Eric Clapton to turn 70 with New York shows

Eric Clapton to turn 70 with New York shows
Guitar legend Eric Clapton is planning to celebrate turning 70 by playing two concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Guitar legend Eric Clapton is planning to celebrate turning 70 by playing two concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Clapton on Thursday announced the shows for May 1-2, which would come two weeks ahead of a previously announced residency of six sold-out concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall, also timed for his birthday.

Clapton and his former band Cream in 1968 inaugurated the modern version of Madison Square Garden, built after developers knocked down parts of historic Pennsylvania Station in Midtown Manhattan.

The latest shows would take to 47 the number of times Clapton played at the 20,000-capacity arena, one of the most prestigious venues for big-ticket artists.

The English guitarist's birthday is March 30. With the shows, Clapton joins the growing club of still-active septuagenarian rockers who include the Rolling Stones, surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and Paul Simon.

Clapton, hailed for his guitar style that merges rock with elements of the blues and psychedelia, last year went on a selective tour that included shows in Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

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