Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Musician Eric Clapton says he is going deaf. The 72-year-old singer says he plans on still performing, but his mounting health issues as he ages are a concern.
“The only thing I'm concerned with now is being in my 70s and being able to be proficient,” Clapton said in an interview with BBC 2. “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.”
Clapton, who began his career in the early 1960s, was on the show promoting his new documentary, “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars.” The film looks at his start in the music industry and how music -- especially the guitar -- helped him throughout his life through a drug and alcohol addiction and the death of his son, Conor, in 1991.
The legendary guitarist and singer said in a Rolling Stone interview that he goes the doctor for the slightest thing and that, although his eczema affects his guitar playing, he now has it managed.
“I had eczema from head to foot,” Clapton said. “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 (guitar) as a result.”
“My hands are good. It hasn’t gone completely, but I put ointment on.”
Clapton said he would be OK with not playing guitar again, but is taking advantage of how well he feels now.
“I’m as good now as I’ve been in the last two years.”