LONDON • Guitar legend Eric Clapton said nerve problems are making it increasingly harder for him to play the instrument which made him famous.
He told Britain's Classic Rock magazine in a recent interview: "I've had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy - which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg.
"(It's) hard work to play the guitar and I've had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve," he said in excerpts on the magazine's website.
But he said: "Because I'm in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all.
"By right, I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago. For some reason, I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance."
In 2013, he cancelled several tour dates because of back pain, said the BBC.
Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the body's hands, feet and arms are damaged. Clapton, 71, is promoting his new 23rd studio album, I Still Do.
The interview appears in the issue of the magazine out this week.