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Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains And Eric

The legendary guitarist on tour in the Far East. Probably for the last time.

In February 2014 Eric Clapton played seven shows in Japan, 40 years after his first gig in that country. And in the tour programme he told his Japanese fans: “I may not be able to come back again.”

Next year Clapton turns 70, the age at which he plans to retire from touring, if not from gigging. In this context, Planes, Trains And Eric – a documentary with performance footage – plays like a farewell to both Japan and life on the road.

Filmed throughout his Far and Middle Eastern tour, Clapton is still at the top of his game. A performance of Crossroads is electrifying and an acoustic Driftin’ Blues at a soundcheck has the touch of an old master. He says he will miss Japan. What he won’t miss is the grind of travel. But full retirement is still a way off. “I love playing live,” he says. “If I don’t do it I get cravings.”/o:p

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2005, Paul Elliott has worked for leading music titles since 1985, including Sounds, Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. He is the author of several books including the first biography of Guns N’ Roses and the autobiography of bodyguard-to-the-stars Danny Francis. He has written liner notes for classic album reissues by artists such as Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy and Kiss, and currently works as content editor for Total Guitar. He lives in Bath - of which David Coverdale recently said: “How very Roman of you!”