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Eric Clapton says he's going deaf and 'it's amazing to myself I'm still here'

Eric Clapton, seen performing at the Forum in September 2017, opened up about his health in a new BBC interview. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Eric Clapton, seen performing at the Forum in September 2017, opened up about his health in a new BBC interview. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Rock legend Eric Clapton has admitted that he’s struggling with hearing loss, according to a new interview with the BBC.

Clapton said that the issue is one of several maladies he’s dealing with as he continues to tour into his 70s.

“I mean, I'm going deaf, I've got tinnitus, my hands just about work,” he said. “I'm hoping that people will come along and see me just because, or maybe more than because, I'm a curiosity. I know that is part of it, because it's amazing to myself I'm still here.”

Though the guitarist, 72, still sounded as sharp as ever on his 2016 album “I Still Do,” he has said that eczema, among other challenges, have made it more difficult to perform at his best.

The Times’ Mikael Wood said of Clapton’s September show at the Forum: “Beyond those pragmatic concerns, though, he seemed almost blissfully undriven as he moved through a set meant to encapsulate his half-century in music .… Clapton seemed to reach some kind of zen state that rendered his ambitions and his calculations irrelevant; he was playing because playing is what he does.”

In a new documentary, “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars,” Clapton also recalls his decades-long battle with alcohol abuse. He told the BBC that the movie shows that “there's light at the end of the tunnel .… I think it's important to see that it's a happy ending, it's like a redemption concept. If you're going to go and see it, be prepared for a heavy ride."

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