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Clapton to hold rehab benefit

AP PhotoB.B. King, left, jokes around with Eric Clapton during a jam session at the Cotton Bowl at the first Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival, on, June 6, 2004, in Dallas. The 2007 Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, scheduled July 28 in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, Ill., will benefit Crossroads Centre, the drug-rehab facility he founded in Antigua a decade ago.
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LOS ANGELES ” Eric Clapton is having a jam session with more than a dozen of his favorite guitar-playing pals, and everyone is invited.

Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, scheduled July 28 in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, will benefit Crossroads Centre, the drug-rehab facility he founded in Antigua a decade ago. Tickets go on sale Saturday.

Scheduled performers include B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Jeff Beck and John Mayer, among others ” and Clapton is already excited about spontaneous collaborations.

“Some of it’s mapped and some of it isn’t,” he said Wednesday by phone from Winnipeg, Canada, where he is on tour. “We have to leave a little bit of it to chance.”

This will be the second concert Clapton has held to raise funds for the Caribbean rehab facility, which now includes a halfway house and community-education program. The first concert was in Dallas in 2004.

Many performers plan to return ” “A great testament to how much everybody loves Eric Clapton,” said Gill, who played at the first Crossroads fest.

Establishing the rehab center fulfilled a personal dream, Clapton said.

“I haven’t had a drink or drug for quite a long time and it’s changed my life completely. That’s something I want to pass on and share with other people,” he said.

Clapton said clinics such as Crossroads are “very necessary.”

“I think it’s suffered a little bit in some of the recent publicity with the celebrities who go there,” he said. “It’s a bit of a witch hunt going on in some of the news channels about rehabs in general. It’s a little scary because … the last thing we want is to lose any of the rehabs.”

The 62-year-old guitarist is set to wrap up his world tour in April and “have a little break in England” with his family before the Crossroads concert.

“Then I’m going to disappear for a year or two,” he said, “and have some fun.”

Crossroads: http://crossroadsantigua.org/

Eric Clapton: http://www.ericclapton.com/


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