Eric Clapton included a version of blues standard I’ll Be Seeing You on his album I Still Do in case it’s his final release, he’s said.
The 71-year-old has been considering retirement for some time, and he’s already put an end to his days of large-scale touring because he doesn’t enjoy travelling any more.
Clapton tells the Chicago Tribune: “I love the song and I love the sentiment. It’s one of those things that’s been haunting me.
“Just in case I don’t cut another record, this is how I feel. I kind of might be saying goodbye – but I’ve been doing that for a while.”
I Still Do is his first studio project with producer Glyn Johns since 1977’s Slowhand. But Clapton had to contend with a serious skin issue just as work began.
“I had full-body exzema and it ended up on my hands,” he recalls. “It was a nightmare. I started thinking it was psychosomatic – that maybe I was nervous. And maybe I was.”
And he accepts the days of his most adept guitar work are behind him. “I can’t go to that place any more. I have to work hard now to get to the place where it’s absolutely free.
“I was a young man with a passion. I don’t know that guy any more at all. But I know where the music came from, and I can tap into a point where I think it’s okay.”
I Still Do is released on May 20 (Friday) along with an hour-long TV special focusing on the album.