Eric Clapton thinks he can change the world — or at least the world’s perception of COVID-19 vaccines. The 76-year-old rocker — who has repeatedly railed against the vaccines and associated mandates in recent months — has now helped bankroll an anti-vax band, Rolling Stone reported.
According to the publication, Clapton donated £1,000 (USD $1,360) to British rockers Jam For Freedom through a GoFundMe set up to help pay for legal fees they acquired after “breaching COVID regulations” at a gig.
Jam For Freedom has been playing shows across the UK in recent months, blasting the COVID shots in their songs. One of their tracks features the lyric: “You can stick your poison vaccine up your a–e.”
Jam For Freedom’s founding member, Cambel McLaughlin, 27, told Rolling Stone he thought he was being pranked when he saw the money come through from Clapton, so he sent an email to an account associated with the donation.
“I’m like, ‘This could be fake,’” McLaughlin told the publication, before revealing that he subsequently received a text from the “Wonderful Tonight” singer.
“It was something complimentary, along the lines of, ‘Hey, it’s Eric — great work you’re doing.’”
The pair later spoke over the phone, and Clapton purportedly agreed to lend Jam For Freedom a six-person VW Transporter van so that they could drive around to gigs.
According to McLaughlin, Clapton later gave the rebellious rockers “a chunk of money” to buy their own van outright.
Jam For Freedom’s Instagram account features a photo of Clapton cozying up to McLaughlin, who captioned the snap: “THANK YOU @ericclapton for lending us your bus to continue our tour🙏 We WILL continue your legacy of live music!”
Clapton has not yet publicly responded to McLaughlin’s story to confirm whether it is accurate.
However, in recent months, the “Layla” crooner has been hitting headlines for publicly criticizing the coronavirus vaccine. Back in May, Clapton claimed he suffered a “disastrous” reaction to the AstraZeneca jab.
“My hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again,” he wrote in a letter to anti-lockdown activist.
Clapton added that he “should’ve never gone near the needle” due to his “peripheral neuropathy,” but “propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone.
“I continue to tread the path of passive rebellion and try to tow the line in order to be able to actively love my family, but it’s hard to bite my tongue with what I now know,” he continued.
Since that time. Clapton has become even more outspoken against vaccines. In July, he publicly announced his refusal to perform in any venues that require guests to have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
However, it was revealed last month that Clapton did a show at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center, where — in accordance with city regulations — all staff and attendees over the age of 12 are required to show proof of at least their first COVID-19 vaccine shot or be able to present a negative coronavirus test taken in the past 72 hours,