Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

ERIC CLAPTON


BIO: Eric Patrick Clapton was born on 30 March 1945 in his grandparents’ home at 1 The Green, Ripley, Surrey, England. He was the son of 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton (b. 7 January 1929, d. March 1999) and Edward Walter Fryer (b. 21 March 1920, d. 1985), a 24-year-old Canadian soldier stationed in England during World War II. Before Eric was born, Fryer returned to his wife in Canada. It was extraordinarily difficult for an unmarried 16-year-old to raise a child on her own in the mid-1940s. Pat’s parents, Rose and Jack Clapp, stepped in as surrogate parents and raised Eric as their own. Thus, he grew up believing his mother was his sister. His grandparents never legally adopted him, but remained his legal guardians until 1963. Eric’s last name comes from Rose’s first husband and Pat’s father, Reginald Cecil Clapton (d. 1933). Eric’s mother, Pat, eventually married and moved to Canada and Germany as her husband, Frank MacDonald, continued his military career. They had two girls and a boy. Eric’s half-brother, Brian, was killed in a road accident in 1974 at the age of 26. His half-sisters are Cheryl (b. May 1953) and Heather (b. September 1958). Eric was raised in a musical household. His grandmother played piano and his uncle and mother both enjoyed listening to the sounds of the big bands. Pat later told Eric’s official biographer, Ray Coleman, that his father was a gifted musician, playing piano in several dance bands in the Surrey area. Quiet and polite, he was characterized as an above-average student with an aptitude for art. But, from his earliest years in school, he realized something was not quite right when he wrote his name as “Eric Clapton” and his parents’ names as “Mr. and Mrs. Clapp”. At the age of nine, he learned the truth about his parentage when Pat returned to England with his six-year-old half brother for a visit. This singular event affected him deeply and was a defining moment in his life. He became moody and distant and stopped applying himself at school. Emotionally scarred by this event, Eric failed the all-important 11 Plus Exams. He was sent to St. Bede’s Secondary Modern School and two years later, entered the art branch of Holyfield Road School. By 1958, Rock and Roll had exploded onto the world. For his 13th birthday, Eric asked for a guitar. Finding the inexpensive German-made Hoyer difficult to play - it had steel strings - he put it aside. In 1961, when he was 16, Eric began studying at the Kingston College of Art on a one-year probation. He was expelled at the end of that time for lack of progress as he had not submitted enough work. The reason? Guitar playing and listening to the blues dominated his waking hours.

Latest Articles


Julien's Auctions Announces Online Charity Auction, 'Handwritten Song Lyrics Benefitt Photo Julien's Auctions Announces Online Charity Auction, 'Handwritten Song Lyrics Benefitting Music Health Alliance'
by TV News Desk - October 19, 2020

Julien’s Auctions recently launched the exclusive, online charity auction Handwritten Song Lyrics Benefitting Music Health Alliance at juliensauctions.com for advance bidding....
Blind Guitar Legend Joey Stuckey Releases New Single 'You Know My Name' Photo Blind Guitar Legend Joey Stuckey Releases New Single 'You Know My Name'
by TV News Desk - October 15, 2020

Joey Stuckey, the official music ambassador for Macon, Georgia, the “southern rock capital of the world”, releases a new single “You Know My Name”. ...
Dirk Powell Returns With 'When I Wait For You' Photo Dirk Powell Returns With 'When I Wait For You'
by BWW News Desk - September 04, 2020

Renowned producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and sideman Dirk Powell is releasing his first album on Compass Records today. WHEN I WAIT FOR YOU, included in NPR New Music Friday's “New and Notable” releases today, confirms why Powell has achieved near legendary status in the international ro...
Matt Rollings Announces Vinyl Release of His First Album in 30 Years 'Matt Rollings M Photo Matt Rollings Announces Vinyl Release of His First Album in 30 Years 'Matt Rollings Mosaic'
by TV News Desk - August 28, 2020

Today, the GRAMMY Award-winning producer, piano virtuoso and first-call session superstar Matt Rollings announced his first album in over 30 years Matt Rollings Mosaic will be released on limited edition, numbered 180g vinyl....
Billie Eilish, Elton John, and More Donate Items for Julien's Auction Photo Billie Eilish, Elton John, and More Donate Items for Julien's Auction
by TV News Desk - August 27, 2020

