Clapton Invited to Pyongyang

North Korea invites old Slowhand for landmark concert
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2008 11:41 AM CST
Clapton Invited to Pyongyang
Legendary musician Eric Clapton plays at the Cotton Bowl during the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival in this June 6, 2004 file photo, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, file)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Kim Jong Il is a diehard Elvis fan, but the Great Leader's son is seriously into Eric Clapton, which could be why North Korea has invited Old Slowhand to play a concert in Pyongyang. Though the New York Philharmonic performed there yesterday, a Clapton appearance  would mark the first time a Western pop music star had been involved in a cultural exchange with the regime that more often treats rock 'n' roll as "pollution."

“It's a good opportunity for the North Korean people to understand better Western music,” one Korean diplomat told E!. “Everyone knows who Clapton is.” Though some news reports said the 62-year-old guitarist had agreed in principle to a concert sometime in 2009, a Clapton spokesperson denied reports that he’d accepted the gig, which would be mirrored by a Korean State Symphony performance in London. (Read more Eric Clapton stories.)

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