Eric Clapton has branded critics of his controversial remarks about vaccines “monsters”, in the second part of interview in which he discussed issues surrounding the pandemic.
The musician, who compared the Covid vaccination programme to a “mass-hypnosis scheme” in part one of his interview with the Real Music Observer, now insists he is not “anti or pro” vaccines, which he referred to as “the thing”.
“I’m making a rod for my own back by talking about the thing and the things, but one thing about the thing I would like to make clear – because I have to keep reestablishing it – is I’m neither anti or pro,” he said.
“I’m freedom of choice, really, and respect for other people, and kindness, and the things that used to motivate, or were things to aspire to. Aspirations towards goodness.”
Referring to his critics as “monsters”, Clapton said: “They know who they are and they like being monsters.”
He added: “They’re always going to be after people who are looking for truth or seeking something, a way forward.”
In the first part of the interview uploaded to the publication’s YouTube channel on 21 January, Clapton said he was feeling pretty good nine months after getting “sick with the thing [vaccine]”.
He told the interviewer he didn’t get the “memo” – or information about “mass formation hypnosis” that began circulating among anti-vaxxers last year – when he received his vaccination.
Comedian and actor John Fugelsang tweeted: “Somebody please tell Eric Clapton that the hospital ICUs are filled with un-hypnotised people.”
Author Glen Macnow said: “Every time I see Eric Clapton trending, I cringe. When virologists and epidemiologists start playing a killer version of ‘Layla’, I’ll start listening to Clapton on science.”
The 76-year-old rocker previously claimed he suffered “disastrous” side effects allegedly due to the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying his hands and feet were “either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless” and he feared he “would never play [the guitar] again”.
In August last year, he was mocked over his anti-lockdown anthem “This Has Gotta Stop”, in which he railed against Covid-related restrictions.
The lyrics of the song go: “I can’t take this BS any longer / It’s gone far enough / You want to claim my soul, / you’ll have to come and break down this door.”