There's a part in the Eric Clapton vs Jimi Hendrix chapter of Steven Hyden's new book on music rivalries, Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me -- which, by the way, is a great holiday gift for the music nerd in your life -- where Hyden suggests, "Clapton's steadiness makes Hendrix's life appear all the more incredible, while Hendrix's volcanic recklessness makes Clapton seem all the more safe." Like in every chapter of the book, Hyden isn't trying to get you to pick a side, but it reminds you that, for a minute there, Hendrix and Clapton were kinda on an equal playing field. So many bad memories of "Wonderful Tonight" makes you forget how your blood rushed the first time you heard Cream.

Considering 2016 has been a bittersweet reminder that the first generation of rockers are mortal -- and that their legacy is something to celebrate, not turn our noses up at — you may want to celebrate Clapton’s legacy while you still can too. He’ll play just four North American shows in 2017, and says "I swear this is it, no more."

He'll hit NYC's Madison Square Garden on March 19 and 20, and LA's Forum on March 25 and 26. His band for these shows will be Walt Richmond, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, Chris Stainton, Sharon White and Michelle John. Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan will be special guests at all shows. Tickets go on Chase presale Thursday (12/1) at noon EST and tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday (12/3) at 10 AM local time.

Clapton, who turned 70 last year, offered up the following note about the shows:

I swear this is it, no more…..I know I've been threatening retirement for the last fifty years, but I didn't think I'd ever really want to stop. I love what I do and always have done, but over the last few decades I've found what I was always really looking for, a loving family who love me just the way I am, which means I can relax and rest when I need to, and more and more I treasure the beauty of that.... Hopefully, I might be able to remember and breathe some life into this old stuff…. in truth believe me, with these great guys to play with, I'll be having the time of my life!

Revisit some old classics:

Eric Clapton -- 2017 Tour Dates
Sunday, March 19 New York Madison Square Garden
Monday, March 20 New York Madison Square Garden
Saturday, March 25 Los Angeles The Forum
Sunday, March 26 Los Angeles The Forum