Eric Clapton Now Struggles to Play Guitar

71-year-old guitar legend has nerve damage
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2016 1:55 AM CDT
Updated Jun 13, 2016 3:03 AM CDT
Eric Clapton Now Struggles to Play Guitar
This CD cover image shows "I Still Do," the latest release by Eric Clapton.   (Bushbranch Records/Surfdog Records via AP)

A tough break for Eric Clapton: The 71-year-old guitar legend says he now struggles to play at all because of nerve damage. "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 tells Ultimate Classic Rock. It's "hard work to play the guitar, and I've had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve," says Clapton, who recently released I Still Do, his 23rd solo album. His touring days might be finished, but Clapton says he's lucky just to be here. "Because I'm in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all," he says. "By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago. For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance." (More Eric Clapton stories.)

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