QUEEN's Brian May has commented on Eric Clapton's recent announcement that he will no longer perform at any venues that require attendees to show proof of vaccination. The announcement came after U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson's mandate that "vaccine passports" be required for entrance into nightclubs and venues by the end of September.
"I love Eric Clapton, he's my hero, but he has very different views from me in many ways," Brian told Independent. "He's a person who thinks it's okay to shoot animals for fun, so we have our disagreements, but I would never stop respecting the man.
"Anti-vax people, I'm sorry, I think they're fruitcakes," May continued. "There's plenty of evidence to show that vaccination helps. On the whole they've been very safe. There's always going to be some side effect in any drug you take, but to go around saying vaccines are a plot to kill you, I'm sorry, that goes in the fruitcake jar for me."
In Clapton's statement, he said that he would refuse to play at "any stage where there is a discriminated audience present."
"Following the PM's announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021 I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own," Clapton said. "I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present. Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show."
Clapton previously criticized the lockdowns instituted around the world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and stoked fear and conspiracy theories after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Clapton recounted his negative experience with the AstraZeneca shot, suggesting the side effects had been so "severe" that he was afraid that he would "never play again." He also said he was inspired by another musician-turned-anti-vaccine activist, Van Morrison.