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Phoebe Bridgers Disses Eric Clapton, Why?

Phoebe Bridgers Disses Eric Clapton

Phoebe Bridgers Disses Eric Clapton


A few days ago, Phoebe Bridgers found the need to explain a line of one of her songs, as if this had required any explanation. I am talking about the line in ‘Moon Song:’ ‘We hate ‘Tears in Heaven’/ But it’s sad that his baby died,’ which is obviously directed at Eric Clapton who wrote ‘Tears in Heaven’ when his son died in 1991. I know that most millennials were not even born yet, but I don’t find the line cryptic enough to require an explanation. On a side note, I am not a fan of singer-songwriters who explain their lyrics, it kills the mystery, not that there is ever any mystery with Bridgers’ lyrics in the first place.
She nevertheless explained it in a new interview with Double J:

‘I have such an Eric Clapton rant because I think it’s just extremely mediocre music, but also he’s a famous racist.’
‘Sometimes I think people are too problematic to be canceled, or not relevant enough to be canceled,’ she added. ‘I mean, it wouldn’t even make news if he said something racist today, because he went on a racist rant in the 60s or 70s that was very famous.’
‘The lyric used to be, ‘we hate Eric ClaptonThe lyric used to be, ‘we hate Eric Clapton’. It’s actually kind of worse now. Because it’s the dead baby song, which is a heartbreaking song. If I were to pick an Eric Clapton song, it’s up there with the ones that I actually like. So, it’s kind of a lie on the record, but it sounds more poetic.’

Let’s unfold this. I am certainly not a fan of Clapton and I know about his 1976 racist rant, but for some reason, this out-of-the-blue attack doesn’t sit well with me. First of all, I agree that Clapton hasn’t been relevant for a while so why suddenly attacking him unless you want the boomers to google your name? Then Phoebe confuses 2 things like a good millennial she is, she seems to hate his music (it’s fine but it’s irrelevant) then she hates the guy because he is a racist, but then she admits she kind of likes the song she namechecks in her song. What a mess. It sounds that she mostly hates the music because she hates the guy, and this truly sums up what is wrong with this generation.

Plus, she seems to ignore that Clapton apologized, admitted to have had drug and alcohol addiction, and has also demonstrated some growth and change with this declaration ‘I was so ashamed of who I was, a kind of semi-racist, which didn’t make sense. Half of my friends were black, I dated a black woman, and I championed black music.’ This is probably ignored because not judged sincere enough or whatever… redemption is not in the millennial agenda, once condemned and labeled, it’s over.

But does Bridgers know about Clapton and BB King’s long friendship? Does she know that BB King said about Clapton: ‘But he’s like my girlfriend—he can persuade me to do anything he wants?’ Does she know that Clapton admired Jimi Hendrix and the two men became friends?

The most curious declaration comes from this other interview with UPROXX, where she declared when talking about Clapton’s catalog, ‘It’s just so fucking white.’ Didn’t Clapton play a lot of blues, so basically Black music? She could have accused him to whitewash Black music but this isn’t even what she is saying there… And it is a curious statement coming from someone who plays very white music, indie folk white but definitively white. What the hell was she talking about?

Bridgers’ anti-Clapton rant sounded quite arrogant, she has been on the scene for 2 minutes and disses a veteran musician she has never met based on the selected reading she has done about him. Clapton’s long career and numerous recording sessions are a testimony, even though I find him boring and have never been a fan, her rant was completely uncalled. It was as if she was asking for attention from a crowd that doesn’t even know she exists. She could have stopped at the lyrics of the song but explaining at great length, in several interviews, how much she hates Clapton sounded very calculated to me. But it would not be the first time Phoebe Bridgers tries to build her career out of someone else’s fame.


  1. Marc on September 20, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    Your statement nailed the thing completely.

  2. Blake on December 5, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    This is so poorly done and you make such stupid points that I feel wrong even calling them points. You clearly have a very subjective and irrational hatred of Bridgers, so you fished for whatever you could to complain about. And saying things like “this is what’s wrong with this generation” is what’s wrong with this generation. Practice a little self-reflection and stop being an anachronistic blogging internet nerd

    • Beau on December 28, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      Is this like snowflake inception? Should I continue and lay into your silly rant?

