Musician Eric Clapton performs at The Forum on September 18, 2017

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Eric Clapton Fears for Young Musicians After Avicii’s Death

November 26, 2018

Eric Clapton said the death of DJ and producer Avicii, who took his own life at the age of 28, left him in fear for young musicians who receive no help with dealing with their lifestyle.

In a statement after the Swedish artist’s death, his family said he had suffered “extreme stress” and was “not made for the machinery he ended up in.” By way of a tribute, Clapton recorded a version of “Jingle Bells” in a house music style for his Christmas album Happy Xmas, which was released last month. The track was subtitled “In Memory of Avicii.”

“I wanted a house track. I was inspired by Avicii,” Slowhand said in a new promotional interview. “Terrible that he would die so young… That makes me worry about the current generation of musicians. They’re gonna get swept away with different substances or lifestyles, with no real guidance.”

He also explained that he hadn’t set out to record a holiday LP. “Before this became a Christmas album there was still an intention of doing a straight, normal studio album, with no deadline,” he said. “We were working on something that had no real shape; we’d just collate material until we had enough to put out and album. And then it started to morph into the Christmas theme.”

He added that he’d been inspired to create the cover artwork himself when he recalled his reaction to Bob Dylan’s sleeve painting for the Band’s Music From Big Pink in 1968. “This is such great art,” Clapton said. “We know now that Dylan is a fantastic artist, a great painter and sculptor. And I was inspired by that to do this, and I did it on a piece of hotel stationery.”