WATCH: Eric Clapton Play Scorching Cover of Prince’s Purple Rain in London

Image: Randy Miramontez /

Eric Clapton kicked off his three-night stand on Monday night at London’s Royal Albert Hall with a killer set that included a rare electric version of “Layla” and a beautiful set-closing performance of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

It’s the first time that Clapton has played a Prince cover. He didn’t give any indication of why he decided to play “Purple Rain”, but shortly after Prince passed away in April 2016, the guitarist wrote a heartfelt tribute  on Facebook. “I’m so sad about the death of Prince, he was a true genius, and a huge inspiration for me, in a very real way. In the the eighties, I was out on the road in a massive downward spiral with drink and drugs, I saw Purple Rain in a cinema in Canada, I had no idea who he was, it was like a bolt of lightning! In the middle of my depression, and the dreadful state of the music culture at that time it gave me hope, he was like a light in the darkness.”