Eric Clapton is back in the studio working on his yet-untitled 24th guitar studio album.
Guitar future for E.C. could be sad. During a chat with Rolling Stone to promote the upcoming career-spanning documentary, Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars, “Slowhand” revealed, “I’m in the middle of it. . . I still have some JJ (Cale) songs that we’re playing with. Sometimes we mix them with dub, sometimes we take it back to pure country.” Clapton’s upcoming set will also feature new material by him and frequent collaborator Simon Climie. Clapton’s 2014 tribute set, The Breeze: An Appreciation Of JJ Cale, also featured contributions from such friends as Mark Knopfler, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, John Mayer, and Derek Trucks, among others.
“The guitar is a medicine: Eric explains- , I pick up my guitar and remove myself from the situation. I will inevitably play something bland, an exercise. But it will keep me from being engaged in the conflict. . . I became acquainted with it pretty quick, because I would go to it immediately.”
“Lately I had eczema from head to foot. The palms of my hand were coming off, and I had just started making this record with [producer]Glyn Johns. It was a catastrophe. I had to wear mittens with Band-Aids around the hands and played a lot of slide as a result.”
Life in 12 Bars also has extraordinary footage of Clapton onstage with Cream in the Sixties and revealing interviews with the women in his life including his grandmother Rose – who raised him after Clapton’s 16-year-old mother, Patricia, left England with his father, a Canadian airman – and first wife Pattie Boyd, the object of Clapton’s romantic obsession
I just have to face the guy that I became when I was fueled on drugs and alcohol. It’s incomprehensible to me, in a way, that I got so far out. And there was no one to challenge me. Because I may have become quite intimidating. People said they couldn’t challenge me because I came back twice as strong.
Watch Eric Clapton’s Huge Guitars collection
The only guy who did was my manager [at the time], Roger Forrester. He said to me, “You’ve got a problem.” When I decided he was right, he was the person I called. He packed me up and sent me off to [the rehab facility]Hazelden. When I got to Hazelden, I had to sign this thing saying who is your significant other. Anyone else would have put a family member – or my wife. I was married. But I put him. Because he was the only one who would stand up to me and call me out.
My hands are good. It hasn’t gone completely, but I put ointment on. It’s just getting old now. I’m as good now as I’ve been in the last two years. If i had to stop playng due the illness i would be alright. I would accept it. Because playing is difficult anyway. I have to get on the bottom of the ladder every time I play guitar, just to tune it. Then I have to go through the whole threshold of getting calluses [on the fingers]back, coordination.