Numerous sources (including Joel Whitburn’s “Top Pop Singles” published by Billboard Magazine) and many music industry websites state that Eric Clapton’s real surname (last name) is Clapp. This is NOT true.
Briefly, Eric Patrick Clapton was born on 30 March 1945 in his grandparents’ home in Ripley, Surrey. He was the son of Patricia Molly Clapton (b. 7 January 1929, d. March 1999) and Edward Walter Fryer (b. 21 March 1920, d. 1985). Before Eric was born, Fryer returned to his wife in Canada. Eric was given his mother’ s surname, Clapton, at birth.
Patricia Clapton’s mother, Rose, and her second husband (Jack Clapp) raised Eric as their own child. Eric grew up believing his mother was his sister. But, he realized from his earliest years that something was not quite right when he wrote his name as “Eric Clapton” and his parents’ names as “Mr. and Mrs. Clapp”. His grandparents, Rose and Jack Clapp, never legally adopted him, but remained his legal guardians until he reached majority in 1963.
The surname Clapton comes from Rose’s first husband and Patricia’s father, Reginald Cecil Clapton (d. 1933).
For more detailed information, see the first chapter of Eric Clapton’s autobiography Clapton: The Autobiography (2007).