Over the past 18 months or so, Eric Clapton has become a spokesperson of the COVID conspiracist crowd. But regardless of your stance on vaccines, everyone wants the pandemic to go away, and Keith Richards has offered some sage advice for accomplishing that: Trust the experts.
Speaking on Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast, the Rolling Stones legend shared his take on vaccines and Clapton’s abhorrent skepticism: “I just want to get rid of this damn thing, and the only way I can see is everybody does as doctor says,” he said.
“I love Eric dearly,” Richards added. “I’ve known him since forever and we’ve had ups and downs… This COVID thing, it’s split people up and it made people sometimes go awry for awhile, you know?”
Even before vaccines were readily available, Clapton was outspoken about his denial of COVID-19. Back in December 2020, he teamed up with Van Morrison for the God awful anti-lockdown anthem, “Stand and Deliver,” which included lyrics like “Do you wanna be a free man/ Or do you wanna be a slave?”
Then, last May, Clapton penned an angry letter decrying the global response to the pandemic, as well as pro-vaccine “propaganda.” He swore he wouldn’t play venues that required proof of vaccination (or, in his words, hosted a “discriminated audience”), although he broke that promise not long after. He also appeared on anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s podcast, The Defender, to further spew his anti-science nonsense.
Thankfully, Richards isn’t the only fellow classic rock icon to call out Clapton’s idiocy. Queen’s Brian May said it best last summer: “Anti-vax people, I’m sorry, I think they’re fruitcakes,” he said in an interview. Listen to Richards on Music Now below.
Elsewhere in the interview, Richards discussed the future of the Stones in the wake of drummer Charlie Watts’ passing. He confirmed that the band plan to record with new drummer Steve Jordan, who will also join the band on tour in the UK and Europe this year.