He realized as a young boy that his older sister was actually his mother but he never received the affection he craved from her.
They say God created mothers to take his place on earth and be the epitome of love, care, and guidance for the children. While some grow up with affection and nurturing, others aren't so lucky. Rock star Eric Clapton grew up in a loving environment with his parents until one day, when everything turned upside down.
He was just seven years old when he heard his aunt ask his mother, "Have you heard from his mum?" What a strange question! It was confusing for little Eric as well and it would continue to bother him until he was nine when he learned the earth-shattering truth, reported Express UK. Turned out, the woman he had thought to be his older sister was actually his mother.
Patricia Molly Clapton was only 16 years old when she became a mother to Eric. It was after she had a brief relationship with Edward Walter Fryer, a 24-year-old WWII Canadian soldier, according to Today I Found Out.
The 1940s didn't appreciate the idea of a young unmarried girl raising a child out of wedlock and so Patricia decided that it would be best if her mother, Rose Clapp, and step-father, Jack Clapp, took care of her son. Her parents agreed to raise the talented musician as their own and told Eric that his biological mother was his older sister.
Patricia went on with her life and married a Canadian military man, Frank MacDonald, and moved to Canada, leaving Eric behind along with the dark secret. When the Tears in Heaven singer turned nine, his "grandmother" finally confirmed his doubts by telling him the truth. It was also the time when Patricia returned home with her two sons, his half-brothers. Excited, he was all ready to embrace his mother but was shocked by her reaction.
According to Rock and Roll Garage, when the young boy asked her, "Can I call you Mummy now?" Patricia emphatically replied, “I am not your mother, do not call me a mother." Furthermore, she asked him to continue calling his grandparents mother and father. It was too much for little Eric to handle because all he wanted was some love and care from his birth mother.
Going through rejection and abandonment at such a tender age had serious effects on him and the boy who was once a happy child turned reserved and gloomy, as per Biography. In his book, Eric Clapton: The Autobiography, he wrote, "The truth dawned on me, that when Uncle Adrian jokingly called me a little bastard, he was telling the truth."
While talking to Daily Mail he said, "I think it must be like being on The X Factor and told you're useless, clear off. I can't watch that program because it brings a feeling of rejection." Referring to his book he continued, "When I think about the book now, I think why didn't I explore that? What I didn't really explore was my fear of rejection and where that came from."
Even though he never received love from his biological mother, his grandma showered him with immeasurable affection and everything he wanted. Growing up in a musical family made him inclined towards the music industry as well and he became a rock star with hits like Layla, Crossroads, and Wonderful Tonight, who would make women weak in their knees. But his mother, Patricia, still remained a stranger.
According to Vintage News, the 75-year-old once said, “My mother and I didn’t really hit it off that well. The best period of our life was as adults, when we were drinking together. I loved her but she was a difficult woman." He continued, “Our relationship developed as friends. Whenever I needed a mother figure, she wouldn’t be the person I’d go to."