Eric Clapton Announces Two Shows at Madison Square Garden
Eric Clapton has announced a pair of shows that will reportedly be among his last for the year, joining a private Greenwich, Conn., show in May and a July appearance at London's Hyde Park.
The concerts will take place at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Oct. 6 and 7, with a band comprised of bassist Nathan East, drummer Sonny Emory, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, keyboardist Chris Stainton, Paul Carrack on organ and keyboards and Sharon White and Sharlotte Gibson on vocals. Like last year's performances, the shows will also include guest appearances by Gary Clark Jr and Jimmie Vaughan.
Tickets go on sale March 16 at 10AM. A Chase pre-sale begins 24 hours earlier.
Clapton performed only a handful of shows in New York and Los Angeles last year, which were part of what he called his "final tour." “I swear this is it, no more," he said. "I know I’ve been threatening retirement for the last 50 years.”
Clapton's most recent album, I Still Do, came in 2016.
In recent years, Clapton has shared his distaste for traveling, which left him contemplating retirement. "I never get it right. I forget to take off my belt, or I have change in my pocket," he said. "Next thing I know, 'Can you come over here please?' I just don't want to do that anymore."
But worse than airport frustrations have been Clapton's health struggles, which he's been open about. A number of ailments has made playing music difficult, including chronic nerve pain that affects his back and hands, eczema on his hands that make playing painful, tinnitus and increasing hearing loss.
Still, Clapton considers himself fortunate to still be around. "Because I’m in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all," he sad. "By rights, I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago. For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance.”