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IN the late 1960s one of the most prominent pieces of graffiti seen in London and New York was Clapton is God Thirty years later the stalwart guitarist and singer continues to hold the initiated enthralled and a fair share of his present-day fans werent even born when those words of worship were emblazoned on public edifices Claptons meandering and groundbreaking musical career has been punctuated by extreme personal hardship and tragedy Through the emotional truth of his music he has sought refuge and release from the suffering of drug and alcohol addiction personal relationships gone awry and the deaths of several loved ones Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30 1945 in his grandparents house at 1 The Green Ripley Surrey England He was the illegitimate son of Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Fryer a Canadian soldier stationed in England After WWII Fryer returned to his wife in Canada Patricia left Eric in the custody of his grandparents Rose and Jack Clapp The surname Clapton is from Roses first husband Reginald Cecil Clapton Patricia moved to Germany where she eventually married another Canadian soldier Frank McDonald Young Ricky thats what his grandparents called him was a quiet and polite child an above average student with an aptitude for art He was raised believing that his grandparents were his parents and his mother was his sister to shield him the stigma that illegitimacy carried with it The truth was eventually revealed to him at the age of nine by his grandmother Later when Eric would visit his mother they would still pretend to be brother and sister As an adolescent Clapton glimpsed the future when he tuned in to a Jerry Lee Lewis appearance on British television Lewiss explosive performance coupled with young Erics emerging love of the blues and American RB was powerful enough to ignite a desire to learn to play guitar He commenced studies at the Kingston College
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