Music | October 12, 2021 11:18 am

Eric Clapton Donated Money and a Van to an Anti-Vax Group

The musician isn't just spreading harmful misinformation; he's funding it

Eric Clapton on stage during The Fashion Awards 2019 held at Royal Albert Hall on December 02, 2019 in London, England.
Eric Clapton during The Fashion Awards 2019 held at Royal Albert Hall on December 02, 2019 in London.
Lia Toby/BFC/Getty Images

Eric Clapton hasn’t been shy about voicing his anti-vax and anti-mask opinions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it turns out his commitment to the issue extends beyond words. According to a new Rolling Stone report, Clapton has donated money and a van to an anti-vax group in the U.K.

Jam for Freedom is a group of U.K. musicians that, according to the publication, “plays for free in public spaces, spreading the anti-lockdown word and sometimes singing songs with lyrics like ‘You can stick your poison vaccine up your arse.’” Founder Cambel McLaughlin started a GoFundMe page to raise money for transportation, gas and legal fees, and he received a £1,000 (or roughly $1,300) donation from Clapton.

“I’m, like, this could be fake,” McLaughlin told Rolling Stone. Sadly, it wasn’t; after he emailed the account listed with the donation, he received a text from the legendary guitar player.

“It was something complimentary, along the lines of, ‘Hey, it’s Eric — great work you’re doing,’ ” he said. Eventually they connected via phone, and Clapton reportedly lent the group his white, six-person VW Transporter van. He later gave them the money to purchase a new van of their own.

Of course, the COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be safe and effective, and groups like Jam for Freedom are spreading harmful misinformation that threatens public health. But in the eyes of Clapton, they’re apparently carrying on the countercultural spirit of the ’60s. “He said we’re essentially doing what he and his contemporaries in the Sixties did, which was embracing freedom, getting out of government control and societal control,” McLaughlin said. “He’s told us repeatedly, ‘This is like what we did.’ ”