Eric Clapton grew up believing that his grandparents were his parents and that his mother was his sister. His real father had deserted the family, and they had adopted this fiction in order to spare him the stigma of illegitimacy.
“It occurs to me that the family had no real idea of how to explain my own existence to me,” he wrote in his 2007 autobiography, Clapton. “The guilt attached to that made them very aware of their own shortcomings, which would go a long way in explaining the anger and awkwardness that my presence aroused in almost everybody.”
One other striking detail from that book: He mentions that buying a yacht at age 60 was “the first time in my life I had to borrow money to pay for something.” This seems to mean that, ever since stardom had found him at age 18, he could simply acquire anything he wanted.