Friday, 21 July 2017

Eric Clapton's Condition Causing More Guitar-Playing Problems

Today's short, Summer post from ( is a follow up to the post we published when it was first announced that Eric Clapton had neuropathic problems. This then, is a bit of an update. There's not much new news here (regarding neuropathy itself) but it's good to have role-models to both identify with and to compare to our own situations. There are so few 'out' neuropathy sufferers in the media world, yet they must exist. It makes you wonder if neuropathy carries its own stigma for the world of entertainment but at least here, Eric Clapton is open and honest about his condition and the probable reasons for him getting it. As a member of his generation, I do sympathise with what he's going through and hope his guitar playing doesn't suffer too much along the way - we still need the guitar heroes!

Eric Clapton 'struggles to play guitar'
12 June 2016

Rock star Eric Clapton has said damage to his nervous system is making it difficult to play the guitar.

The acclaimed musician told Classic Rock magazine he "can still play" but added it was "hard work".

"I've had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy.

"[It's] hard work to play the guitar and I've had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve."

But he added that given his life had been fraught with addiction "I consider it a great thing to be alive at all".

"By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago," said the 71-year-old star, who recently released his 23rd studio album, I Still Do.

Clapton achieved global fame in the 1970s with acclaimed songs including Crossroads and Layla, but his widely-acknowledged talent was tainted by addiction, first to heroin and later to alcohol and prescription drugs.

"I don't know how I survived - the Seventies especially," said Clapton. "For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance."

In 2013, Clapton was forced to cancel several tour dates because of back pain. In the interviews, he likened the pain to "electric shocks going down your leg".

Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the body's extremities - such as the hands, feet and arms - are damaged. There are a number of possible causes, including excessive alcohol consumption.

"I mean, it's hard work sometimes, the physical side of it - just getting old, man, is hard," said the guitarist.

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