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Eric Clapton: 'When I'm 70, I'll Stop Touring'

'The struggle is the travel,' the guitarist tells Rolling Stone in new interview

February 28, 2013 7:00 AM ET
eric clapton
Eric Clapton performs at "12-12-12", a concert benefiting The Robin Hood Relief Fund to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Clear Channel

Eric Clapton is about to release his 21st solo album, Old Sock, on March 12th and head out on a spring U.S. arena tour, including the guitarist's Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden in April. See him when you can: in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Clapton reveals his touring days are winding down.

100 Greatest Artists: Eric Clapton

"The bit onstage, that's easy," Clapton, 67, tells senior writer Brian Hiatt. "If I could do that around my neighborhood, that would be great. You have guys in Texas that play their circuit, and it keeps them alive. But for me, the struggle is the travel. And the only way you can beat that is by throwing so much money at it that you make a loss. So the idea is I'm taking a leaf out of JJ [Cale]'s book: When I'm 70, I'll stop. I won't stop playing or doing one-offs, but I'll stop touring, I think."

Hiatt notes that Clapton has always hated dealing with immigration officials. "And security," Clapton adds. "I never get it right. I forget to take off my belt, or I have change in my pocket. Next thing I know, 'Can you come over here please?' I just don't want to do that anymore," he says with a laugh.

For the full interview with Clapton, check out the new issue of Rolling Stone, on newsstands this Friday.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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