Clapton closer to calling time


Eric Clapton is considering retirement after making one more album, he's revealed.

Slowhand has been speaking about ending his career for some time now, and recently announced to fans in Japan they’d seen him for the last time.

Now he tells Rolling Stone: “I think this could be it. I don’t want to work that hard any more. I was planning to write and record another record, so that’s the next thing I would do.

“Next year I might do a couple of shows and say, ‘Folks, that’s it – I’m off.’ Then I’ll see what I make of that, whether I’m content to just go into the studio now and then and play at home for the family.”

The 69-year-old admits he’s finding it more and more difficult to “stay healthy, agile and energetic” to the standards required for touring, and adds: “Most evenings, if I’m not playing, I’m watching TV and in bed by 10 o’clock.”

And he says he’s become “lazy” when trying to write songs. “When I get to ‘What am I going to do for that bit?’ I stop and turn on the TV. I’m easily distracted. What I’ve done is written a lot of songs, then forgotten them. I put them down as a voice-memo on my phone, then I lose the memo.”

Clapton’s most recent release was The Breeze, a tribute to the late JJ Cale, which he says was “a joy.” Asked if he’s running out of things to say, he admits: “That would come. The music, that’s difficult. That’s why I love JJ’s writing – there are complex details going on. That’s what writing music is about: ‘What can I do with these chords that’s interesting and unique?’”

Namechecking Gary Clark Jr, Jimmie Vaghan and Derek Trucks, he reflects: “The guitar is in safe hands. It’s about soul and character; it’s about humility and the willingness to learn, to be of service to the music.

“There’s always going to be someone, no matter how much dross is going on, who is curious and wants to know, ‘Can I get anything like that?’”