The Complete History of Eric Clapton Being a Douchebag
It’s hard to be told that you’re literally God for half a century without becoming completely insufferable, and Eric Clapton has proved that over and over again. From being a jackass to women to being a jackass to minorities to being a jackass to people who don’t want to catch COVID-19, Clapton has grown from a bratty young man to a crotchety old man without ever considering not being a huge douchebag.
Of course, Clapton stole his whole deal from the entire history of black bluesmen, but he also literally stole at least one song, according to Louise King Mathews, who said she wrote “Give Me Strength” all the way back in the ‘30s. He’s also being actively sued by the estate of Bo Carter for incorrectly crediting one of his songs.
The Hard Rock Cafe
It led to a pretty cool gimmick for them, but the whole reason the Hard Rock Cafe started collecting music memorabilia is because Clapton asked them to hang his guitar over his favorite table so no one else could sit there. Yes, Eric Clapton did a Mean Girls.
The “Keep Britain White” Rant
During a 1976 Birmingham concert, Clapton asked if there were any “foreigners” in the house tonight -- and then told them all to get out. “Not just leave the hall, leave our country,” he clarified, before using a bunch of words we can’t reprint and ending with an admonishment to “keep Britain white.” Sooooo. That was a whole thing.
During Clapton’s rant, he mentioned far-right politician Enoch Powell, with whom he agreed that “we should send them all back,” and he wasn’t talking about the venue’s french fries. Clapton later blamed his obviously drunken state for magically turning him into a racist, but he stuck by his support of Powell, probably for economic anxiety reasons.
In 1968, the 23-year-old Clapton began a five-year relationship with 17-year-old Alice Ormsby-Gore. Yes, 17. He also got her into heroin, which she was responsible for buying because she “thought it helped him not to have to face the full horror, himself, of scoring his own heroin supply,” and she eventually died from her addiction, while he admitted he was “obsessed with Pattie ” the whole time.
Supermodel Pattie Boyd, who was rather inconveniently married to his best friend, George Harrison, inspired some of Clapton’s greatest hits, including “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight,” but she seems to have barely been a person to him. He later acknowledged that he “coveted Pattie because she belonged to a powerful man who seemed to have everything I wanted,” and tried to cure himself of his infatuation by dating her sister, because they were apparently interchangeable.
After pining for her for a decade, once Boyd left Harrison and married Clapton in 1979, he immediately started abusing her. He even admitted he “took sex with my wife by force,” though he likewise blamed it on the booze.
He also cheated on her a ton, resulting in two children, which broke Boyd’s heart because they’d been trying unsuccessfully to conceive throughout their relationship. He’d actually hidden one child from both her and the rest of the world for six years until the publicity surrounding his second child’s accidental death compelled the media to do some digging.
Clapton is most well known to the kids these days as a COVID-denying loon after he collaborated on that terrible song with Van Morrison, another guy now exclusively known for being a huge weirdo. They donated the proceeds to Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund for musicians who couldn’t work during the pandemic, because that’s who really suffered: the rock stars.
Related: Covid-19 Is Exposing Xenophobia
His Other COVID-19 Song
That wasn’t even his only attack of anti-lockdown musical diarrhea. A year later, he released “This Has Gotta Stop,” which would have been on the nose enough without lines like “Enough is enough/I can’t take this B.S. any longer,” which essentially renders it “Old Man Yells at Cloud: The Song.”
Related: Covid-19 Is Exposing Xenophobia
Despite likening wearing a mask to committing highway robbery, Clapton got the COVID vaccine and subsequently decried “the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone” after suffering “disastrous” side effects. The side effects in question? Some brief numbness in his hands and feet.
Related: What To Do With 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'
Jam For Freedom
Clapton went all in on the wrong side of history by refusing to perform at venues that enforced COVID safety precautions and even personally donated more than $1,000 and a van to a band called Jam For Freedom who violated such precautions at shows. Basically, you know what to do if you want Eric Clapton’s money.
In 2021, Clapton won a lawsuit against a 55-year-old German widow who just wanted to offload her late husband’s CD collection. Not knowing, she claims, that one of the Clapton CDs was a bootleg, she listed it on eBay for $11, and Clapton decided that couldn’t stand, winning $4,000 in court costs from a poor woman just trying to put her life back together.
The animal lovers in the crowd are surely no fan of Clapton, who is a big fan of fox hunting, to the point of headlining a concert to raise money for the effort to lift the U.K. ban on one of the medieval court’s favorite hobbies. That concert also featured Roger Waters and Roger Daltrey, so it turns out just all the old English rock stars are on Henry VIII’s side.
He’s Always Making This Face
You can’t unsee it.
Top image: Majvdl/Wikimedia Commons