This exclusive charity auction to benefit MusiCares, the charitable foundation which provides aid to artists and music community professionals in times of need....
The Rolling Stones Announce Details of Previously Unreleased Concert Film STEEL WHEEL Photo The Rolling Stones Announce Details of Previously Unreleased Concert Film STEEL WHEELS LIVE
by TV News Desk - July 30, 2020

Today, The Rolling Stones announced details of their previously unreleased 1989 concert film Steel Wheels Live – Atlantic City, New Jersey....
VIDEO: Quarantine All-Stars Release Video To Support MusiCares Photo VIDEO: Quarantine All-Stars Release Video To Support MusiCares
by BWW News Desk - July 24, 2020

The Quarantine All-Stars, an amazing, legendary and award-winning group of musicians, have come together for a one-of-a-kind All-Star Band collaboration....
Matt Rollings Releases 'That Lucky Old Sun' Featuring Lyle Lovett, Ramblin' Jack Elli Photo Matt Rollings Releases 'That Lucky Old Sun' Featuring Lyle Lovett, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Willie Nelson
by TV News Desk - July 22, 2020

Today, the GRAMMY Award-winning producer, piano virtuoso and first-call session superstar Matt Rollings released a new recording of 'That Lucky Old Sun' featuring Lyle Lovett, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Willie Nelson...
Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and More Musicians Sign Open Letter t Photo Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and More Musicians Sign Open Letter to Save the Music Industry in the U.K.
by BWW News Desk - July 02, 2020

Over 1,500 British musicians have signed an open letter to U.K. Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden, asking for support for the live music industry....
Savoy Brown Announces New Album AIN'T DONE YET Photo Savoy Brown Announces New Album AIN'T DONE YET
by TV News Desk - June 29, 2020

Legendary British Blues Rock band Savoy Brown led by founding member Kim Simmonds, announces the August 28 release of their exciting new album, “Ain't Done Yet”, on Quarto Valley Records....
Eric Clapton & B.B. King RIDING WITH THE KING 20th Anniversary Edition Out Now! Photo Eric Clapton & B.B. King RIDING WITH THE KING 20th Anniversary Edition Out Now!
by TV News Desk - June 26, 2020

Eric Clapton and B.B. King first performed together in NYC in 1967. Over 30 years later, in 1999, the two longtime friends joined forces to create a collection of all new studio recordings of blues classics and contemporary songs. The resulting album Riding with the King would be released in June 20...
Pianist Michael Silverman Releases First Album With Jeff Lorber Photo Pianist Michael Silverman Releases First Album With Jeff Lorber
by BWW News Desk - June 15, 2020

While you may have never heard his name, you've almost certainly heard his music. Michael Silverman is one of the most streamed and downloaded instrumentalists in the world, with over six billion streams on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon. His classical recordings can be heard in hundreds of televis...
Pianist Michael Silverman Releases First Album With Jeff Lorber Photo Pianist Michael Silverman Releases First Album With Jeff Lorber
by TV News Desk - June 15, 2020

While you may have never heard his name, you've almost certainly heard his music. Michael Silverman is one of the most streamed and downloaded instrumentalists in the world, with over six billion streams on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon....
Radnor & Lee to Release New Album GOLDEN STATE Photo Radnor & Lee to Release New Album GOLDEN STATE
by TV News Desk - May 14, 2020

On June 19 Radnor & Lee, the musical project of Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Happythankyoumoreplease, Hunters streaming now on Amazon, etc) and Ben Lee (Noise Addict), will release their anticipated sophomore album Golden State on Flower Moon Records, run by Azure Ray's Maria Taylor....
Matt Rollings Releases New Song 'Wade In The Water' Featuring The War and Treaty and Photo Matt Rollings Releases New Song 'Wade In The Water' Featuring The War and Treaty and The Blind Boys of Alabama
by TV News Desk - May 13, 2020

Today, the GRAMMY Award-winning producer, piano virtuoso and first-call session superstar Matt Rollings released the official video for 'Wade In The Water' featuring The War and Treaty and The Blind Boys of Alabama....
1989 Recording of 'Big House' to Be Released As Never-Before-Heard Track From World G Photo 1989 Recording of 'Big House' to Be Released As Never-Before-Heard Track From World Goes Round
by BWW News Desk - May 13, 2020

