Eric Clapton said the pandemic damaged the lives of many people in rehab programs, leading to some abandoning their treatment and others dying.

He reflected on the damage done to patients at treatment centers like his Crossroads establishment, which is partly funded by his Crossroads Guitar Festival. The annual shows couldn’t take place during COVID lockdowns, but this year’s event – starring ZZ Top, Buddy Guy, Stephen Stills, Santana and Joe Bonamassa – runs Sept. 23-24 at the Arena in Los Angeles.

“For people that wanted to get well from alcohol or drugs or anything, it was a tough time, because the normal network of AA meetings was pretty much off limits,” Clapton said in a new Instagram video. “Some of them were shut down completely, and some kept going in a skeletal fashion. But the treatment centers were really badly hit because people couldn’t travel; [and some] were very fearful of going out.”

You can watch the clip below.

As a result, Clapton said, some “locked themselves voluntarily down,” noting that “a lot of people, and I think a lot of the community that I know, either died or dropped off or stopped going to meetings, as it was just too risky.” With the festival once more providing financial support to the Crossroads Center in Antigua, Clapton said his legacy consisted of “those three things … my family and the treatment center and music.

"They all come together because my wife’s become very involved in a turn-up for recovery, which is a kind of amalgamation. … Yes, that’s my legacy.”

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Reunions, farewells and long-awaited shows are on the horizon.