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Fryer shipped off to war prior to Clapton's birth and then returned to Canada.
Clapton grew up believing that his grandmother, Rose, and her second husband, Jack Clapp, Patricia's stepfather, were his parents, and that his mother was actually his older sister.
In March 1965, Clapton and the Yardbirds had their first major hit, "For Your Love", written by songwriter Graham Gouldman, who also wrote hit songs for Herman's Hermits and the Hollies (and would later achieve success of his own as a member of 10cc).
In part because of its success, the Yardbirds elected to move toward a pop-oriented sound, much to the annoyance of Clapton, who was devoted to the blues and not commercial success.
The similarity in surnames gave rise to the erroneous belief that Clapton's real surname is Clapp (Reginald Cecil Clapton was the name of Rose's first husband, Eric Clapton's maternal grandfather).
In 1961, after leaving Hollyfield School in Surbiton, 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.
Having swapped his Fender Telecaster and Vox AC30 amplifier for a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar and Marshall amplifier, Clapton's sound and playing inspired the famous slogan "Clapton is God", spray-painted by an unknown admirer on a wall in Islington in 1967.
Clapton suggested fellow guitarist Jimmy Page to be his replacement, but Page declined out of loyalty to Clapton, Beck and Page played together in the Yardbirds for a while, but Beck, Page, and Clapton were never in the group together.Clapton left the Bluesbreakers in July 1966 (replaced by Peter Green) and was invited by drummer Ginger Baker to play in his newly formed band Cream, one of the earliest supergroups, with Jack Bruce on bass (previously of the Bluesbreakers, the Graham Bond Organisation and Manfred Mann).1966 before their full debut two nights later at the National Jazz and Blues Festival in Windsor.They first appeared together on the 12-date benefit tour for Action for Research into multiple sclerosis in 1983.
Clapton joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in April 1965, only to quit a few months later.Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and "arty, blues-based psychedelic pop".