How Eric Clapton Found Out That His Sister Was Actually His Biological Mother


The Yardbirds and Cream icon Eric Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time thanks to his extraordinary music career that spans over nearly six decades including three inductions to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in addition to 18 Grammy Awards as well as the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

However, Clapton’s personal life didn’t start as glamorous as his music career as he had a pretty traumatic childhood after being told that her biological mother was his sister and it was his grandparents who claimed to be his parents. It wasn’t until Eric was 9 years old that he found out the truth about his real mother and father, however, he still chose to remain with his grandparents. Let’s dig deeper into the peculiar story of Eric Clapton’s upbringing together.

Eric Clapton Discovered His Sister Is His Biological Mother


Eric Clapton grew up thinking it was his grandmother, Rose, and her second husband, Jack Clapp, Patricia’s stepfather, who were his parents, and that his biological mother Patricia Molly Clapton was actually his older sister until he was nine years old.

It all started when his mother Patricia Molly Clapton was just 16 years old and had a very brief relationship with Clapton’s father, Edward Walter Fryer who was a 24-year-old Canadian soldier in Britain during the tail end of WWII at the time. In addition to being a soldier, Fryer played piano and sing at various clubs around in order to earn extra money. During his performance at a small pub, he met Patricia, and eventually, she became pregnant with Eric.

Mainly due to the fact that Patricia wasn’t old enough to raise a child as well as the child was born out of marriage, Patricia’s mother and stepfather agreed to raise Eric as their own child and told him that he was their son and his mother was his older sister. When Eric Clapton was only a few years old, his real mother Patricia married another Canadian military man named Frank MacDonald and moved around with him, primarily to Canada and, for a while, Germany.

Although Patricia came to an age of taking the responsibility of her own child, she went on having other children quite quickly after getting married and chose not to come clean about being the biological mother of Eric while pretending to be his sister.

For years, Eric Clapton knew his mother to be his older sister and it wasn’t until he was nine years old that he found out the truth from his grandmother who revealed Patricia to be his mother when she came by for a visit, bringing along his six-year-old half-brother. Regardless of the truth that shocked the nine-year-old Eric, he preferred to stay with his grandparents while his real mother continued to play her part as his older sister with her own family.

Who Was Eric Clapton’s Father?


In spite of the fact that he found out the truth about his parents, Eric Clapton actually never got the opportunity to meet his biological father since Edward Walter Fryer passed away in 1985 due to leukemia, way before Clapton figured out nothing but his name.

It wasn’t until 2007 that further information about Eric’s father has revealed thanks to a Montreal journalist Michael Woloschuk, who had tracked down Fryer and his family, revealing that he had been a traveling musician who played the piano and saxophone and also sang. Fryer also married several times during his travels as a soldier and had several other children which means Clapton may have several half-siblings with whom he never met.