WORLD GOES ROUND, a supergroup which formed in the late 80s but whose recordings were never released, will be releasing a never-before-heard track titled 'Big House' on Viper Records on May 29....
BWW Exclusive: THE BEATLES 101 GREATEST SONGS OF ALL TIME - Ranking the Best of John, Photo BWW Exclusive: THE BEATLES 101 GREATEST SONGS OF ALL TIME - Ranking the Best of John, Paul, George & Ringo (Including Their Solo Hits)
by Peter Nason - May 12, 2020

BWW Reviewer Peter Nason chooses the 101 greatest Beatles songs, including some of the fab four's solo works. They're all here: 'Twist and Shout,' 'In My Life,' 'Helter Skelter,' 'Imagine,' 'Something,' 'Maybe I'm Amazed,' 'Let It Be.' See if your favorites made the grade!...
Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp Premiere New Video for 'Isolation' Photo Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp Premiere New Video for 'Isolation'
by TV News Desk - May 12, 2020

Legendary guitarist and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck, one of the great collaborators in music history, recently released his latest collaboration with Johnny Depp: a re-imagining of John Lennon's classic track “Isolation.”  ...
ASK EDDIE KRAMER A Four-Part Live Interview Series With Recording Legend Premieres Ma Photo ASK EDDIE KRAMER A Four-Part Live Interview Series With Recording Legend Premieres May 7
by BWW News Desk - May 05, 2020

Gibson the iconic, American-made, leading instrument brand has announced the new four-part, LIVE interview series “Ask Eddie Kramer, Presented by Gibson” will premiere this Thursday, May 7 at 6:00pm CT on Gibson's Facebook Live, Here and on GibsonTV Here....
BWW Exclusive: The 101 GREATEST ALBUMS of the Rock and Rap Era (1950-2020) Photo BWW Exclusive: The 101 GREATEST ALBUMS of the Rock and Rap Era (1950-2020)
by Peter Nason - April 16, 2020

The Beatles! Rihanna! Michael Jackson! Johnny Cash! Kanye West! The Rolling Stones! Aretha Franklin! Bob Dylan! Miles Davis! Nirvana! BWW Reviewer Peter Nason chooses the greatest albums from the rock and rap era (1950-2020); see if your favorites made the grade!...
Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp Release Cover of John Lennon's 'Isolation' Photo Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp Release Cover of John Lennon's 'Isolation'
by TV News Desk - April 16, 2020

Legendary guitarist and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck, one of the great collaborators in music history, has once-again found an unexpected co-conspirator in Johnny Depp....
Matt Rollings to Release First Solo Album in 30 Years Photo Matt Rollings to Release First Solo Album in 30 Years
by TV News Desk - April 15, 2020

Today, the GRAMMY Award-winning producer, piano virtuoso and first-call session superstar Matt Rollings announced he will release his first solo album in over thirty years Matt Rollings Mosaic on August 14....
Harvey Dalton Arnold Releases New Album Photo Harvey Dalton Arnold Releases New Album
by TV News Desk - April 06, 2020

“Standing up or laying down, I won't be here when the sun goes down,” says the 66 year old Southern Rock legend Harvey Dalton Arnold on “When the Sun Goes Down” from his new release Stories to Live Up To released on Music Maker Recordings. ...
Gibson Gives and Sweetwater Team Up To Offer 3 Month Premium Memberships To Amped Gui Photo Gibson Gives and Sweetwater Team Up To Offer 3 Month Premium Memberships To Amped Guitar
by TV News Desk - April 02, 2020

In an effort to share the power of music around the world, Gibson has formed a partnership with Gibson Gives, Sweetwater.com and Amped Guitar Learning--the #1 guitar learning experience tool--to offer new users three months of Premium Access Membership for free....
David Sancious New Album EYES WIDE OPEN Now Available Photo David Sancious New Album EYES WIDE OPEN Now Available
by TV News Desk - March 11, 2020

World-renowned performing and recording artist David Sancious, was an original member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. He has toured and recorded with greats Peter Gabriel, Sting, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Santana, Seal and an expansive list of A-level musicians. Sancious also wrote, produced an...