Eric Clapton Books UK Dates, London Residency

Eric Clapton will head out on a tour of the U.K. next spring in celebration of the 50 years he has spent playing guitar for a living. The tour includes a five-night residency in London.

The tour is set to kick off May 13 at the LG Arena in Birmingham, followed by a concert at the Arena in Manchester on the 14th. After that, Clapton will take up his London residency at the Royal Albert Hall and perform May 17-18, 20-21 and 23. There has been no official word yet as to whether more dates will be added to the British run.

The shows are expected to be a celebration of the guitarist’s long and storied career, which includes stints in the Yardbirds, Cream, Derek & the Dominos, Blind Faith and more in addition to his solo career. Clapton is the only person ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times. He has been inducted as a solo artist as well as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream.

Word from Clapton’s camp indicates that his lack of extensive touring this year is due to time spent in the recording studio, and that a new album is set to be released next year, as well. Expect more on this news in the future.

Other Clapton news focuses around his interest in visual art rather than rock and roll. Next month, he will sell an abstract painting by German artist Gerhard Richter at Sotheby’s. The painting is expected to bring between $14-19 million. The best-selling Richter to date sold for $21.8 million this May.

Richter, who is still living at age 80, has called the art market “daft,” “absurd” and “impossible to understand,” according to Reuters. Clapton bought the painting he is attempting to sell along with three others in 2001. Total cost for all three: $3.4 million.