Brian May reacts to Eric Clapton's anti-vax views: "He’s my hero, but he has very different views from me in many ways"

Brian May and Eric Clapton
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen / Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Brian May has offered his view on Eric Clapton’s controversial stance on the coronavirus vaccine, and has labeled “anti-vax people” as “fruitcakes”.

While discussing the subject with the Independent (opens in new tab), Queen’s iconic electric guitar player was quizzed about the views of vaccine skeptics Ian Brown and Eric Clapton – the latter of whom recently announced he will not play gigs at venues that require proof of vaccination.

In response to the announcement, May mused, “I love Eric Clapton, he’s my hero, but he has very different views from me in many ways. 

“He's a person who thinks it’s OK to shoot animals for fun,” he continued, “so we have our disagreements, but I would never stop respecting the man. Anti-vax people, I’m sorry, I think they’re fruitcakes. 

“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 an initial statement, Eric Clapton wrote, “Following the PM’s announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021, I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own.

“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.”

Prior to announcing his refusal to play at venues that require proof of vaccination, Clapton previously teamed up with fellow vaccine skeptic Van Morrison for the anti-lockdown track, Stand and Deliver.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.