While I’m in the mood for writing about past-it, racist Rock stars, I have to mention Eric Patrick Clapton CBE, member of bands The Yardbirds and Cream, and number fucking 2 in Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists (higher than Prince, Van Helen, Santana, Chuck Berry, and B.B. King if you can believe it!). Clapton’s career was essentially built on raping Blues music; copying, watering-down, and re-packaging it for a white audience and although he cites black Blues artists as his influences, his opinions about black people were (and probably still are) very much racist. Like a precursor to Eminem, Eric is famous for making a shite version of black music whilst ironically being a bigot and over the subsequent years he’s seen fit to blame drugs and alcohol for his prejudiced point of view.
If you’re not aware, back in 1976, two years after he released a cover version of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff” and reached the number 1 spot in the charts, Eric Clapton whilst performing at a concert in Birmingham went on a racist rant against immigrants and immigration, saying:
“Do we have any foreigners in the audience tonight? If so, please put up your hands. Wogs I mean, I’m looking at you. Where are you? I’m sorry but some fucking wog… Arab grabbed my wife’s bum, you know? Surely got to be said, yeah this is what all the fucking foreigners and wogs over here are like, just disgusting, that’s just the truth, yeah. So where are you? Well wherever you all are, I think you should all just leave. Not just leave the hall, leave our country. You fucking [indecipherable]. I don’t want you here, in the room or in my country. Listen to me, man! I think we should vote for Enoch Powell. Enoch’s our man. I think Enoch’s right, I think we should send them all back. Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. Fucking wogs, man. Fucking Saudis taking over London. Bastard wogs. Britain is becoming overcrowded and Enoch will stop it and send them all back. The black wogs and coons and Arabs and fucking Jamaicans and fucking [indecipherable] don’t belong here, we don’t want them here. This is England, this is a white country, we don’t want any black wogs and coons living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome. England is for white people, man. We are a white country. I don’t want fucking wogs living next to me with their standards. This is Great Britain, a white country, what is happening to us, for fuck’s sake? We need to vote for Enoch Powell, he’s a great man, speaking truth. Vote for Enoch, he’s our man, he’s on our side, he’ll look after us. I want all of you here to vote for Enoch, support him, he’s on our side. Enoch for Prime Minister! Throw the wogs out! Keep Britain white!”
This daft racist outburst has over the years been suppressed or at least assuaged by mainstream media apologists who have attempted to excuse his behavior either by calling attention to someone brown pinching his wife’s white buttocks or by linking the incident to drug and alcohol consumption (read this great takedown of apologists Barbara Charone and Harry Shapiro). It’s strange that every time I’m off my tits on Absynth and Ketamine or snorting crushed-up Ecstacy pills, I’ve never felt the urge to shout racist shit at all the white people around me. Maybe it’s just me.
Eric Clapton himself has given a different, half-arsed excuse that most racists often do. He told The Daily Beast that “I was so ashamed of who I was, a kind of semi-racist, which didn’t make sense. Half of my friends were black, I dated a black woman, and I championed black music”. This lame excuse sounds to me like a greater amount of people were pointing out the irony of Eric’s racism and he therefore had to acknowledge it. But even when he did, he called himself a “semi-racist” like yelling “wogs” and “coons” in a concert is only partially racist (why is it that racists don’t like being called “racist”? Own that shit motherfuckers). Another go-to defence that racists usually clamber toward is the cliche of “my best friends are black” with Clapton adding that since he tried to fuck a female minority he somehow can’t possibly be prejudiced against any ethnic minorities. What great racist logic.
Clapton’s daft diatribe in the 70s at least gave birth to Rock Against Racism, a campaign founded by photographer Red Saunders after he wrote a letter to the NME. Saunders was the first to point out the ironies of a racist white Blues player, writing “When I read about Eric Clapton’s Birmingham concert when he urged support for Enoch Powell, I nearly puked. What’s going on, Eric? You’ve got a touch of brain damage. So you’re going to stand for MP and you think we’re being colonised by black people. Come on… you’ve been taking too much of that Daily Express stuff, you know you can’t handle it. Own up. Half your music is black. You’re rock music’s biggest colonist. You’re a good musician but where would you be without the Blues and R&B?”. Saunders then ended the letter with the hilarious postscript “P. S. ‘Who shot the Sheriff’, Eric? It sure as hell wasn’t you!”. Brilliant.
After his son tragically died, it was reported that Clapton buggered-off to the Caribbean to “heal”, not to Iceland or Finland or some other white country but to Antigua of all places. It’s strange that this racist twat’s instinct was to chill-out and relax in a black country after making a career within a black musical genre whilst still somehow managing to hate black immigrants.
On a side-note, it’s quite curious that Eric’s favourite guitar was called “Blackie”. This “affectionate” nickname sounds all too familiar to ethnic minorities living in the UK, especially those who grew up during the latter half of the twentieth century and who bore the brunt of the National Front and other assorted racist pricks.
In the recent Brexit vote, Clapton apparently voted to remain in the EU which goes to show that voting leave and remain was much more nuanced than “racist” and “non-racist”, in fact people declaring that they voted “Remain” seems to be a faux badge of honour, somehow serving to prove that a white person who cast such a vote can’t possibly be racist simply because they ticked a box in a ballot and chose to align themselves with a bloc of white countries. But I digress.
Back to ol’ Eric; this miserable-looking, crusty-old cunt hasn’t made anything worth listening to since the 80s (if at all) so now, just like other wrinkly, washed-up Rockers well past their sell-by date, Clapton has released a crappy Christmas album. So, to coincide with this article, I’ve included the video for his latest shite seasonal single “White Christmas” but when he sings the line “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know” who knows what he’s picturing in his demented, racist little mind.
Looking like a constipated bookworm in an Oxfam suit, usually with a sullen, joyless expression (probably from pent-up racist aggression), the final irony of Eric Clapton is that after leading a completely miserable life (supporting Enoch Powell, stealing girlfriends away from his friends only to divorce them, people around him dying, not to mention making shedloads of shite Dad-Rock) these days he at least looks like he could play some meaningful frigging Blues music. But alas he can’t, he’s now making shitty festive covers that only the oldest, dullest, blandest, whitest people would listen to. His interpretation of Blues is very, very, light blue.
Behind The Mask.