Eric Patrick Clapton
Also known as
30 March 1945 (age 63)
Ripley, Surrey, England
1963 - present
• Casey Jones and the Engineers
• The Roosters
• The Yardbirds
• John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
• The Glands 
• The Beatles
• The Dirty Mac
• Blind Faith
• The Plastic Ono Band
• Delaney, Bonnie & Friends
• Derek and the Dominos
• Roger Waters
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) , nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. He is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries, garnering an unprecedented three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (The Yardbirds, Cream, and solo). Often viewed by critics and fans alike as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Clapton was ranked fourth in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #53 on their list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Although Clapton's musical style has varied throughout his career, it has always remained rooted in the blues. Clapton is credited as an innovator in several phases of his career, which have included blues-rock (with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds) and psychedelic rock (with Cream). Clapton has also achieved great chart success in genres ranging from Delta blues (Me and Mr. Johnson) to pop ("Change the World") and reggae (Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff"). Clapton also achieved fame with Derek and the Dominos through the hit song "Layla".
Musical career and personal life
Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England the son of 16 year old Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Walter Fryer, a 24-year-old soldier from Montreal, Quebec, Canada; the two were not married. 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 (Clapton is the name of Rose's first husband, Eric Clapton's maternal grandfather). Years later, his mother married another Canadian soldier, moved to Canada and left Eric with his grandparents. When Clapton was nine years old, he discovered the true situation when his mother and six year old half-brother, Brian, returned to England for a visit. The experience became a defining moment in his life. He stopped applying himself at school and became moody and distant from his family. Brian died in 1974 in a road accident. Clapton also has two half-sisters from his mother's marriage: Cheryl (born in May 1953) and Heather (born in September 1958).
Clapton grew up quiet, shy, lonely and in his words a "nasty kid", who was very serious about his musical goals. However he is also known to have had a sense of humour.
Clapton spent his secondary school years at the Hollyfield School in Surbiton. His first job was as a postman. Clapton received an acoustic Spanish Hoya guitar for his 13th birthday. He found learning the instrument very difficult and nearly gave up. He was influenced by the blues from an early age and practiced long hours to learn chords and copy the music of black blues artists that he listened to on his Grundig Cub tape recorder.
After leaving school, Clapton completed a one-year foundation art course in 1962 at the Kingston College of Art but he did not go on to undertake an art degree. Around this time Clapton began busking around Kingston, Richmond and the West End of London. When he was 17 years old Clapton joined his first band. It was an early British R&B group called The Roosters. He stayed with this band from January through August in 1963. Clapton did a seven-gig stint with Casey Jones and the Engineers in October 1963.
The Yardbirds & the Bluesbreakers
Clapton joined The Yardbirds, a blues-influenced rock and roll band, in 1963 and stayed with them until March 1965. Synthesising influences from Chicago blues and leading blues guitarists such as Buddy Guy, Freddie King and B.B. King, Clapton forged a distinctive style and rapidly became one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British music scene. The band initially played Chess/Checker/Vee-Jay blues numbers and began to attract a large cult following when they took over the Rolling Stones' residency at the Crawdaddy Cl