Eric Clapton has cited biased media and YouTube "hypnosis" as prompting his controversial COVID views.
The guitarist is against lockdowns and critical of vaccinations, following negative experiences with his own anti-COVID jab.
The musician claimed he suffered issues with nerve endings in his fingers, with the vaccination exacerbating an underlying health condition.
A frequent opponent of legislation on COVID, Eric Clapton sat down with The Real Music Observer to explain his views.
Discussing his Van Morrison collaborations 'Stand And Deliver' and 'This Has Gotta Stop' - both of which take aim at lockdowns - he commented:
“My career had almost gone anyway. At the point where I spoke up, it had been almost 18 months since I had kind of been forcibly retired. And I joined forces with Van. I got the tip that Van was standing up to the measures. And I thought, ‘Why isn’t anybody else doing this?’ And we go back; I’ve known him since we were kids. And I contacted him. I said, ‘What do you think? What’s going on?’ And he said, ‘I’m just objecting, really. But it seems like we’re not even allowed to do that. And nobody else is doing it.’ And I said, ‘You’re kidding. Nobody else?’ And he said, ‘Nobody else.’ And I said, ‘All, I’m with you. Is there anything I can do to help? Have you got any songs?’ And of course, it was a silly, stupid question ’cause he writes two songs a day or something like that.”
Eric Clapton continued: “And he sent me ‘Stand And Deliver’, which he had already… I didn’t know he had already recorded it. So I thought, ‘Oh, man. I’m getting an unreleased Van Morrison song.’ I was over the moon anyway. And it was during the process of talking about that to another musician, and then getting me excited, and then sharing that news, and I found that nobody wanted to hear that. And I was kind of mystified because I seemed to be the only person that thought that was an exciting or even appropriate idea with what was going on.”
“That challenged me even more. ‘Cause I’m a bit like him maybe. I’m cut from the cloth where if you tell me I can’t do something, I really wanna know why I can’t do it. And it seemed like I’d had a wall built around me. But I thought, ‘I’m gonna do this.’ But I did make concessions. I did take out lines or change lines a little bit just to pacify those that I really didn’t wanna hurt, people I didn’t wanna hurt or scare. And needless to say, my family and friends, they got scared, and I think they were scared on my behalf.”
Discussing his views, Eric Clapton cited what he viewed as 'media bias' before expounding the "mass formation hypnosis" theory - in essence, that the population are receiving subliminal pro-vaccination 'hints' through videos.
He said: “[I thought], ‘What’s going on here?’ I didn’t get the memo. Whatever the memo was, it hadn’t reached me. Then I started to realise there was really a memo, and a guy, [clinical psychology professor] Mattias Desmet, talked about it. And it’s great – the theory of mass formation hypnosis...”
“And I could see it then – once I kind of started to look for it, I saw it everywhere. “Then I remembered seeing little things on YouTube which were like subliminal advertising; it had been going on for a long time – that thing about ‘you will own nothing and you will be happy.’ And I thought, ‘What’s that mean?’ And bit by bit, I put a rough kind of jigsaw puzzle together. And that made me even more resolute. And so I went from that to looking at the news stuff that was coming out in England and the UK, we have BBC, and it used to be an impartial commentary on world affairs and state affairs. And suddenly it was completely one-way traffic about following orders and obedience.”
He continued: “I felt really motivated, musically. It instigated something which really was laying dormant. I was just playing live gigs up until the lockdown without really being socially involved in any way. Then these guys that were in power really started to piss me… and everybody… I have a tool, I have a calling, and I can make use of that. So I set about it and started writing.”
As for his own post-vaccination experiences, the guitarist says he is "feeling pretty good". Eric Clapton said:
“I’m feeling pretty good. I think it’s been about nine months since I got sick from the thing and for a couple of months I wasn’t sure if it was gonna go away, if it’s gonna get worse. I couldn’t play – I really couldn’t play – and I wasn’t sure… I had a lot of work to do, whether I was gonna get fit for that or whether it was gonna have to be canceled.”
Find the video below.
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