn’t make them an expert on everything and they are just as capable of making idiotic pronouncements as anyone else.

      1. As I recall from a Rolling Stone interview, Yusef Islam (f/k/a Cat Stevens) claims he walked the Rushdie statement back shortly after he made it — although, you ask me, he still deserves the ignominy that attached to his initial statement.

        (Also, let your autocorrect know Rushdie spells his first name “Salmam, Fred; he doesn’t swim upstream to spawn, that we know of.) 🙂

        1. “…Rushdie spells his first name “Salmam…” – There is an almost comforting inevitability to the infectious nature of the typo. When you try to tamp them down, they just mutate and pop up somewhere else.

          But in a more important vein, I have read several of Stevens’ “clarifications” about the Rushdie affair, and they are pathetic. When the rhetoric is stripped away, the core of his thinking is “too soon”, or “wrong country”. He never renounces the concept of blasphemy or the justness of killing for it. He repeatedly and explicitly states that death for blasphemy is acceptable where Islamic law is accepted and practiced. He has never disavowed the concept, and mainly just whines about how unfairly he has been treated.

        2. A man goes fly fishing in Scotland. He lands an enormous salmon and is just about to smash its skull in when it says “Wait, my name is Rusty and I’m a talking fish. Please don’t kill me.” The man is obviously astonished so he accedes to Rusty’s request and after a long conversation, he lets him go.

          The next year, the man is fly fishing again and he catches an enormous salmon again. “Hi,” says Rusty, for it is the same salmon.

          “Oh my D*g,” says the man. “It’s you. How have you been?”

          “Great,” says Rusty. “I’ve been all over the World and I’ve seen many majestic submarine sights. I’ve even seen the wreck of an enormous ocean liner that moved me to write a poetry anthology.”


          “Yes, it’s been published. You might have heard of it. It’s called ‘The Titanic Verses by Salmon Rusty’.”

    2. It taints it a little, though. It’s harder to listen to their music without their stupidity coming to mind.

      1. That’s a curious thing about humanity, isn’t it? We admire someone for one reason or another and want to generalize it across the board. Leads, almost inevitably, to disappointment.

  6. John Fugelsang, a comedian and actor, tweeted this: “Eric Clapton has completed his transition from Delta Blues artist to Delta Variant artist.”

  7. “He doesn’t do politics very well, at least in song. What ever happened to the guy who wrote “Layla” or performed “Promises”?”

    Nothing “happened” to him. Why would we ever expect a brilliant rock/blues guitarist to “do politics well” in the first place? He spent major chunks of his life as a philanderer and heroin addict. Throughout history, many of the greatest artists and scientists were obviously not exactly upstanding citizens, or people you’d like to have a beer with. Phil Spector was a horrible person his entire life, but I still admire the production (and Hal Blaine drumming!) of the Ronettes’ Be My Baby …

    1. I cling to the ideal that a smart person is likely to be smart in their basic perceptions — what’s logical, what’s BS, what’s true. So it’s disappointing when someone so smart at their career turns out to be so dumb about covid. You expect better.

      1. Facts not in evidence.

        Clapton is a great musician but I don’t see how that is a guarantee that he is smart in other areas or even smart at all. Look at the wreckage that is his personal life: he has been, as Frank states, a philanderer and a heroin addict. His alcoholism also nearly killed him.

        History shows that smartness in one area does not guarantee smartness across the board. Newton was pretty smart but devoted a large chunk of his intellect towards alchemy. Einstein was pretty smart but treated the women in his life terribly. James Watson has some pretty objectionable ideas. Bill Maher seems quite smart but is quite anti-vax. Richard Dawkins is pretty smart but is a man who should never have been allowed near Twitter, similarly Elon Musk.

    2. The exception that may prove the rule about musicians and politics may be the folkies, some of whom were both musically and politically hip — Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Dylan, and Phil Ochs being salient examples. Randy Newman and Tom Lehrer, though not folkies, come to mind, too.

        1. Her cousin is John Carlos Baez, by some accounts the world’s first blogger, who now runs a blog called Azimuth. He’s a mathematical physicist, or mathematician doing physics, but is interested in many things, including medieval music.

        1. Coulda wound up in my old garage (in the milk crates with my old cassettes); seems like most of the universe’s flotsam and jetsam ended up there eventually. 🙂

  8. The expertise of blues guitarists in the field of epidemiology is surely comparable to the expertise of the U. of Chicago Music Department in the field of civil government and policing.

  9. Not mentioned above as far as I can see—but is it possible that this hero of pop music is actually quite intelligent about just about everything, including covid and the knowledge of epidemiologists, but actually does not give a good goddam about the death of just about any human, especially one who dares to inconvenience him—rather like a recently deposed politician we all know about?

  10. We knew all the time that genius artists are not universal geniuses, didn’t we ?

    Now, it is my contention that those who influence society by one means or another in the direction of fewer vaccinated people have blood on their hand. It is not exactly the same as fighting mandatory road speed limits, but it is not very far.

  11. Dear All,

    There are far too many Covidiotic Maskholes in the Disunited States of America!

