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Hear An Eyewitness Account of Eric Clapton’s ‘Full-Tilt Racist’ 1976 Onstage Rant

New episode of Rolling Stone Music Now focuses on our new report on the dark side of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton performs at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California on November 24, 1976.

Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, senior writer David Browne discusses his recent blockbuster feature on Eric Clapton, which delved into the rock icon’s embrace of COVID-19 vaccine skepticism and his anti-immigration onstage rant in the Seventies — which was, by Clapton’s own description, “full-tilt racist.”

Plus, we play audio from Browne’s interview with Dave Wakeling, the English Beat’s guitarist and singer, who gives an in-depth account of his experience of hearing Clapton’s stage rants at a Birmingham concert in 1976. “We all have uncles that go Archie Bunker on us,” says Wakeling. “You just try and remember the good times.”

To hear the entire episode, press play above, or download and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out three years’ worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Neil Young, Alicia Keys, Phoebe Bridgers, the National, Ice Cube, Dua Lipa, Questlove, Killer Mike, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, John Legend, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Justin Townes Earle,  Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Eddie Van Halen, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr., and many more — plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates, and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast on SiriusXM’s Volume, channel 106.

From Rolling Stone US