Music legend Eric Clapton is “going deaf,” according to an interview he gave BBC Radio 2 Wednesday.
Speaking about the oncoming documentary “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars,” the iconic guitarist discussed some of the challenges inherent in becoming an aging rock star, chief among them the struggle to maintain a level of performances he’s mastered in previous decades.
"The only thing I'm concerned with now is being in my Seventies and being able to be proficient,” Clapton said. “I mean, I'm going deaf, I've got tinnitus, my hands just about work. I'm hoping that people will come along and see me just because, or maybe more than because I'm a curiosity. I know that is part of it, because it's amazing to myself I'm still here.”
As Rolling Stone notes, Clapton had previously described some of the struggles he faces performing, noting while he’s “as good now as I've been in the last two years,” playing guitar “is difficult anyway.”
“I have to get on the bottom of the ladder every time I play guitar, just to tune it,” he told Rolling Stone. "Then I have to go through the whole threshold of getting calluses [on the fingers] back, coordination.”
In the interview with BBC, Clapton also recounted his struggled with alcohol, a topic he’d previously brought up with Rolling Stone when he described himself as a “basket case” over the past 20 years.
“I drank more than you can imagine, a Special Brew with vodka,” Clapton said. “It looked like you were just drinking larger, but in fact, you weren’t.”
"I think my past is probably my greatest asset because I can show some people, that are interested, that it's an option to drink like that,” he added.
Listen to the BBC interview below: