Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Eric Clapton Poor Choices of Collaborators: New Song from Anti-Vaxxer, Old Song from Mother Killer

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Eric Clapton’s new song, due on Friday, is written by a virulent opponent of vaccines. Robin Monotti is famous in the UK for waging a campaign against science, protesting vaccines, masks, and anything else mandated for public health.

Monotti, essentially,is crazy.

The song is called “Heart of a Child.” We don’t know the lyrics yet, but they have been preceded by one Clapton song against the lockdown and another against vaccines. So we can imagine what these will be.

Clapton has a history of poor choices of collaborators. Jim Gordon is the credited composer of the beautiful piano instrumental at the end of Clapton’s signature hit, “Layla,” from 1970. In 1983, Gordon brutally killed his mother and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. (Rita Coolidge claimed later that Gordon and Clapton stole the piece from her. I believe her.)

Last week, Clapton — accused of racism in various forums and already labeled a dangerous crank for his stand on COVID, etc — won a lawsuit against a fan in a German court. He sued a woman for $11 for allegedly bootlegging a CD. According to many reports, the CD was probably legal anyway.

It’s interesting watching the tide of public opinion turn against Clapton. For decades the story of “Layla” had seemed romantic and kind of daring. Clapton was having an affair with Patti Boyd Harrison, wife of George Harrison, and this was his “code” song to her. George and Patti divorced, Patti and Eric married, and eventually they divorced. The whole triangle was documented by Boyd in a book much later on.

In hindsight, Clapton’s behavior during this period is no longer considered romantic. He coveted his best friend’s wife and stole her away in a long campaign. Once he “had” Boyd, as she recalls in the book, he was an abusive drunk and drug addict. He took advantage of Harrison from the beginning of their friendship in the late 60s, making the spiritual and forgiving Beatle an unwitting co-dependent. The romanticism has turned to villainy.

Clapton is Public Enemy Number 1 in the rock world now. All the goodwill he built up from Cream, Derek and the Dominoes, even the accidental death of his 5 year leading to “Tears from Heaven,” has been squandered. As he prepares to back Monotti with this new single, Clapton’s writing the last chapters of his legacy into the ground.

Of course, he could have Alzheimer’s. Or maybe a brain tumor pressing on his cerebellum. Those explanations are waiting in the wings.

Monotti’s Instagram is full of crazy stuff. Start with this video he’s posted.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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