Finally someone with the sense to tell it like it is:
Clapton raps rockers for political meddling
Edmonton Journal, August 25, 2005
He's had rocky relationships with U2 frontman Bono and Live 8 organizer Sir Bob Geldof, but Prime Minister Paul Martin can at least claim Eric Clapton as a celebrity defender.
In excerpts from an interview with the German magazine Stern, the legendary guitar rocker takes shots at both Bono and Geldof for acting more like politicians than musicians.
He specifically criticizes Geldof's actions earlier this summer when he told Martin to increase Canada's budget for foreign aid or stay out of the Live 8 limelight.
"What gives him the right to do that?" Clapton, of Lay Down Sally and Tears in Heaven fame, told Stern. "I ask myself, if musicians should conduct themselves like politicians? They are only musicians. Where do they get the right to talk like that?"
Martin, who has learned that rock 'n' roll, like politics, is a vicious game, will likely welcome Clapton's comments after Bono recently threaten to "kick his butt" and Geldof told him to "stay home" from the G-8 summit in Scotland unless he was prepared to boost Canada's commitment to help developing countries.
Stern's complete interview with the 60-year-old Clapton is to be published today, but snippets posted Wednesday on the magazine's German-language website, and quickly reported around the world, highlighted his impatience with celebrities, such as Geldof, using their fame to push political causes.
"Does he really want to be this political leader, as he makes himself out to be?" Clapton says of Geldof, who shot from minor fame as lead singer of the Irish band Boomtown Rats to global acclaim and a knighthood as leader of the anti-famine Band Aid movement in the 1980s.
In a recent interview about his new album Back Home, Clapton said: "This album had to be about the family because what else in my life could I sing about? I don't have any interest in politics."