Music | October 28, 2021 11:15 am

Billy Joel Says Eric Clapton’s Anti-Vax Views Are a “Total Shock”

Joel was asked about Clapton's vaccine stance during a recent appearance on "Howard Stern"

Billy Joel performs on the Germania Insurance Super Stage during the Formula 1 USGP at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
Billy Joel performs during the Formula 1 USGP at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
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Throughout the course of the pandemic, we’ve all had to grapple with Eric Clapton’s anti-mask, anti-vax and anti-lockdown beliefs. Many of the classic rock icon’s contemporaries have weighed in on the issue, including Queen’s Brian May, who said last summer that he thinks anti-vaxxers are “fruitcakes” and that Clapton “has very different views from me in many ways.” Now another legendary musician has joined those taking Clapton to task when Billy Joel was asked about the guitarist’s vaccine stance during a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show.

The topic of Clapton came up while Stern and Joel were discussing Cream, praising the band but pointing out Clapton’s problematic views.

“Clapton is like one of my heroes, but he got weird with the pandemic,” Stern said. “Did you read about him? He was like one of the guys who was anti-vax?”

“Yeah, it was a total shock to me,” Joel responded. “I didn’t know what his politics were, but it’s not pleasant.”

Of course, it shouldn’t be shocking; Clapton’s been showing us who he is since the ’70s, when he went on a racist rant that included several slurs along with his wish to “Keep Britain white.” His unpleasantness has been well-documented for decades now. (It should be noted that Clapton himself has been vaccinated against COVID-19.)

Outside of Clapton, Joel and Stern also discussed the possibility of Joel following in the footsteps of the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and other musicians of a certain age by cashing out and selling the publishing rights to his song catalog.

“If someone came to me with a billion dollars, what am I gonna say, no?” Joel said. “I’m from Levittown.”