Pattie Boyd is an English model and photographer and the former wife of both George Harrison (1966 – 1974) and Eric Clapton (1979 – 1989). She was the inspiration for love songs written by both musicians, Harrison’s, “Something“, “For You Blue” and “Isn’t It a Pity”, and Clapton’s “Layla”, “Wonderful Tonight” and “Bell Bottom Blues”.

She remembers her relationship with George:

“I had met George six years previously, in 1964, when he was filming A Hard Day’s Night. Britain and most of Europe was in the grip of Beatlemania. On first impressions, John seemed more cynical and brash than the others, Ringo the most endearing, Paul was cute and George, with velvet-brown eyes and dark chestnut hair, was the best-looking man I had ever seen. At a break for lunch I found myself sitting next to him. Being close to him was electrifying.

Almost the first thing he said to me was: ‘Will you marry me?’ He was joking but there was a hint of seriousness. We got together soon after that and married two years later on January 21, 1966. I was 21, he was 22. I was so happy and so much in love. I thought we would be together and happy for ever.

Three years later, in 1969, George wrote a song called Something. He told me in a matter-of-fact way that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful and it turned out to be the most successful song he ever wrote, with more than 150 cover versions. Frank Sinatra said he thought it was the best love song ever written. George’s favourite version was the one by James Brown. Mine was the one by George Harrison, which he played to me in our kitchen.

But, in fact, by then our relationship was in trouble. Since a trip to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India in 1968, George had become obsessive about meditation. He was also sometimes withdrawn and depressed.

And there were other women, which really hurt me. George was fascinated by the god Krishna who was always surrounded by young maidens. He came back from India wanting to be some kind of Krishna figure, a spiritual being with lots of concubines. He actually said so.

It was around this time that Eric began to come over to our house. He and George had become close friends, writing and recording music together. Eric’s guitar playing was held in awe by his fellow musicians. He was an incredibly exciting performer to watch. He looked wonderful on stage, very sexy.

But when I met him he didn’t behave like a rock star – he was surprisingly shy and reticent. I was aware that Eric found me attractive and I enjoyed the attention he paid me. It was hard not to be flattered when I caught him staring at me or when he chose to sit beside me. He complimented me on what I was wearing and the food I had cooked, and he said things he knew would make me laugh. Those were all things that George no longer did.”

So, she begins to see Eric Clapton:

“We met secretly at a flat in South Kensington. Eric Clapton had asked me to come because he wanted me to listen to a new number he had written. He switched on the tape machine, turned up the volume and played me the most powerful, moving song I had ever heard. It was Layla, about a man who falls hopelessly in love with a woman who loves him but is unavailable.

I was married to Eric’s close friend, George Harrison, but Eric had been making his desire for me clear for months. I felt uncomfortable that he was pushing me in a direction in which I wasn’t certain I wanted to go. But with the realisation that I had inspired such passion and creativity, the song got the better of me. I could resist no longer.”

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About her book, “Worderful Today”:

Categories: The Beatles

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