Eric Clapton Plans 70th Birthday With Two Madison Square Garden Gigs

Legendary guitarist will play New York venue in May

Eric Clapton will celebrate his 70th birthday with two Madison Square Garden gigs in May. Credit: Hans Klaus Techt/EPA/Corbis

Eric Clapton will celebrate his 70th birthday with a two-night blowout at Madison Square Garden in New York City, currently scheduled for May 1st and 2nd (dates are subject to change to May 3rd should they conflict with an NBA playoff game).

General sale tickets for Clapton's MSG stint will be available starting Friday, March 20th at 11 a.m. Chase credit and debit cardholders, however, will be able to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster starting Monday, March 16th at 11 a.m.

Clapton will be accompanied by his band, which boasts Paul Carrack, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, Chris Stainton, Sharon White and Michelle John. Welsh guitarist, and frequent Clapton tourmate, Andy Fairweather Low, and his band the Low Riders, will open both shows.

The two MSG concerts will mark Clapton's 46th and 47th gigs at the legendary stadium — the most he's ever played at any U.S. venue. Clapton first played MSG with Cream on November 2nd, 1968, as the legendary trio wrapped up their final tour of the United States (the band, of course, would memorably reunite for a three-night stand at the venue in 2005).

Following his MSG gigs, Clapton will return to London, where he's scheduled to play seven shows at the Royal Albert Hall throughout May. The musician has been taking it easy in recent months after a busy 2014, which saw him traveling the globe again and releasing both his star-studded JJ Cale tribute albumThe Breeze, and a new tour documentary, Planes, Trains and Eric.

While Clapton has once again been floating the idea of retirement, he told Rolling Stone last year he's not worried about the future of guitar music. "The guitar is in safe hands," he said. "Gary Clark Jr. shines now. He's years in and hasn't even gotten started yet. And it's always safe with people like Jimmie Vaughan and Derek Trucks. It's about soul and character. It's about humility and the willingness to learn, to be of service to the music. There's always going to be someone, no matter how much dross is going on, who is curious and wants to know, 'Can I get anything like that?'"