Eric Clapton on His Health Problems: ‘I Was Plucked From the Jaws of Hell and Given Another Chance’

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Photo: Larry Busacca/2013 Getty Images

Rock god Eric Clapton  whose influence on modern music is far too great to even begin to discuss is currently doing a bit of press for his new blues-heavy solo album I Still Do. During a recent interview the rocker briefly shifted the discussion about the album and his past to a more sensitive subject, specifically, how some of his longstanding health problems are now making it extremely difficult to play the instrument that elevated him to legendary status: the guitar. "I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy  which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg," he told Classic Rock Magazine. "[It’s] hard work to play the guitar, and I’ve had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old."

Clapton briefly touched on his health problems back in 2014, when he called touring "unbearable" and "unapproachable" due to the ailments he faced. (He has also been public about his struggles with drugs and alcohol.) Now in his seventies, he notes that luck, simply, was remarkably on his side through it all. "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," he continued. "For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance." Wishing you a speedy recovery, sir. The world needs those magic fingers of yours.