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Eric Clapton’s Future Plans: Quit the Road, Make a New Album

Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Eric Clapton isn’t backing away from talk of retiring from the road, though he has studio time booked for what will become his next album. The only question there is whether the guitarist will complete a second tribute project to his friend JJ Cale, or set about recording all-new material.

He may, in fact, do both. The problem, however, is that original songs don’t come as easy these days. “I’m just lazy,” Clapton tells Rolling Stone. “When I get to ‘What am I going to do for that bit?,’ I stop and turn on the TV. I’m easily distracted. What I’ve done a lot is written songs, then forgotten them. I put them down as a voice memo, on my phone, then I lose the memo.”

The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale‘ found him digging deeper into the discography of a composer who penned two of the former Yardbirds and Cream guitarist’s most recognizable solo hits, 1970’s ‘After Midnight‘ and 1977’s ‘Cocaine.’ Clapton and Cale also recorded an album together, 2006’s ‘Road to Escondido.’

Clapton says he ended up with several leftover tracks through the process of constructing ‘The Breeze,’ some of which were originally unpublished. “I have some time in August in the studio to complete that,” he says, “and maybe start recording self-penned stuff.”

As for mounting another major tour, or even another Crossroads Guitar Festival, Clapton is unwilling to commit. “I don’t want to work that hard, that much, anymore,” he admits. “‘The Breeze’ was a joy to do. I was planning to write and record another album for myself when JJ passed away. So that’s the next thing I would do. Next year, I might do a couple of shows and say, ‘Folks, that’s it, I’m off.’ Then I’ll see what I make of that, whether I’m content to just go into the studio now and then and play at home for the family.”

Next: Clapton's Best Solo Hits

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