Forget “Layla,” it’s possible that Eric Clapton is displaying some arrogant arrogance these days.
The 76-year-old classic rock guitarist, who has recently been known for his controversial views on coronavirus “propaganda,” has said that he will refuse to perform in any venues that require attendees to have received a COVID-19 vaccination.
The musician made the announcement in response to a recent proclamation by British legislators requiring all residents to show proof of vaccination before entering packed events.
Clapton stated in a statement — posted via the Telegram app account of Italian architect Robin Monotti, according to The Guardian — that “Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show,” Monotti, for one, has made a public statement against mandatory vaccination.
Clapton’s anti-lockdown song, “Stand and Deliver,” penned with Van Morrison, 75, was posted alongside the statement. The line “Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave?” appears in the lyrics.
Despite his anti-vax stance, Clapton received the AstraZeneca vaccine in February and said to have experienced such severe side effects that he feared he “would never play again,” according to a statement he issued to Rolling Stone, blaming “propaganda [that] said the vaccine was safe for everyone.”
“I’ve been a rebel all my life, against tyranny and arrogant authority, which is what we have now,” Clapton said at the time.
Clapton appears to be ready to play again six months later, but only if he isn’t on “any stage where there is a discriminated audience present.”
The Grammy winner’s representatives did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.