Eric Clapton Reacts Harshly To People Suggesting He Retire

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Eric Clapton isn’t considering retirement just yet.

In a recent interview with The Real Music Observer, Clapton was asked about some journalists in the United States suggesting he should retire while he still sounds good. When the host commented that Clapton’s singing has improved over the years, Clapton responded:

“I feel like I am [singing better] because I’ve tried to be. I remember asking Stevie Wonder… We bumped into one another in a hotel in the ’70s and I said, ‘How do you sing like that?’ And he said, ‘How do you breathe?’ Yeah, you do breathing exercises and I thought, ‘Never occurred to me.'”

Clapton then elaborated on how he learned to sing better:

“I didn’t want to sing because I just couldn’t get it right. But if you breathe and sing from here, the diaphragm, it’s easier to pitch. Some people don’t have to worry about it—they’re naturally inclined—but I have to work at it a bit. I go for walks, do a little bit of exercise, and practice.”

Despite improving his singing, Clapton acknowledges that touring has become more challenging. In a 2014 interview with Uncut, he discussed the difficulties of life on the road:

“The road has become unbearable. It’s become unapproachable because it takes so long to get anywhere. It’s hostile—everywhere: getting in and out of airports, traveling on planes and in cars. 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.”

Currently, Clapton is on his European tour. After performing in France and Italy, he will head to South America in September, followed by shows in North America in October.

You can watch his full interview below.

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