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Early years

Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, the son of 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton (b. 7 January 1929) and Edward Walter
Fryer ( 21 March 1920 - 15 May 1985 ), a 24-year-old soldier from Montreal, Quebec. Fryer shipped off to war prior to Clapton's
birth and then returned to Canada. Clapton grew up with his grandmother, Rose, and her second husband Jack, believing they
were his parents and that his mother was his older sister. Their surname was Clapp, which has given rise to the widespread but
erroneous belief that Clapton's real surname is Clapp (Reginald Cecil Clapton is the name of Rose's first husband, Eric Clapton's
maternal grandfather).[5] Years later, his mother married another Canadian soldier, moved to Canada and left young Eric with his
grandparents in distant Surrey.

Clapton received an acoustic Hoyer guitar, made in Germany, for his 13th birthday, but found learning the steel-stringed instrument
very difficult and nearly gave up. Despite his frustrations, he was influenced by the blues from an early age and practised long
hours to learn chords and copy the music of blues artists that he listened to on his Grundig Cub tape recorder.

After leaving school in 1961, Clapton studied at the Kingston College of Art but was dismissed at the end of the academic year
because his focus remained on music rather than art. Around this time Clapton began busking around Kingston, Richmond and the
West End of London.[6] In 1962, Clapton started performing as a duo with fellow blues enthusiast David Brock in the pubs around
Surrey.[7] When he was 17 years old Clapton joined his first band, an early British R&B group, called "The Roosters". He stayed
with this band from January through August 1963.[7] In October of that year, Clapton did a brief seven gig stint with Casey Jones &
The Engineers.[8]
Sinner's Prayer - Eric Clapton
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