AceShowbiz - Eric Clapton's famous friends are deserting him in droves over his anti-vaccination stance, according to the guitar great himself.
The "Layla" hitmaker has been hitting headlines for his support of fellow anti-vaxxer Van Morrison, and recently questioned the benefit of the coronavirus jab after experiencing "disastrous" reactions to the AstraZeneca vaccine - and now some of his longtime pals are giving him the cold shoulder.
"I've tried to reach out to fellow musicians," he tells YouTube free-speech channel Oracle Films. "I just don't hear from them anymore. My phone doesn't ring very often. I don't get that many texts and emails any more. It's quite noticeable."
Clapton says he feels "ostracized."
Opening up about his own vaccination experience, Eric adds, "I feared I would never play (the guitar) again. I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle. But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone."
Besides having reservations against vaccine, Eric Clapton opposed COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Last year, he teamed up with Van Morrison to release a protest single called "Stand and Deliver".
The two also faced criticisms but Morrison cited "freedom of speech."
"Poetic licence, freedom of speech... these used to be OK. Why not now? I don't understand it. Some people call it a cult. It is like a religion. Whether anyone agrees with me or not is irrelevant."
"Just as there should be freedom of the press, there should be freedom of speech, and at the minute it feels like that is not in the framework," he grumbled. "If you do songs that are an expression of freedom of speech you get a very negative reaction."