Extending his longtime love affair with North Texas, Eric Clapton will kick off his U.S. tour on Sept. 13 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.

Over the years, the 76-year-old singer-guitarist has started many of his U.S. tours in Dallas. And in 2004, he staged the massive two-day Crossroads Guitar Festival at Fair Park.

“I just love Texas and the climate. You really feel at home there,” Clapton told The Dallas Morning News at the time. “The West Coast or the East Coast is really more to do with fashion … whereas Texas is like a timeless zone. It’s like a world unto itself.”

Clapton has several other ties to the area. In 2004, he filmed his Sessions for Robert J DVD at 508 Park Ave. in Dallas, where Robert Johnson recorded “Love in Vain” and 12 other blues classics in 1937.

He also owes a major debt to a pair of late blues greats from Big D.

“Freddie King’s influence on me was massive,” he told The News. “He was the first electric guitar player I heard who played in that single-string solo style behind the notes. And T-Bone Walker, he’s been the spine of the electric guitar.”

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