Did Eric Clapton write 'Cocaine'? Donald Trump Jr jokes lead to singer's racism and song's history resurfacing
In a rant during a 1976 show, Clapton had said 'England is for white people, man' in an expletive-ridden tirade. It was the same year that 'Cocaine' had come out. But Clapton wasn't the one who wrote it
On Tuesday, January 19, Eric Clapton was trending on Twitter. His old racist rants had resurfaced again -- as they keep doing from time to time. In a rant during a 1976 show, Clapton had said, "The black w**s and c***s and Arabs and f***ing Jamaicans don’t belong here, we don’t want them here. This is England, this is a white country, we don’t want any black w**s and c***s living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome. England is for white people, man … This is Great Britain, a white country, what is happening to us, for f***’s sake? … Throw the w**s out! Keep Britain white!”
The 75-year-old British guitarist and singer-songwriter has indeed addressed his past comments. In a 2018 interview, Clapton called himself a “semi-racist” and reflected on his addictions in the mid-1970s which damaged his life, relationships, and career. He said in the interview, “I sabotaged everything I got involved with. 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.”
Many Twitter users called Clapton racist, sharing sections of the aforementioned rant. Many also pointed out the irony that "despite all of his reliance on black blues, it turns out he was a racist."
Eric Clapton is racist and his music is not very memorable in the first place. Here's what he said: pic.twitter.com/mXth16VbZW— Hunter Keegan :yin_yang: (@HHKeegan) January 19, 2021
Eric Clapton was a childhood hero. The Cream— Allan W. Gregory (@awg_allan) January 19, 2021
From what I have learnt since then, he is a zero.
Despite all of his reliance on black blues, it turns out he was a racist.
Makes me angry. Also makes me wonder how many others like him are out there.
Van Morrison I already know
The amazing thing about Eric Clapton being racist is that this guy made a living of playing blues music inspired by artists like Muddy Waters and BB King.— eNeRGy40 (@eNeRGy_40) January 19, 2021
But what made Eric Clapton trend?
A video of Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, where the former is wearing a stars-and-stripes jacket, is making the rounds. The two can be heard shouting, overzealously, “The best is yet to come.” Some Twitter users quoted lyrics from ‘Cocaine’ and shared the video as a joke. This is not the first time that the internet has speculated on Trump Jr.’s use of cocaine or other narcotic substances. Videos from the 2020 Republican National Convention and even others shared by Trump Jr. have time and again turned this into a running gag of sorts.
To this, a Twitter user wrote, “So sad that Eric Clapton is trending, apparently because of the very mockworthy stars and stripes sports coated pharmaceutical-grade hyperstimulated video of Jr and demon-woman. The song, Cocaine, was written by JJ Cale, not E.C.”
If your day is gone— Frank van Muiden (@frvamu) January 19, 2021
And you want to ride on
Don't forget this fact
You can't get it back
Eric Clapton https://t.co/fOW4Bv3vID
What can we even say about this? @kimguilfoyle and @DonaldJTrumpJr aren’t even an un-funny joke anymore, just never-been wastes of oxygen. #TrumpCrimeFamilyForPrison2021 #CocaineDonJr #wasteofoxygen https://t.co/IcYG7vVSJf— Waits & Co (@waitsandco) January 19, 2021
So sad that Eric Clapton is trending, apparently because of the very mockworthy stars and stripes sportscoated pharmaceutical grade hyperstimulated video of Jr and demon-woman. The song, Cocaine, was written by JJ Cale, not E.C.— Jon Scott (@jscottnh) January 19, 2021
This led to many figuring out that ‘Cocaine’, which appeared on his 1977 album ‘Slowhand’, was not Clapton’s original song. A Twitter user wrote, “It shouldn't be assumed that just because someone sang a song, that they wrote it. At least some people learned something new today.”
It shouldn't be assumed that just because someone sang a song, that they wrote it. At least some people learned something new today @JJCaleOfficial @EricClapton. Yes, JJ Cale wrote "Cocaine." #TheMoreYouKnow— Megs Of RAM (@megsofram) January 19, 2021
ah, the trajectory of conversation from cocaine to racism is neatly explained here in this trending Eric Clapton item pic.twitter.com/WtS7e8nAvz— Pete Catapano (@pcatapano) January 19, 2021
Yes, Eric Clapton, did not write the song "Cocaine", it, like "After Midnight" was written by JJ Cale, who Clapton stole his entire 70's persona from, similar to basing his 60's persona on black American blues musicians which still manages to fool boomer audiences to this day.— AltandCatchFire (@BalzacHangman) January 19, 2021
The song ‘Cocaine’ and J.J. Cale
‘Cocaine’ was written and recorded in 1976 by singer-songwriter J. J. Cale. But the talented singer-songwriter was a publicity-shy man. A self-taught guitarist, Cale first heard Eric Clapton on the radio singing ‘After Midnight’ in 1970 -- a song he had written and released four years earlier. “I couldn’t give that record away,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1988. “It stiffed so bad.”
But Clapton has over the years given Cale a lot of credit for his music. In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton called him “one of the most important artists in the history of rock, quietly representing the greatest asset his country has ever had.” In 2008, he and Clapton won a Grammy for their album ‘The Road to Escondido’.
In fact, Clapton is not the only musician who has covered Cale. Waylon Jennings covered ‘Louisiana Women’, Carlos Santana played ‘Sensitive Kind’ and Randy Crawford has played ‘Cajun Moon’. In 2009, Cale said in an interview that three of his songs, ‘After Midnight’ and ‘Cocaine’ and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s cover of ‘Call Me the Breeze’ provided about 80 percent of his income.
Cale died in July 2013 from a heart attack.