Eric Clapton Struggling To Play Guitar Due To Health Issues

June 11, 2016

Eric Clapton, one of the most iconic guitarists of all time, is struggling to play the instrument that made him a household name. His nervous system has been causing his body to experience aches and pains for the last few years. But despite his obstacles, he maintains a positive outlook.

"I've had quite a lot of pain over the last year," Clapton tells Classic Rock. "It started with lower back pain, and it turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy - which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg. [It's] hard work to play the guitar and I've had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve."

"Severe back pain" caused Clapton to cancel a few shows back in 2013 and the thought of quitting touring became a realistic possibility for the guitarist. But even though his ability to play is slowly declining, Clapton says that he's been through much worse situations. "There was one point where they were flying me to hospital in St. Paul, MN and I was dying apparently," he says. "I had three ulcers and one of them was bleeding. I was drinking three bottles of brandy and taking handfuls of codeine, and I was close to checking out."

Now at 71 years old, Clapton says that he is grateful that he has been able to survive the indulgences of the '70s and still be able to make music to this day. "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. For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance."

(source: Ultimate Classic Rock)