Eric Clapton has just announced four North American shows for New York City and Los Angeles, which will mark his only gigs on the continent for 2017. The concerts are set for March 19th and 20 at New York's Madison Square Garden, and March 25th and 26th at L.A.'s The Forum. According to the announcement, "The shows will be a celebration of 50 years in music and just as many decades performing at these two legendary venues. Legendary guitar players Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan will be special guests at the shows." Clapton will be backed by such veteran sidemen as drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Nathan East, keyboardists Walt Richmond and Chris Stainton -- along with longtime backing vocalists Sharon White and Michelle John. While celebrating his 70th birthday last year with a few UK concerts, Clapton wrote an impassioned note in the tour program that began, "I swear this is it, no more. . . I know I've been threatening retirement for the last 50 years, but I didn't think I'd ever really want to stop. I love what I do and always have done, but over the last few decades I've found what I was always really looking for, a loving family who love me just the way I am, which means I can relax and rest when I need to, and more and more I treasure the beauty of that. Hopefully, I might be able to remember and breathe some life into this old stuff. . . in truth believe me, with these great guys to play with, I'll be having the time of my life!"
- Bassist Nathan East has recorded and toured with Clapton off and on since "Slowhand's" 1986 August album. He reflected on the qualities that make his old pal such a unique artist: "Eric is just a one-of-a-kind. There’s Eric and then there’s every other musician (laughs). Everything he touches seems to turn to gold, y'know? He has a beautiful voice and I’ve never met anyone who plays with such passion. Music is such an expression of passion and all the things that have happened to you and whatever -- and Lord knows he’s been through a lot in his life -- but the way it flows through him musically is like something I’ve never ever seen." :
- March 19, 20 - New York. NY - Madison Square Garden
March 25, 26 - Los Angeles, CA - The Forum
- May 22, 24, 25 - London, England - Royal Albert Hall