Quiet and polite, he was characterized as an above-average student with an aptitude for art. However, from his earliest years in school, he recognized something was not fairly right when he wrote his name as "Eric Clapton" and his moms and dads' names as "Mr. and Mrs. Clapp". At the age of nine, he learned the truth about his parentage when Pat went back to England with his six-year-old half brother for a visit. This particular occasion affected him deeply and was a defining second in his life. He came to be moody and remote and stopped applying himself at school. Psychologically scarred by this occasion, Eric failed the all-important 11 Plus Exams. He was delivered to St. Bede's Secondary Modern School and 2 years later, got in the art branch of Holyfield Roadway School.
By 1958, Rock and Roll had exploded onto the globe. For his 13th birthday, Eric asked for a guitar. Discovering the low-cost German-made Hoyer tough to play - it had steel strings - he placed it apart. In 1961, when he was 16, Eric started studying at the Kingston College of Art on a one-year probation. He was expelled at the end of that time for lack of progression as he had actually not submitted sufficient work. The explanation? Guitar playing and listening to the blues dominated his waking hours.
Common of his introspective nature, Eric looked underneath the area and discovered the roots of rock in American Blues. The blues also meshed perfectly with his self-perception as an outsider and of being "different" from additional individuals. At some point in 1962, he requested his grandparents' help in buying a £100 electric double cutaway Kay (a Gibson ES-335 clone) after hearing the electric blues of Freddie King, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Man, and others.