Eric Clapton announces new live dates

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 29 November 2016
Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton is to hit the road again for four new live dates, despite quitting touring last year and recently admitting nerve damage has made it hard for him to play the guitar again

Eric Clapton has announced four new live dates - despite quitting touring last year.

The 71-year-old guitarist will hit the road in the US in 2017 for a quartet of shows, two at New York City's Madison Square Garden on March 19 and 20, and a pair of gigs at The Forum, Los Angeles, on March 25 and 26.

The shows are to be billed as a celebration of the legend's 50 years in music and he will be supported by Jimmie Vaughan and Gary Clark Jr.

Earlier this year, Eric revealed incurable damage to his nervous system had made it "hard work" to play the guitar.

He said: "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 - which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg.

"And I've had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old.

"Because I'm in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all. By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago."

Last year, Eric insisted he was not going to tour any more.

Writing in a programme for concerts celebrating his 70th birthday in London and New York, he wrote: "I swear this is it, no more.

"I know I've been threatening retirement for the last 50 years, but I didn't think I'd ever really want to stop. I love what I do and always have done, but over the last few decades I've found what I was always really looking for, a loving family who love me just the way I am."

In 2014, he insisted touring had become "unapproachable" and "unbearable".

He said at the time: "There are tons of things I'd like to do, but I'm looking at retirement too.

"What I'll allow myself to do, within reason, is carry on recording in the studio. I don't want to go off the boil to the point where I'm embarrassing myself."

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