  3. Trelly Shazwan on December 7, 2020 at 3:47 am

    “He apologised and admitted to have had drug and alcohol addiction” oh yeah we’ve all been there, you have a few drinks and then suddenly you go on a several minutes-long hateful rant featuring the worst slurs possible! No biggie!

    Absolute bullshit. You don’t say that sort of stuff if you don’t believe it. Defending it is almost as bad. Urgh.

    • Dweeb on December 20, 2020 at 11:39 am

      Trelly, SHUT UP! I don’t like Clapton but wake up and look at the reality around you.

  4. Eric on December 18, 2020 at 2:04 am

    You seem like a moron.

  5. tom on December 18, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    phoebe is an idiot and her music is ridiculously boring, not fit for an elevator let alone a coffee shop

    • MartyD on February 9, 2021 at 1:12 am

      Great comments. I only first heard Phoebe on SNL and thought she sounded like a talentless grade schooler. Dissing Clapton, a white British blues singer and guitarist extraordinaire who practically revivedthereabouts genre in the US makes the grade schooler comment even more relevant. He was young, rich, a coke addict, made mistakes and apologized profusely. It’s not surprising she hates his music. She’s incapable of recognizing legendary talent.

  6. aidan ra on December 26, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    this whole post is so out of touch. very anti phoebe bridgers with such weak points for it. you sound like the classic person to blame millennials for all problems. grow up and realize how ridiculous you sound. instead of a critical and insightful look at the situation, this comes off as a weak defense of clapton’s racist comments and an unwarranted attack on bridgers.

  7. Lil Triping on December 29, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    who tf is phoebe, another dumb white girl wanting to cancel everyone that disagree with them? so inclusive…these new generation of singers is a shame

  8. Tome James on January 31, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Proving once again how stupid mellennials are.

    • emmy on September 10, 2021 at 10:02 am

      not to be that person but it’s spelled *millennials

      – sincerely, gen z phoebe bridgers fan

  9. WeakAFWhiteBlues on February 3, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Clapton is an old angry racist joke, and so are all of you defending him. God bless

    • Don Juan on February 9, 2021 at 2:58 pm

      Honey please. Judge not; so that thou shall not be judged. Shut up and play that broken axe. See if anyone is listening to you in thirty years. Love ya!

  10. phenomenalwomanthat'sme on February 5, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Looking at this comment section, I am happy to see I don’t have to be the first to make an objection. This is a deplorable excuse for an article. Not a single good point was made. You seemed to exemplify your own criticisms of Phoebe in your argumentation – letting your contempt for others get in the way of reason – except for the fact that she was actually on to something. She was right to call out that miserable POS for his hateful remarks. IDGAF if he took a horse tranquilizer that night, he has a pattern of propagating white British nationalism at the expense of people of color. And when you have a platform, you will be held accountable by the artists, such as Phoebe, who reject these notions as well as the rest of the world. You can’t use your hatred of millennials to excuse and defend repugnant behavior and it’s funny that you do so considering your method of attracting attention to your “music journalism career” is accusing Phoebe of voicing her opinions based on her dislike of a white supremacist, but your dislike is of a group of people. Rather embarrassing and quite overdone. And you can’t use the times to excuse Clapton either considering Marilyn Monroe and Bob Dylan managed to take stands against racism. Hate isn’t visceral, believe it or not. It can’t be produced by alcohol, unless these beliefs were already a routine part of his thinking, which Clapton proved in his repeated approval of the shamelessly racist Enoch Powell. Hate also impacts the people it reaches, whether that be the people of color alienated by it or the white people who imitate it. It is necessary to take a stance against Clapton when it means taking a stand against a culture in which anti-immigrant and anti-black thinking has been rendered normal. Your failure to rebuke it just shows where you stand. When we condemn and label these people, it is so that their legacy of hate dissipates, along with the fondness of our memory of them, which is why it makes sense that Phoebe hates her music along with him, similar to any fan of color in the crowd that night. And this “respect” he has for black artists is just a part of his career of exploiting black people for what he likes about them and disposing of this postured “respect”, once they don’t suit his white-washed world. As a black woman myself, if one of my friends tried to use me as a gateway to escaping accountability for hate speech, I would call BS! I suppose since Trump dated a black woman a while back that excuses all the harm he has caused. Clapton hasn’t even changed, as much as it might surprise you considering his lazy, half-baked apology. Just recently, he released a protest song, not against wrongful imprisonment or Western imperial pursuits, but lockdowns during a pandemic that disproportionately kills black people. He is disgusting and shameless about it. This is embarrassing, nonsensical, and needs to be taken down for your own and everyone else’s sake. Phoebe was right.