    In short, such Covidiots are no longer concerned with objective reality and impartial truth, nor reachable with verifiable facts, argumentation and fair reasoning.

    Happy September to all of you soon!

    Yours sincerely,

      1. Dear JezGrove,

        Thank you for supplying the link. There seems to be no limits in the extents and varieties of human failings, foibles and follies rooted in self-interest, irresponsibility, irrationalities, oversights, prejudices, misbeliefs, misjudgements, misrepresentations and (eco)systemic injustices. I often even have to coin new words to describe them. The latest examples are my three neologisms “Misquotation Pandemic“, “Disinformation Polemic” and “Viral Falsity“, as discussed in my extensive and analytical post entitled “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity“, which can be easily locate at the Home page of my blog.

        It has been all too deplorable if not despicable that such folks not just affect themselves but also plenty of others.

        Yours sincerely,

  12. I’m 80. From earliest childhoodI have hated needles and yet I have been inoculated with various substances dozens of times. As a kid I had measles, chicken pox and mumps. I think that’s all. I’ve had small pox vaccinations 6 or 8 times. Watched a good friend dealing with polio and have a good friend dealing with post-polio. When the Salk vaccine was available I boy-ed up and had the shot. When the Sabin vaccine came along I swallowed it. In the military I had multiple inoculations all at the same time for anything imaginable. As a world traveller I had Yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, tetanus and who knows how many times for each. (Just looking at my vaccine record I’ve had the cholera shot 8 times.) Now both doses of the Moderna vaccine, awaiting the 3rd.
    I’m 80. I’m alive and thriving due to the protection these sometimes painful vaccines have given me. I have had malaria 3 times and survived due to the drugs available in the 20th cent. I had a terrrible time with Lyme about 8 years ago and antibiotics got me through that.
    Public health is in all our interest. Community health is in all our interest. “Got Science?”
    I’m 80.

    1. I’m close—80 exactly 3 months from now.

      And I agree. I’d have been dead probably twice by now, but for modern scientific medicine. Once at 17 with an advanced inner ear infection that could easily have got into the brain as an abscess, I believe. Once at 57 when a colon cancer related to a bad appendix which burst. That probably saved my life since otherwise cancer spread would have happened too much, undetected. I probably have participated in well over 50 nordic (old fart) ski races since then, rather than pushing up daisies.

      Those are not vaccine related, but really the same point.

      I’ll report back at 97.

      1. I’m a youthful 71. I have cousins who’s family was devastated by polio. Who knows which of the dreadful diseases I’ve been vaccinated against would have prevented me from my seniority.

        Anti-vaxxers dismay me. They have no idea of the horrors they have been relieved of by medical science.

    2. Well, I am only 48. But my parents come from the generation where everyone knew someone who lied in an iron lung or had to walk on crutches because they had polio, for which there was no vaccine at the time.

      Anti-vaxxers are ignoramuses who do not want to see how well they are doing compared to previous generations.

  13. What is worse than the “true” anti-vaxxers are the various governors, other politicians, and pundits who are flogging their constituents to get in line against vaccination and mask wearing. Most of course are themselves vaccinated. Meanwhile their supporters are now getting sick and becoming hospitalized in droves. And dying.
    Will it ever happen that there is a retribution against these persons who use their power to endanger public health? How can it be even legal for a public official to literally put people in danger in this way? The science behind the vaccines and even mask wearing is unassailable.

  14. The pop-Left assails all the sciences because, like mathematics, they are dominated by “whiteness” and need to be “decolonized”. The pop-Right—which is much more dangerous, at the moment—assails
    biomedical science because it can interfere with “Liberty”. Remarkable that this flight from empiricism on both pop sides of the political spectrum coincides with spectacular scientific triumphs—from the new laparoscopic surgery to rapid vaccine development to the landing of rovers on Mars. Hard to decide whether the anti-science is just noise from ignorami— or reflects a significant change in the general culture of the USA, in the direction of decline.

  15. It’s pretty well-known that many noteworthy scientists are musically gifted, too. For one example, since I know the video exists, here’s Hugo Theorell playing Mozart shortly after receiving notice winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1955 (playing starts around 1:40.

    Einstein also played violin, and I once heard Theorell say that they had played together, adding, “I can tell you that his meter, and his tempo, like his theories, were entirely relative.”

    In any event, the number of musically noteworthy people who are also scientifically gifted seems far lower.

  16. There was probably a time where Clapton would write a song do a concert for and about all those who are standing on the front line and fighting and working on our behalf, the dead, and about staying together.
    Maybe he should ask himself what George would do.

  17. He has been my musical hero for 53 years.He has really disappointed me now.I am really crushed.
    He just started his tour last night [9/13/21] in Ft Worth.
    Same old tired setlist.
    Never changes anything.
    Notice how all of the dates of his tour are all Southern or Southwest cities.
    He won’t come near New York or California.Those states aren’t buying his politics or tickets to his shows.It is so hard for me to bash my hero,but he has been so misinformed on this pandemic.
    I wonder what his bandmates really think about his stance on all of this. I am so disappointed.

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