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That Time Eric Clapton’s Driving License Was Suspended


Slowhand, lead foot.

Eric Clapton‘s fondness for sports cars has cost him quite a bit of money over the years. The cars themselves have been pretty pricey (including a custom Ferrari with a price tag close to $5 million), but so have the fines he’s had to fork over for speeding — including the one handed down by a British magistrate on April 2, 1990.

Any speeding ticket is chump change for rock royalty, but the ruling really hit Clapton where it hurt, revoking his driving privileges for three months. If that seems a little harsh, it’s probably worth noting that he was already a repeat offender; Clapton’s need for speed had landed him in court just a little more than two years before this incident.

In January 1988, he faced a magistrate after blowing past a police car in his Ferrari at 111 miles per hour, losing his license for six weeks and being hit with a $220 fine due to his “poor driving record” and flimsy excuse for speeding (his lawyer claimed he was “hurrying to a charity cricket match”).

Fortunately for Clapton, he was on tour when the 1990 suspension was handed down, and presumably already had a ride waiting for him to his April 2 gig at Madison Square Garden. And while he managed to stay out of trouble for a while, he still has a weakness for putting the pedal to the metal: Clapton again ran afoul of the law in October 2004, when French police fined him nearly $1,000 and suspended his license after clocking him going 134MPH.

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