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