    • Jim on February 5, 2021 at 10:06 am

      You are disgusting and shameless and haven’t a clue what you are talking about you pathetic nitwit. Clapton apologized and the way he has lived his life demonstrates that he is not a racist. Bridgers is also a pathetic nobody trying to piggyback off the fame of a great and revered musician who has more talent in his little finger than she will ever achieve in her worthless talentless life. Shut up you revolting hysterical pos clown.

    • Jeff on February 27, 2021 at 5:33 am

      Wonderful response. Nuf said

    • Ton on April 18, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Ever heard of paragraphs?

  11. PbeisaC@nt on February 9, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    First of all, Clapton made the comment after witnessing a man sexually assault his wife back stage right before he got back on stage. Secondly, a complete talentless hack like Bridgers calling Clapton’s music white and boring is the epitome of irony. There isn’t much music that is as white and boring as hers.

  12. Jesus Christ on February 18, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    All of you people are wrong, both sides, as is the writter of the article, you’re all full of hate.

  13. Jeff on February 27, 2021 at 5:32 am

    Shitty attitude shitty article. I’ll never get that 15 minutes of my life back. ARGH.

  14. Iggy D on March 15, 2021 at 11:34 am

    She learnt three cords and knows how to play two only…. and think Eric Clapton music is boring? She also sings out of tune on live performances…. Grow up, take music classes….take voice lessons…..

  15. Lisa on April 20, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Phoebe Bridgers is another basic white girl who will be forgotten about in 2 years

  16. Debbie on April 25, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Phoebe who???

  17. Hendy hincks on April 30, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    I have just listened to your music …nothing new talent ..piggybacking on slagging off established artists is a lame route to being noticed …DISSAPEAR faster than you will anyway …

  18. Hendy hincks on April 30, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Listened to her music …nothing new talent …and piggybacking by slagging off established artists is pretty lame ..david Crosby has it right

  19. sheldon evans on May 3, 2021 at 4:01 am

    phoebe bridgers, vs eric clapton. phoebe bridgers wins in the looks category in my book, but eric clapton is who I would choose to listen to on a regular basis more 9/10. Bridgers taps into some deep part of my male psyche that makes me part mad and part lustful simultaneously. claptons music makes me feel sane. clapton probably said racist shit, who hasnt. the denial of racism breeds not only more racism, but more denial. America has a lot of racists.

    anti racism is like being pro non racism except its like a sine qo non of a non sequeter

  20. Keith on August 25, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    A millennial is anyone born between 1981 and 1996, so…

  21. Joey on April 25, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    When Eric Clapton went on his racist rant in 1976, he was already in his 30s. Way too old for it to be youthful ignorance. He was shouting National Front slogans – they’re a violent racist group who he admired. His racism was considered so far beyond the pale, his contemporaries started an annual music festival called Rock Against Racism to protest against it. The apology you quote was from 2018 and was prompted by the bad press he was getting when the rant resurfaced in a documentary.

    But at least he isn’t a millennial, a group you think is worse than racists.

  22. xxx on May 18, 2023 at 7:44 pm

    Bridgers is actually pretty smart, stirring up shit that happened over 40 years ago, insulting his music, disrespecting the dead brought her a lot of attention and it worked and is still working.

    • Alyson on May 19, 2023 at 12:04 pm

      Smart, probably, but also extremely calculated. She claims to be this sad, depressed, authentic and sensible singer-songwriter, but it’s plain BS!
      I know that everything is an act to a certain point, but this is dishonest to the core.

  23. Jimmy on December 28, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    Something wrong with this kid, something very very wrong . . . what has Eric Clapton ever done to her? She needs to focus on her own music, it’s awful.

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