Eric Clapton is famous for songs based on subjects ranging from admiration of his then-wife, Pattie Boyd, to subtle criticism of an illegal drug, cocaine; the latter was a cover. Now the 76-year-old has set his sights on an of-the-moment topic, the handling of the current pandemic.
The rock legend was vaccinated against the virus and soon began experiencing health issues. Clapton was injected with the Astra Zeneca vaccine and immediately began feeling ill. The most severe of his symptoms lasted for 10 days. He researched the vaccine and decided to get the second jab several weeks after the initial shot.
The second shot produced even more alarming side effects. For two weeks, the former Yardbirds guitarists had difficulty using his feet and hands due to burning, freezing and numbness. For someone considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest guitar players, these effects were terrifying. Clapton wondered if he would ever be able to play guitar again.
The guitarist claims he had a sense of security about being vaccinated because the shots had been promoted as safe. He regrets taking the second dose, especially after having experienced neuropathy. He collaborated with Van Morrison, the singer-singwriter from Northern Ireland famous for the iconic song “Brown-Eyed Girl” and the garage rock anthem “Gloria.” The duo crafted the song “Stand and Deliver” as a protest against lockdown mandates.
Now, Clapton has released a pandemic-related tune of his own. “This Has Gotta Stop” sounds like a social justice-oriented protest song — that is, until you listen closely to the lyrics and pay attention to the visuals in the official music video. The bevy of mandates and lockdowns enacted in response to the virus that spread around the world are clearly the target of Clapton’s ire and frustration.
But along with anger, the English musician says he seeks compassion and love. Clapton says these are the solutions to handling the illness that has wreaked havoc on the world. Responses to his song and lyrics have been mixed, but many derided his solo tune and claimed they will never listen to his music again.